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Luggage Lugged: 1936

Luggage Lugged: 1936

Washington, D.C., 1936. "Bus transportation -- loading baggage on motor coach." 4x5 inch glass negative, Harris & Ewing Collection. View full size.


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When I moved halfway across the country in 1977 to go to a different university, I took a trunk that my mom had used in earlier days, and I travelled by train since the weight allotment was so much higher than a plane. I used that trunk for many years as a coffee table or bedside table, and it currently resides in a corner of my bedroom, under a table, filled with precious documents and mementoes. My sister used an old steamer trunk of our grandmother to move to England in the 1980s. When you stood it on its end and opened it up, there were drawers on the left and a mini closet with hangers on the right – in essence, portable, miniature bedroom furniture.

I disagree

I don't agree that trunks were gone by the end of WWII. I bought one in the mid 1960s to pack for college, and lots of other kids did, too.

The Age of (in)Convenience

Back then they had porters for their trunks. I'm sure that was a job that was hard and didn't pay very well. Something in this photo just gives me that idea.

These days the trunks come with trolley wheels and collapsible handles. And everybody except for a few very wealthy are their own porters. Haul-your-own. Carry what you pack. If you want to haul less, then pack lightly.

Only the canvas bags have been replaced by cling wrap.

Protection from the Elements

After the luggage was placed on the top of the bus was it covered to protect it from rain & snow?

The sunset of an age

The 1930s was the last decade where old fashioned trunks were still widely used for luggage. They were already going out of style and by the end of the oncoming war, they would be as anachronistic as an ocean liner today.

And they put up a parking lot

... last seen here.

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