Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2016.015.002.40
Description Tang Bake-a-Toy Apollo Nose Cone Container, c. 1969-1975. Two white plastic containers show an expanded and recovered version of a Tang drink container that transforms its shape when heated from a cylindrical container into an Apollo spacecraft nose cone bank. The container was manufactured by the Raychem Corporation for General Foods. Raychem molded the plastic into the Apollo nose cone shape, irradiated the plastic to give the material a "shape memory", and then expanded the container into the cylindrical form. The containers were transferred to General Foods where they would be labeled and filled with Tang powdered beverage. After finishing the contents, consumers could follow instruction to change the shape of the container into the Apollo form using an oven, A one inch long rectangular section near the top could be cut off to create a slot to insert bills and coins.
The expanded version (A) is 4.5" x 4.5" x 4.5" overall. The container has a 0.625" vertical threaded neck with a 2" diameter opening where a metal lid would be screwed on top. The shoulder of the container juts out about 0.25" from the body. Just below the shoulder is a design of four decorative bands. The recovered version (B) is 4.25" x 4.5" x 4.5" overall. It has a conical shape that extends from the neck down to a 1" diameter flat top. The surface has indentations and protrusions to give it a similar appearance to the original Apollo spacecraft. The orientation of the container flips 180 degrees with the container resting on the neck.
Object Name Jar
Collection 3D - Containers
Title Tang Bake-a-Toy Apollo Nose Cone Container, c. 1969-1975
Creator Raychem Corporation, Menlo Park
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "C" (molded into the bottom of the expanded container)
Dimensions H-4.5 W-4.25 D-4.25 inches
Dimension Details (A) Expanded container: 4.5" x 4.25" x 4.25"
(B) Recovered container: 4.25" x 4.25" x 4.25"
Search Terms Apollo program
Business
Business and Industry
Containers
General Foods Corporation
Manufacturing
NASA
Radiation chemistry
Raychem Corporation
Space flight
Tang (drink)
Subjects Aeronautics
Beverage industry
Food industry
Radiation chemistry
Space vehicles