OK, I admit it, I love fall and going back to school and picking out new supplies. You know, notebooks, pencils, and of course a brand new lunch box. That’s why I was whisked back to 4th grade when I entered the Lunch Box Museum in Columbus, Ga.
Allen Woodall is the owner and curator of this unique attraction situated in the back of the River Market Antique Mall. Started over 30 years ago when Allen picked up a metal lunch box at an antique store, the museum has expanded to include approximately 1,300 collectibles. Visitors can buy a lunch box that reminds them of elementary school and even trade in one of their own for something they see on the display.
Metal lunch boxes were discontinued in 1985. Allen explained that moms were concerned their children would rough up the boxes, create sharp edges, and hurt each other. Allen showed me some Coca-Cola items in the museum that, while not quite lunch boxes, he loves just the same.
The Lunch Box Museum has been featured on PBS Georgia Traveler, the Roadside America website. Recently, Mike Rowe of “Somebody’s Gotta to Do It” spent the day there. Allen is currently looking for someone to move the museum to a city where more visitors can enjoy the simple nostalgia of the lunch box and its beautiful graphics.
In the meantime, go visit and enjoy a trip down memory lane to the time in your life when a PB&J and a thermos of milk was the best part of the day!
Justine Fletcher is a processing archivist on The Coca-Cola Company’s Heritage Communications team. She rocked a Scooby Doo lunch box as a 4th grader in Ringoes, N.J.