New means of transport = new luggage
The train, the trunks and the suitcases
The invention of the train remains one of the great technological advances of the nineteenth century. It allowed people to go faster, further and in more comfortable conditions.
This new means of transport will induce new types of lighter and more practical luggage.
To satisfy a very demanding and wealthy clientele that needs to surround themsleves with all the necessary and unnecessary, manufacturers invent lighter and more convenient luggage, but also many accessories. Trains bring travelers along the beaches, others to the East Asia and exotic places...
Among these legendary trains, the most emblematic is the Orient Express, a symbol of great travellers, with its luxury and mystery...but this concerns only certain privileged persons. In the 30s at first, but mostly in the 50s, travels generalize and thus lead to the evolution of luggage. The heavy suitcase or trunk, that holders take to the compartments on their carts, moves on to lighter bags of all kinds (leather, cardboard, cloth, plastic ...). The manufacture of these becomes an industry, and significantly reduces their prices and weight. Starting then, luggage are transported by their owners, in person. However, traveling times are still long... A Strasbourg-Paris lasts 11 hours in 1900, vs 2h15 nowadays.
The steamer, the cabin trunk and the Wardrobe
With the liner taking the tourist, migrating him to distant continents, travelling time becomes a particular time. For several days, life on the boatis kind of a micro-society with its rules, occupations and comfort standards. This new way of traveling brings new luggage, as the famous cabin trunks, with standard dimensions. They are widely used to have everything you need at your disposal for a society life. Of course, nothing in common between the first-class passenger, set in a comfortable luxury and the third class emigrant passenger, housed near the machines, that will often have a suitcase or bundle for only luggage. But both of them leave for new adventures, to a new world. Symbol of this great adventure at sea, the saga began with the first transatlantic passenger at the dawn of the 1800s.
In the guide passage of the Cunard Line,you can discover that :
- first class passengers can access the hold everydat to seek belongings in their trunks,
- second class passengers are entitled to access once a week,
- while the third class passengers are not entitled to access the hold, at any times.
a Paris > New York trip would take 10 days around 1912.
The car (car trunk, trunk 48 h)
In the early 20th century after the heyday of rail tourism, the birth of the automobile will transform the art of travel. More generalized, with the industrial production of cars, but also more individual, more mobile and more adventurous, travels change, and with them, luggage too. The car means the freedom to discover, to go places and even go back, where you want, when you want, near or even far ...
The car also means discovering less accessible or more difficult regions like the mountains, the desert or the savannah. Then appear a multitude of lighter, more practical, more resistant luggage, adapting to the available travelling options. After the type of luggage that were made to measure to fit in the car boots, metal trunks appear to carry all the equipment that can be needed during a trip or a vacation. Manufacturers rival in imagination and technique to reduce weight and space, and to meet the expectations of the new tourists.
The plane and the hand luggage
At the beginning of the 20th century, a new means of transport appears : the plane. During these first years of existence, it is solely used by suicidal adventurers, regarding its lack of reliability. But very soon it will become the favourite means of transport.
This technological revolution has a significant impact on travellers, as it makes the world accessible to each and everyone of us. Once more, this evolution comes with new types of luggage : stronger, lighter, more convenient, adapted to the lack of forced pressure. New material is used, such as aluminum and other synthetic material. The traveler can only bring a limited weight of luggage in a plane. This period started mainly in the 50s, and saw the demise of many trunkmakers companies