Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Old family trunk


Old family trunk, black
Old family trunk, blac  
I have this old trunk that has been in the family for an estimated hundred years. I was wondering if anything information about it could surface from a picture of it? I do not know where it was made as my family is from Finland but have also been around the world a bit and I think this was a trunk used in a trip to or from America.

1920 trunks
1920 trunks  


Your trunk was almost certainly made in the United States and sometime between about 1920 to 1940. It is a type made by many American trunk makers during that time period with the same hardware and vulcanized fiber covering.  The covering is a special heat treated, pressed fiber material which was used on most trunks after about 1925 and it held up better than leather and was more waterproof. It was made in a variety of colors also. The locks on these sometimes have a name of the lock maker and a key code. There are often no labels or other markings on these trunks. Many were exported to Europe and brought back by immigrants. These were general purpose travel and packing trunks used by men and women. The interior always had a lift out tray and they were lined with printed paper or sometime fabric. I'm attaching a couple old catalog pages of similar trunks, but each company made them just slightly different than the others.  I hope that helps.

Marvin Miller

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Marvin D. Miller


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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.

Association of American Antique Trunk Restorers, President.

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

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.

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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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