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The History of Traveling Trunks

Vintage and antique trunks are a popular design element in today’s homes whether used strictly for decoration or a more functional purpose. Restoring or building a new trunk is a popular DIY project.

Variety of Trunks
Steamer Trunks

Steamer trunks, also known as cabin trunks or traveling trunks, were originally used as luggage for extended trips by steamship, train, or stagecoach or for taking to boarding school. Many were quite elaborate inside and out. Steamer trunks have a distinguishing curved or barrel top and can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Today, they are used as furniture or storage.

Trunks have been used around the world for thousands of years. The small, flat-topped trunk, we see in use today were popular during the Victorian era and were used primarily for storage. They were usually made of pine and covered in decorative material or leather.

Leather Trunk Handle
Hope Chest

Some of the more recognizable styles of trunks include the Jenny Lind, Saratoga, steamer, barrel-top (also known as "Camelback Trunks"), and full dresser trunks.

Trunks are great for storing linens, seasonal clothes, toys, blankets, craft items, and much more. The bride’s hope chest is a special type of trunk.

Van Dyke's offers an extensive line of trunk hardware for new construction or restoring older trunks including: lifter handles, corners, spring loaded supports, leather, hasps, handles and pulls, handle caps, strap hinges, iron hinges, locks, decorative clavos, bun feet, veneer, and casters.

Trunk Hardware