I found a Haskell bros trunk with the number 5 on the locking mechanisms. I have searched for any information on this company to no avail. i was just wanting to know what year our trunk may have been made and if the 5's are significant at all. we also want to make sure that its not a reproduction before we purchase it for $195.00 usd. any information you could give will be greatly appreciated.
Yes, this is certainly an antique Haskell Bros. trunk and not a reproduction. Haskell Bros. trunk company was in business from the 1870s to the 1930s and made trunks of many styles. Marvin S. Haskell was the president of the company in the 1920s and 30s and was known to be a millionaire from the business. I now own and have sold a few Haskell Bros. trunks over the years. This style which was made very heavy duty was often used by traveling salesmen to carry samples of the wares from town to town, looking for new customers for their company. So some of these were called "sample trunks" for that reason and many trunk companies sold sample trunks similar to this. From the 1880's to 1920's many trunks of this style were used by traveling salesmen, to carry everything from shoes to wallpaper. But the trunk could also have been used by an individual for personal travel use. The large #5 latches were patented in 1878 but used on many similar trunks as late as the early 1920's. The 5 is just the size of the latch as these were made in sizes 1 through 5, with 5 being the largest and most heavy duty. The hardware and style of the trunk indicates it could have been made any time from the mid 1880's through about 1910, as these were made in the same style for many years. It is rare to find an actual manufactured date on an old trunk of this type. I can say from experience that Haskell Bros. did make very well made trunks. The asking price is in the range of the usual asking prices on this type trunk but maybe you can negotiate a little better deal with the seller. Many of these trunks also had an interior tray which usually increases the value a little.
Marvin Miller ThisOldTrunk.com
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We are very pleased with the information he gave us. He made us feel better about purchasing a trunk.
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.
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.