HALLIBURTON CASE (1938)

Think Tarantino-era John Travolta in shades and you have something of the hard-edged sex appeal of this most famous of attaché cases.

That said, the Halliburton really does not need such comparison – it is, after all, a Hollywood star in its own right. In crime capers such as Ocean’s Eleven and hit TV series such as Lost and 24, its mere appearance onscreen suggests that high-grade shenanigans are afoot and cranks up the tension no end. What on earth, we wonder, is inside? A sniper rifle, bundles of $100 bills, or just a businessman’s lunchtime sandwiches?

The Halliburton’s prototype was designed for the American oilman Erle P. Halliburton (1892-1957), who needed a case that would withstand the wear and tear of long truck journeys through the Texan outback. Halliburton was impressed enough to put the case into manufacture, but a few years after World War  II he sold the company to metal-fabrication company Zero, which has continued to make the Zero Halliburton ever since.

A Halliburton Case from Tom Cruise’s blockbuster film ‘Mission-Impossible 4’

The modern Zero Halliburton is a portable fortress and impervious to even the heaviest blows or blats. No less than two tons of aircraft-grade aluminum goes into the manufacture of every case, and its arduous production process includes a heat treatment that rises 528 degrees Celsius (1,000 degrees Fahrenheit).

Perfect, in short, for throwing out of that exploding helicopter.