Lunch Box, "Colonel Ed McCauley, Space Explorer"

Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

This lunchbox manufactured by Aladdin Industries in 1960 features the character of Colonel Ed McCauley, the star of "Men Into Space," a space adventure television show. In hot competition with American Thermos to produce character lunchboxes, Aladdin Industries gave the job of illustrating these Ed McCauley lunchbox kits to Elmer Lehnhardt, later Aladdin's art director.

"Men Into Space" aired on CBS in 38 black-and-white, half-hour episodes from September 1959 to September 1960. Aimed at adults, the show had the cooperation of the U.S. Air Force as well as the help of "technical advisor" Wernher von Braun and space artist Chesley Bonestell. "Men Into Space" dramatized scientifically-based space technologies: multistage rockets, full pressure suits, and artificial gravity. Rather than fighting aliens or other fantastic threats, McCauley battled saboteurs, budget cuts, defective equipment, and other problems. The show filmed at real aerospace sites including Edwards Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral, Florida. In addition, Ziv Television Programs, Inc. spent over $100,000 to build elaborate sets, including the Moon's surface, various planets, launch pads, space platforms, and several rocketship interiors.

Aladdin Industries gave this lunchbox and its accompanying vacuum bottle to the Museum in 2008.