The Miners Lunchbox is such an iconic product. It is part of the collective memory of Sudbury. The first pail was prototyped in 1957 as a one-off, but production began shortly because of its practicality and demand.
Soon, everyone going underground, to the smelter, or any worksite was carrying one. The heritage and tradition continue. Demand is global. “We are going to restart in our community, then Canada,” shares the new manufacturers of the lunchbox Doug Patrick, Steve Patrick, and Scott Sprack.
They are building inventory for the inevitable uptick in demand. It is almost indestructible and yes, even recyclable. Aluminum is lightweight and rust-proof, perfect for the underground’s damp conditions. Everyone knows the product. It was invented by Leo May.
Catherine Langin is Leo’s daughter. She has the first one still. “The Dyno tape, my Dad’s name on it … that was pretty much the high-tech of the day. Me and the lunchboxes were invented at the same time,” she laughs.
“Leo used a leather strap for the handle from a discarded conveyor belt – my Dad invented recycling. His original thought process was to build something he could also sit on. Waiting for the cage and you were beat, so it just made sense.
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