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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Steamer Trunk pat MAR1680

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Question
In an auction, I bought a hump back steamer trunk ( I think that is what they call it)that had a pat MAR1680 on a hinge of  the lid. That can't be the year, right? Is this maybe when the hinge was made or possibly just a pat number and not a year?

Answer
1920 trunk catalog page
1920 trunk catalog pag  
Bill,

The marking you found is really Pat. Mar.16,'80, for March 16, 1880.  This was a patent issued to Charles Taylor of Chicago for the Cross Slatted trunk and hardware used on those. Many trunks made by a large number of American trunk companies have these parts, from the mid 1880's until about 1920. Taylor assigned the patent rights to a hardware company in CT that actually made the slat clamps and other parts and then sold them to trunk makers across the country. So, just about every trunk of that style has the same type of slat clamps and design. I'm going to attach the link to the original 1880 patent so you can see the details there. Keep in mind that the actual manufactured items often look a little different than the patent drawings. Many round top or barrel top trunks and even flat top trunks were made in this style and with the same type hardware. When these trunks were made, only the short flat top trunks about 12 to 14 inches tall were called "steamer trunks". They never used the names "hump back trunk" or "dome top trunk" in any of the old trunk catalogs that I have and they were always called round top or barrel top trunks. Now everyone calls them something different than the original names.

http://www.google.com/patents/US225497?pg=PA2&dq=March+16,+1880+Taylor&hl=en&sa=

Marvin  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Marvin D. Miller

Expertise

I can answer questions related to antique trunks, their age, manufacturers, styles, patents, etc, including all types of trunks such as steamer trunks, saratoga trunks, Victorian trunks, slat trunks, toy and doll trunks, stagecoach trunks, valises, hat trunks, and others.

Experience

I have over 40 years experience in trunk restoration, collecting, and research. I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc. related to antique trunks. I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.

Organizations
Association of American Antique Trunk Restorers, President.

Publications
Primarily on the website www.ThisOldTrunk.com Cotton & Quail Antiques newspaper (Southeast). Antique Journal magazine.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia. I have conducted extensive research related to the topic of trunk manufacturers and trunk styles in the U.S. and Europe.

Past/Present Clients
Have consulted for the Pawn Stars TV show on antique trunks. I have sold antique trunks to museums in California and Florida and to customers around the world.

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