Last week was school spring break where I live, so today all the families are back to filling backpacks, putting homework in folders and packing lunches.

Maybe next spring break we should head to Columbus, Georgia to visit the Lunchbox Museum.

The Lunchbox Museum is an actual place, celebrating the golden age of lunchboxes, which was an actual age!

Lunchboxes go back more than a century.

Factory workers in the late 19th century brought them to work either to save money on eating out, or because they didn’t have money to eat out.

Students who lived in rural areas also carried lunchboxes, since they lived too far away from school to return home to eat.

These original boxes were functional, not decorative.

The first branded lunchbox went on sale in 1935, with Mickey Mouse the first rodent that people were happy to see in a cafeteria.

In the 1940s Congress passed the National School Lunch Act, which started moving the country’s schools toward meal programs in the building.

Lunchbox makers feared they would become obsolete, so they went all in on designs and decorations.

You could get a lunchbox with your favorite comic book hero, sports star, cartoon character or TV actor on the side.

By the time I was growing up in the 80s, a cool lunchbox was a serious status symbol, and occasionally the focus of a classmate’s jealousy.

I’m pretty sure someone swiped my Dragon’s Lair lunchbox in third grade (though I might have also just forgotten where I’d put it and never thought to ask anyone for help).

In the 1980s, radio station owner Allen Woodall started buying antique lunchboxes that he remembered from his own childhood, and even started buying entire collections that others had put together.

When he retired from the radio business, he started curating the Lunchbox Museum.

It has thousands of boxes, some that are believed to be worth thousands of dollars.

He’s also co-written a book about the history of lunchboxes and helped the Smithsonian put together a traveling exhibit about the cultural history of lunchboxes.

And if you do decide to pay the museum a visit, don’t forget to pack a lunch.

Here’s an even bigger collection.

Today in 1920, the birthday of Theron Holland, who had an enormous collection of Native American arrowheads and stone artifacts.

He had more than 70,000 in all.

A Nostalgic Trip Awaits at the World’s Largest Lunchbox Museum (Smithsonian)

Theron Holland had a collection of like 70,000 arrowheads (The Vanishing Ozarks via Instagram)

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