History of Luggage and Luggage Delivery

The history of luggage and luggage delivery is fascinating. From wooden chests to modern day luggage, we tell the story of luggage's evolution.

Image courtesy of Don Moyer via Flicker

Love it or hate it, luggage is an integral part of almost every vacation or trip you will take. Everyone has luggage, and everyone uses luggage, but most people don’t know anything about how luggage has changed over time or its history. We tend to think of luggage in terms of the sleek, wheeled, and lightweight cases we see today. However, luggage has been used for centuries, and was very different up until just a short time ago.

The history of luggage and luggage delivery is fascinating. From wooden chests to modern day luggage, we tell the story of luggage's evolution.

Image courtesy of Tanya Witzel via Flickr

According to The Oxford English Dictionary the word ‘luggage’ enters printed English in 1596. The word derives from lug (v.) “to drag” and literally means, “that which needs to be lugged about.” For most of history, luggage commonly came in the form of chests or trunks made of wood, ivory, or other heavy materials.

The history of luggage and luggage delivery is fascinating. From wooden chests to modern day luggage, we tell the story of luggage's evolution.

Image courtesy of Will Cheyney via Flickr

Due to their bulk and weight, these chests and trunks would be shipped by professional movers. It was not until the end of World War II that smaller and more lightweight suitcases and bags that are carried on your person became the more popular and acceptable form of taking your possessions along on a trip.

While steamship travel in the past required luggage to be strong, waterproof and sturdy for journeys, bags and luggage needed to be quite the opposite for plane trips. Zips replaced clasps, suitcases were no longer required to be waterproof, and wheels and towing handles became more commonplace features in luggage design. Travelers now carry their own cases in transit – and the old fashioned porters have become a thing of the past.

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