The first Roy Rogers lunch box debuted in 1953 and was made by the American Thermos company. Roy Rogers was the acknowledged King Of The Cowboys, and as his first lunch boxes hit store shelves he had just wound up a long and successful movie career and had moved into television with "The Roy Rogers Show" (1951-1957). When the first lunch boxes featuring Roy Rogers, his wife Dale Evans (The Queen Of The West) and Roy's horse Trigger (The Smartest Horse In The Movies) were released they were an instant hit, with more than 2.5 million lunch boxes sold the first year alone.
Keep in mind that the Roy Rogers lunch boxes for sale below may or may not be older lunch boxes from several decades ago. New Roy Rogers lunch boxes are still being made and sold. When shopping for a Roy Rogers lunch box or any item on eBay be sure to check the seller's feedback rating, read the description carefully, look at any pictures closely, and ask the seller any questions you may have before you bid or buy.
In the early days of American motion pictures and television the Western reigned supreme and the cowboy was king. When, in 1950, Aladdin Industries began selling a lunch box for children featuring the popular cowboy star Hopalong Cassidy (fondly referred to as "Hoppy") it was an instant success for the company. Although the lunch box was a bit modest looking, blue and red metal with a decal about 4 inches big of Hoppy on one side, more than 600,000 of the lunch boxes were sold and put into the hands of happy children the first year it went on sale.
Shortly thereafter, another cowboy star, Roy Rogers, the King Of The Cowboys himself, wanted his image on a lunch box for children, too. Roy approached the Aladdin company about making a lunch box for him, but the company turned him down, famously telling him "one cowboy is enough." But persistence was something Roy Rogers was accustomed to, and he took his request for a Roy Rogers lunch box to a different company, American Thermos. They turned him down also, but Roy kept negotiating with American Thermos and they finally agreed to manufacture and market his lunch box.
When the Roy Rogers lunch box was released in 1953 it was not a modest metal lunch box with a four-inch sticker on one side. The Roy Rogers lunch box was far more spectacular: It was a metal lunch box with beautiful, colorful lithographed designs all over the box, and inside was a matching lithographed steel bottle, too. It was an eye-popping piece of American marketing that, coupled with Roy Rogers' incredible popularity as King Of The Cowboys, sent it flying off of store shelves and into the proud ownership of children all across the country. In that first year alone, more than 2.5 million Roy Rogers lunch boxes were sold. It was a huge success not only for Roy but also for American Thermos, who would continue to manufacture Roy Rogers lunch boxes in different styles and designs for several years to come.
When shopping for a Roy Rogers lunch box on eBay or anywhere else, there are several things you should know before you bid or buy. Below is a list of a few of those things.
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