Traveling requisites for the summer vacationist

The trunk and traveling-bag maker is a wide awake man.

He’s got to be so long as folks travel and become crankier every year, demanding comforts and conveniences such as our mothers never dreamed of in their day of the cumbersome Saratoga.

The broad demands of this strenuous modern existence has had a most gratifying effect in stimulating the efforts of manufacturers in providing requisites best calculated to reduce the burden of traveling, and at the same time offering serviceable articles suited to all purses.

And it has required a certain kind of genius to duplicate in cheaper materials, many of the ultra notions of the persistent globe-trotter, who demands that the luxury of travel be reduced almost to a science.

But the wily manufacturer has proved equal to all emergencies and caprices of the tourist by rail or sea and a desire expressed one day materializes the next in some novel and ingenious way of treating a bothersome problem.

Day of luxurious traveling

The costly wardrobes of actresses and society women have been all but ruined in days gone by on account of the lack of practical and available means or caring for these perishable furbelows, which in many cases had their beauty literally crushed out of them. To add to the fears of milady traveler a bottle of toilet water more than once scandalously careened among the contents of the trunk bringing in its path.

Today, however, no such dire apprehensions need assail the traveler’s peace of mind, because there are trunks aplenty in which such catastrophes are quite impossible.

For example, the trunks built on the new principle are designed on the plan of bureaus, dressers, chiffoniers and wardrobes, the latter being principally adapted to accommodate garments in a like position to that occupied in a wardrobe or closet, hence their name.

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Contrary to the old fashioned trunk the new one rests upon one end. There is no tiresome tray-lifting or packing and unpacking to do, the entire contents can be seen, and are always ready and in perfect condition, and any desired garment can be taken out from the side and replaced from the front without arranging any of the others. The skirts hang in their natural folds, there are special contrivances for train dresses and princess gowns, and individual waist-hangers for every costume, absolutely preventing wrinkling or crumpling.

The capacity claim is twelve costumes with use of detachable swinging box or eighteen without it. This claim is a conservative one, as will be proved by the use of trunk.

The sketch of a wardrobe trunk shows one with the clothes rack intact, and the swinging box swung to the right, which comprises drawers and compartments.

In dressers and chiffoniers there is no room allowed for racks, but skirts and blouses, nevertheless, may be carried nicely within. Bureau trunks retail from $19.50 up and are lined with linen, the less expensive ones are covered with pegimoid and bound with fiber. The more costly models have better and more expensive materials and a greater variety of compartments. The majority of the compartment slides are adjustable, so that the spaces may be regulated according to personal requirements.

Only those who have had any experience with the various wardrobe and bureau trunks know the joy that comes with their possession.

When one considers that steamer trunks are sold from $3.50 to $85 some idea may be formed of the enormous scope of this ocean voyager with regard to its cleverness of construction and design.

Of course, all are made from 12 to 13 inches high, so they may be slipped under the berth without trouble. Wardrobe trunks, on account of their easy accessibility of their contents, make them especially desirable for an ocean voyage, when every inch of the cabin is ever so precious.

Steamer rugs are sold from $5 upwards.

Trunks which expand

Another trunk that will recommend itself to the average traveler is the model with self-lifting tray. That is, when the top is raised the first tray comes with it, thus doing away with the attendant back straining. Lifting out of the top tray was an everlasting nuisance, as the contents beneath could not be reached until the first one was removed.

This improved model is sold from $10.75 up and is, of course, iron bound and lined with linen.

Another sketch portrays the hat trunk for the fortunate summer girl who possesses so many and so varied an assortment of head pieces as to require a special trunk just for their efficient accommodation.

Any trunk of pegimoid (a composition that spurns scratches), bound with raw hide, is a very excellent investment and is almost indestructible. Needless to say such a combination presents a very smart appearance.

The first sketch shows an imported model for a suit case that hails straight from Piccadilly. The sides are oddly shaped, fitted with toilet requisites, and when closed form a square box-like case. The center of the case – English newcomer – may be appropriated for any suitable means.

The domestic suit cases enable these long flat contrivances to serve a two fold purpose. The one shown if of walnut lined with moire and fitted with toilet articles with silver tops. Less expensive models are also fitted, and one may purchase cases with little pockets that may be filled according to personal needs.



The top of the inside cover in some cases has straps of canvas to accommodate any garment placed under them; in this manner a great deal may be carried in the suit case that could in no other way be accommodated.

The deep “club” bag to the front

The deep “club” or the English traveling bag is rapidly gaining admirers and more is being sold, proportionately, than suit cases. The sides are boxed and the top is soft or “crush” to use a professional term. In cowhide they sell for $7.50, 16-inch size, and are very attractive.

Of course, these may be had in most any leather, but are particularly handsome and serviceable, though admittedly expensive, in black walrus.

A novelty on the market that is having a tremendous following is an “overnight bag,” which retails from $1.50 to $5, according to the size and quality of the leather employed. A sketch of this desirable traveling requisite is shown at the top of the page.

There is a most surprising variety of toilet cases suited to all sorts of tastes and which are costly or inexpensive, as you please. Those of leather, such as black seal, lined with a fine grain leather and fitted with silver fittings reaches the climax among the expensive ones. Cheaper ones are of leather with satin lining under nickel mounted fittings, or the lining may be of rubber, with fancy stripe side showing. Very good looking ones are fashioned of brown, black, dark green and gray moire with sections of same material, and bound with silk braid. These may be had with or without the fittings. Less expensive ones, of course, are of black sateen bound with tape; others are of rubber.

The sketch shown is a representative traveling case, roll. Others are smaller fitted with compartments each containing a separate article.

The traveler may include a bijou pharmacy among her valuables or shall we say necessaries; if one may judge by the numberless contrivances oddly shaped box-like affairs for the purpose of carrying medicines, tonics and favorite restoratives? Indeed, here is really a professional air about many of the leather cases, especially those containing several rows of bottles in graduated size.

When a protracted sojourn is anticipated, or a vacation of a couple of weeks, then it is a wise precaution on the part of the traveler to forestall future complication by equipping the medicine case with drugs prescribed by the family physician and other remedies that have not failed in the past.


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About this story

Source publication: The Minneapolis Journal (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Source publication date: May 27, 1906

Filed under: 1900s, Culture & lifestyle, Summer, Travel & tourism

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