Here’s a look at nearly two dozen of the all-important pieces of wooden furniture from the twentieth century, with styles ranging from classic to modern.
And what were they for — specifically? Be sure to see this article for the details: What should you put in a hope chest?
Will a Lane hope chest double her chances for a happy marriage? (1938)
My heart did a tap dance when my Lane hope chest came! (1941)
A million maidens yearn for this romantic love gift (1944)
Her Lane hope chest: “That’s what I’m fighting for”
Love knows no distance when pledged with a Lane hope chest – The gift that starts the home (1944)
Actress Shirley Temple for linen chests (1945)
Shirley Temple says: “For your real-life romance, a Lane cedar hope chest is the sweetest valentine of all!”
It’s love everlasting when romance starts with a Lane (1946)
Slip into her heart forever — give her a Lane this Valentine’s Day (1947)
The hope chest of the ’60s meant more than ever – in a different way (1962)
The Harper County Journal (Buffalo, Oklahoma) December 13, 1962
When the hope chest was in its heyday, Christmas was open season for it, both as a gift and in promises.
These cedar boxes were rare and expensive, as furniture items went in those days, But storage space in homes was at a premium, with few built-in clothes closets; hence, a hope chest made an ideal gift for the daughter about to finish high school.
Presented by parents on the Christmas before her graduation, it was ready to receive the offerings of hand-embroidered linens and hand-pieced quilts, promised by aunts, cousins and grandmothers gathered for the holiday meal.
By the time a young lady was ready to “set up housekeeping,” her hope chest was filled with monogrammed towels and sheets, and handmade undergarments.
Later, the hope chest was used to store baby’s layette. Now that linens, lingerie and infants’ clothes are so easily bought a few days before the big event, the hope chest has outlived its usefulness.
Or so it would seem.
Last week, we emptied one to have it refinished as a window seat. As we handled each forgotten item we realized that “hope” had become “memory.”
Out came velvet leaves from Mother’s wedding hat; Grandmother’s eyelet-embroidered wedding petticoat, almost 100 years old; our own engagement dress; our son’s baby jackets and dresses; a heart-shaped Bavarian lace pillow.
As the pile of treasures grew, memories toppled over each other to nestle again in their folds.
One thing about a window seat, we thought happily; there’s still room inside for all our yesterdays. This Christmas, one of our nicest gifts will be the face-lifting of our memory chest!
Its modern painted exterior may fool visitors, but we at home know that what lies inside will enrich the heart.
“For a special someone… on a very special occasion!” (1952)
“I’ve just received the most beautiful gift ever… my shining new Lane Cedar Chest is as unexpected, as precious, as my first love letter — and as lucky, somehow, as a four-leaf clover.”
A hope chest: What a thrifty way to start the new year! (1953)
Now, when your heart is full of hopes and plans for the bright new year ahead… what a perfect time to get your Lane cedar chest!
Can you imagine happier planning than the kind that goes with a Lane… as you gather lovely things for your home or your trousseau, knowing that they’ll stay tissue-paper fresh, sparkling new.
Give her the graduation gift that gathers more gifts (1955)
A Lane hope chest
Whether your girl graduate is trousseau-gathering or just sweater-collecting, a Lane is a gift she’ll adore! one that will become more precious as time goes on.
Every girl loves to plan for the future, to collect fine towels, tablecloths, delicate lingerie and cloud-soft blankets… the lovely things she’ll need when she has a home of her own. And a Lane Hope Chest is a wonderful idea for friends and relatives who will want to help with the happy collecting.
A lane Sweetheart hope chest (1964)
When he gives you a Lane Sweetheart Chest to fill, you know he’s ready for marriage, for sharing a home, for helping you pick out the tables, bedroom and dining room furniture you’ll want by Lane.
A Lane love chest (1980)
From someone who loves you, a gift to hold the things you love
“I love you.” Few gifts say it as beautifully as a love chest. It’s a centuries-old tradition.
And now the gift that says it all says it better than ever. For the cost of postage and handling, your very own love story will be branded on a cedar plaque for mounting inside the lid of your chest…