Vacuum Bottle, "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 vacuum bottle manufactured by Aladdin Industries in 1960 is a part of a lunchbox kit featuring the character of Colonel Ed McCauley, the star of "Men Into Space." This design was illustrated by Aladdin's art director, Elmer Lehnhardt.

The labeling on this bottle illustrates how directly Aladdin was competing with American Thermos for market share in the competition for character lunchboxes (and their matching vacuum or thermos bottles). Stickers on the bottle highlight this bottle's capabilities to keep liquids either hot or cold underneath the "LOX-ON" stopper. A sheet of instructions tucked inside instructed the consumer on how to use and care for the bottle.

"Men Into Space," was a space adventure television show that 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 US 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.

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