The various types of storage trunks that we know of today have been in use for many, many years. They contained the possessions of their owners as they travelled from location to location in ancient times. Overland journeys and sea voyages took a long time and the need for a lot of clothing and belongings meant that luggage the size of large trunks was necessary. These days the trunk is used more as a decorative item that is largely valued for its storage capacity.
Trunks are available in a great many sizes and shapes and while the most common material used to make them was wood they are also found made from leather and metal. When they were made in great numbers during the 19th century there were many fine craftsmen who built them by hand. The quality of the work was very high and this resulted in trunks that were particularly sturdy and durable. Given the fact that the trunks had to endure some rough treatment while on long journeys, it was out of necessity that they were built so sturdily.
There are a number of different distinctive types of trunks that were created for specific uses and they can still be found today. The most common of these was the steamer trunk.
Steamer trunks were designed with flat tops so that they could be easily stacked in the luggage compartments of ships and trains. They are the types of trunks that are popular today because they can be repurposed as handy items of furniture as well as the storage space they provide.
Another trunk that became popular with people who had to move around as part of their jobs was the dresser trunk. These trunks were a little different to what might be considered the standard trunk in that they contained drawers and compartments for different items of clothing and small belongings.
Wall trunks were smaller types of trunks that were made with a specially designed type of hinge that allowed them to be opened while still sitting flush against the wall. This was very useful when the trunk was sitting in the luggage rack on a train or ship and the contents had to be accessed.
Many of the different types of antique trunks that are still around today were made by the elite trunk and suitcase manufacturers of their time. The fact that they have lasted so well over such a long period of time is testament to the workmanship that was put into them. Even the trunks that look a little worse for wear can be brought back to life with careful refurbishment.
Using Refurbished Trunks
A practice that appears to have growing appeal is the refurbishment of older trunks. This is something that can not only add a great deal of style to the room in the form of an elegant piece of furniture but it can also be extremely satsifying. Whether you choose to do it yourself (something that may take some refinement and training) or you get a professional to do it for you, the result is often a trunk that simply glows in the room. As well as repairing the wood there are additional features that might have to be addressed such as the lock, any hardware used to protect corners and metalwork of various types. Interiors also sometimes require a good deal of solid work.
Buying an old chest and getting it reconditioned and brought back to life can not only be a cheaper option to buying a well cared for original but it can be an incredibly rewarding addition to the home.