Arago: Toys


US Mail lunchbox with Mr. ZIP thermos


The dome-top lunchbox and companion thermos are both adorned with the Mr. ZIP character and a red, white and blue color scheme with touches of black and gold. The box's curved lid is reminiscent of the familiar curbside residential mailboxes and is marked "U.S. MAIL" in gold. Trompe l'oeil elements painted on the lid simulate a red signal flag and a door fastener, located on the short end of the letterbox-like container. The box appears to be missing bar that would have secured the thermos to the dome-top interior. The plastic thermos, with screw stopper and cup, is also decorated with the running Mr. ZIP cartoon and lists several US towns with their ZIP codes. The set was released in 1969, just six short years after the introduction of ZIP codes. It was designed by Jim Blackburn and manufactured in by Aladdin Industries, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee.

References: (Accessed October 16, 2008) (Accessed October 16, 2008)

printed on lunchbox lid, above clasps: "U.S. MAIL" in gold outlined in black; on hinge side of lid " U.S. MAIL" printed above painting of a red signal flag; on a short side of the lid: "U.S. Mail" printed below tromp l'oeil mailbox door fasterner; on opposite short side: "Mr. ZIP T.M." to left of Mr. Zip cartoon character with mail satchel marked: "U.S. MAIL" printed above: "ALADDIN INDUSTRIES INC. NASHVILLE, TENN. A" printed above: "MY ZIP CODE NO. IS [blank space]" in relief on base of thermos cup: "THERMO BOTTLE / Aladdin / THERMO BOTTLE" in relief on top of thermos stopper: arrow to left "TO REMOVE / Aladdin /" arrow to right "TO TIGHTEN" printed on body of thermos: five Mr. Zip cartoon characters with mail satchels marked: "U.S. MAIL" printed above "BEETLE, KY. 41123 WINK, TEX. 79789 SEARCHLIGHT, NEV. 89046 / SANTA CLAUS, IND. 47579 SANDWICH, N.H. 03270 ICEBERG, PA. 17037 / SUNFLOWER, KANS. 67585 MONEY, MISS. 38945 TOAST, N.C. 27049 / ALADDING INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED NASHVILLE, TENN. USA 37210"; on base of thermos in relief: "THERM BOTTLE / BY / ALADDIN / KEEPS HOT...KEEPS COLD / PATENT INFORMATION ON REQUEST / STOPPER NO. 33 - CUP NO. 112 / CAPACITY APPROXIMATELY EIGHT (8) U.S. OUNCES / ALADDIN INDUSTRIES, INC., NASHVILLE, TENN. 37201 U.S.A."
metal; plastic; paint
Height x Width x Depth (lunchbox): 7 3/8 x 8 3/4 x 4 3/8 in. (18.73 x 22.23 x 11.11 cm) Diameter (thermos): 3 1/2 in. (8.89 cm) Height x Width (thermos): 2 9/16 x 3 1/2 in. (6.5 x 8.89 cm)
Museum ID:
Place of Use:
New Hampshire
Place of Origin:


  • US Mail lunchbox showing Mr. ZIP and thermos
  • US Mail lunchbox and thermos
  • US Mail thermos
  • US Mail thermos
  • US Mail lunchbox
  • US Mail lunchbox
  • US Mail lunchbox
  • US Mail lunchbox
  • US Mail lunchbox
Additional Records