“World's Largest Collection of Lunchboxes”
Ahh, the lunchbox. Every 80s kid had one, and some of us still look back fondly at those little plastic squares we had to lug to school every single day, even though they always smelled kind of funky by lunch break. For a lot of kids, the lunchbox was a chance to show off your favorite cartoon, TV show, or video game, and that’s why Georga’s Lunch Box Museum is a childhood nostalgia bomb just waiting to happen. Founded by author and lunch box aficionado Allen Woodall Jr., the museum came about partly thanks to an entire generation of 80s kids who where using their metal boxes as playground weapons. After one too many lunch-box-induced concussions, the industry decided it was time to go plastic and do away with the metal weapons altogether. That was Allen’s cue to start collecting. Today, Allen’s collection is somewhere in the thousands. In fact, he’s got so many that he’s not even sure what the actual number is up to anymore. The Lunchbox Museum is broken up into two areas, the first being Allen’s personal collection of badass dent-free containers that range from E.Tmemorabilia, to The Bionic Woman, to a David Hasselhoff-covered Night Rider edition. He has all kinds of lunch boxes of all shapes and sizes, and chances are somewhere in there you’ll find a gem that will instantly take you back to your childhood with just one glance. Did I mention that they’re stacked 6 tiers high… in alphabetical order? Because they are. Next up is what Allen calls the “barter room”, where you’ll find many of his duplicates, trades, and "for sale" lunch boxes. Many of these he has 4 or 5 different copies of so the prices are fair. Even if you’re not into collecting, chances are you’ll see something that will make you think about starting a collection of your very own. Many of Allen’s real gems he keeps at his home, and when you consider that his original Superman lunch box could go for anywhere up to 10 thousand dollars, it’s no surprise. If you’re a fan of vintage geekery and collecting, the Lunch Box Museum is going to become your favorite place on earth. Even if you’re not a collector, the museum is so much fun to explore, you’re guaranteed to find something that you'll love. The museum is a must-see detour on any road trip through Georgia. So pack a lunch, jump in the car, and head off to spend an afternoon exploring! -Roadtrippers International Marketplace is home of the largest Lunch Box Museum in the world which has been featured in many newspaper articles and on national television. You remember it well, that rectangular metallic friend, bearing the image of your favorite teen idol, sports star, cartoon character. It swung daily at your side, filled with tuna sandwiches, tomato soup and browning banana from home. Your lunch box: faithful childhood companion, deserving of a place in your personal history. But you never expected to find it in a museum, especially one above a country-music radio station in Columbus, Ga. Allen Woodall owns the station and the museum. His eyes tighten at the corners with glee as he talks about this passion for acquisition that has embraced everything from Coca-Cola memorabilia (also on display here) to Southern pottery. He began collecting lunch boxes a mere four years ago, because, as he puts it, "they're just so neat!" He now has more than 1,000 lunch boxes and related items, including thermoses, coolers and even tobacco tins that doubled as lunch boxes. Step off the funky freight elevator and you're in the first of two rooms filled with lunch boxes. Early on, Woodall points out the display of Western motif boxes, which includes the Hopalong Cassidy lunch box (circa 1951) that started the trend of character decoration when a decal of the cowboy star was slapped onto a metal lunch box and it sold like a brush fire spreading across America. Much of midcentury American pop culture can be found here. From teen idols such as Bobby Sherman and the Osmond brothers who made hearts throb, to the TV series such as "Flipper" and "Charlie's Angels" that shaped our media- driven values, these lunch boxes reflect the familiar influences on our lives. Sixties pop art also appears on this, the ultimate functional form for expression. And yes, you'll also find here an astounding array of variations on the classic black and red plaid theme. The industry went plastic in 1986 after metal boxes were ruled "lethal weapons" by the Florida Legislature. But Allen Woodall's heart belongs to the metal beauties: the lunch boxes of our lives that carried our sandwiches and showed the world our true colors, be they black and red or bread all over.
Closed Monday and Tuesday
How much fun! Found mine, but more than that, it was a weird, sentimental trip back in pop culture time.
*Note: It's to the back of the Antiques Market building (not the towing company nearby). :-)
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The Lunch Box Museum
- Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Not Wheelchair Accessible
No Public Restrooms
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