Tag Archives: luggage

Ad Campaign – Oshkosh Luggage, 1937

She always goes high-hat when she carries Oshkosh!

Don’t blame this poor camel for “putting on airs”… Oshkosh luggage seems to have that effect on man or beast.



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Ad Campaign: Skyway Fashion Luggage, 1952

If you could see through luggage, Skyway would stand out even more!

Vacationers with inside information choose Skyway!

And I love “Perpetually Matchable!”

To have a set of the white with blue trim would be a dream come true!


Filed under Advertisements

Currently Reading: 100 Legendary Trunks

I first saw this little video (sales pitch) back in the fall and I’ve felt the need for this book ever since.  I finally treated myself to it last week, and I’ve had a hard time breaking away from it long enough to get other tasks accomplished.   As the video points out, this is a production of Louis Vuitton and most of the trunks pictured are in the Louis Vuitton historical trunks collection.  The book combines modern photos with historical documents and photos to create a story for each of the 100 trunks chosen for the project.

It’s not just pretty pictures, though I’ll admit the photos are very pretty and very “want” inducing.  The best part is how the narrative tells about the famous owner of each trunk, where he or she took it, and the significance  of the piece in the owner’s life and travels.  Included are trunks belonging to designers Paul Poiret and Jeanne Lanvin, Hemingway’s library trunk, and the rounded trunk of the Empress Eugenie.  It’s truly fascinating reading.

On the down side, this book is big, bulky and heavy, which makes curling up with it in a cozy chair a bit crowded.  It is also expensive, but not necessarily over-priced.   A book of this magnitude is by nature costly.  So I can recommend this only for those of you who are truly vintage travel obsessed!

Some more views:


Filed under Collecting, Currently Reading

Traveling Light – The Shortrip

The year is 1951, and if I’m counting correctly, this fashionable woman is getting ready to put her 6 suitcases in the trunk of that ’51 Packard.  And by the looks of it, there is room and to spare.  I’m not sure when the idea of packing light came into vogue, but it wasn’t something this lady would have ever considered.

So I was a bit taken aback when I found a sweet little 1950s suitcase called a “Shortrip.” I’m the Queen of Light Packers, and even I couldn’t do an overnighter in a 10″ X 12″ case.  My husband and I take vintage luggage on road trips, and he keeps bugging me to take the Shortrip, but it hasn’t happened yet.

It has occurred to me that this HAS to be a man’s bag, so maybe Tim would like to put a change of underwear and a clean pair of socks in it the next time we hit the road.  He may even have space for his toothbrush and a trial size toothpaste.  But I doubt he will, and my little Shortrip will remain a virgin bag.  That’s right – never been used, and clean as a whistle.  And bound to stay that way.


Continue reading


Filed under Curiosities, Road Trip

I Will Not Collect Flight Bags…

I suppose I ought to be writing that sentence over and over on the virtual chalkboard, as I now have two vintage flight bags, and am teetering terribly close to the magical third one.  But I really do not need, nor do I have the space for another collection.  Still…

Flight bags with the airline logos have been around at least since the 1950s.  The one above is from the 50s, or possibly the early 60s, is made of vinyl and covered in a blue and black wool tweed.  Inside is a cloth tag that identifies the maker as being in Italy.  I looked on the internet for this older logo, and have not yet found it, but will update it when I do.

I also have this one:

I’ve had this 1960s Eastern one for several years.  I just could not resist the combination of the blues with the white logo.  Again, made from vinyl.

These were not expensive items.  The airline companies gave them to passengers who were in first class or who bought a packaged vacation plan.  But they must have been treasured souvenirs because so many people obviously kept them.

By the time I took my first transatlantic flight in the 1980s, the in-flight freebies had shrunk to the size of a make-up bag, and were only for first class passengers.  Still, I do have a generic  little courtesy bag from Air France from when  my bags were lost by them.  And several years ago Alitalia  misplaced my bag and I got one from them.  But it was plain white, and was made from such cheap plastic that my friends and I banished  it from the hotel room because of an overwhelming odor.

This leads to the problems with collecting these:  the vinyl is often in poor condition, and the cheapness of it makes modern imitations possible.   The internet is full of sites that sell them, and many look very authentic – to my untrained eyes at least.  One hint, if there is a made in Thailand tag, it’s new.  According to much of my reading, most of the new ones are made in Thailand.

Still if I were to be in the market for just one more flight bag, I’d choose from one of these:

This BOAC from Tin Trunk at etsy.  It’s vintage 1970s, and simply super.

Or how about this Pam Am from Austin Modern?  It has the added advantage of being very similar to the one John Lennon was carrying as he and the other Beatles stepped off their plane in New York in 1964.

Posted by Em:

I like the style of your first bag listed very much.

Sunday, October 17th 2010 @ 1:36 PM

Posted by Vireya:

That BOAC one looks exactly like the bags we had as school bags in Australia in the early 60s. They were purchased as school bags in local markets, and had various airline logos on them. At the time I didn’t know anyone who’d been anywhere by plane, but everyone at school had airline school bags. I don’t know if the manufacturers were licensed to use the logos, or if the airlines just saw it as free publicity.

Sunday, October 17th 2010 @ 3:05 PM

Posted by KeLLy Ann:

I am a fan of the Pan Am bag since we flew that line the most as a child. But I do like that Eastern one! Nice…

Sunday, October 17th 2010 @ 4:44 PM

Posted by AustinModern:

Thank you for featuring the Pan Am Bags!I’m way into your Eastern Bag – I always carry a vintage Pan Am bag when I fly, it makes everyone smile and remember the “romance of the good old days” ha ha

Sunday, October 17th 2010 @ 5:14 PM

Posted by Sarah:

You have two very fine examples of the type already, and I can see how hard it is to resist adding to them!Vireya makes an interesting point. Someone on Twitter yesterday recalled seeing small versions of airline cabin bags for sale in gift shops in the 70s, so it does seem likely that they were licensed (or perhaps not?)

Before flying became so commonplace, it must have been quite a status symbol to have an airline bag, suggesting you were part of the ‘jet set’!

And I’m immensely flattered to see my BOAC bag in such wonderful company!

Monday, October 18th 2010 @ 12:29 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

That’s interesting that they were making replicas for school kids in australia in the 60s. I’m a child of the 60s myself, but don’t remember them at all. Of course I grew up in the back of beyond, and fads were over in the rest of the world before they reached us!

Tuesday, October 19th 2010 @ 6:48 PM

Posted by tom tuttle from tacoma:

how i enjoyed this post. i wanna look at your collection of everything in the past!

Friday, October 22nd 2010

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Filed under Collecting, Vintage Travel

Packed Up and Staying Home

It’s not that I can’t think of lots of lovely places to visit, it’s just that with the price of gasoline and the related problems, it’s just hard to justify so much travel.  I live in a small town and I walk whenever I can.  If  I’m just headed to the post office or to my little studio, I walk.  And I’m passed by a lot of cars.  A LOT.

I read somewhere that “they” say that gas will have to get to $5 a gallon before Americans change their driving habits.  At $4.55, I can’t see any change at all.  I know that so much of the traffic is unnecessary, but part of it is the result of what has happened to our commerce centers, otherwise known as downtowns.  Most of the small to medium-sized towns that I visit are all but dried up.  All the shopping and business places are outside of town, and one HAS to drive to get to them.  People really have no choice but to drive in order to conduct almost any kind of business.

My little town is not much more than a village, with really just one square block of downtown.  But in that block, there is a lot of potential.  There are almost 20 storefronts.  Unfortunately, these are not the necessary types of business that bring in shoppers.  There are three “beauty shops” but no barber.  There are two places to buy flower arrangements, but nowhere to buy a pair of socks.  We have two convienience stores with groceries, but they are across a busy 4 lane highway.  And I won’t even get started on the lack of sidewalks.

Seems to me that part of the solution to the gas crunch is to reduce our usage by walking.  My mother would tell about how she and my father were living in Asheville in the early 1950s without a car.  He walked or took the bus to work, and she was able to do all her business by walking.  Today, it would be very hard to live in most American cities or towns without access to a car.  Ironically, Asheville is one of them.  The downside to that fact is that it is very expensive to live there, as the available housing is very upscale.  But it is a promising start.

So, I’ll continue to walk when I can, combine trips, and cut it to the bare essentials.  And with the money I’ll save, maybe I’ll plan a trip on Air France!

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Filed under North Carolina