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Gem City Trunk Co.

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Trunks2041 of 2658Finished Cabin Trunkold metal chest I got from antique shop
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (1 item)

    This is a Gem City Trunk Co Trunk. I have no information on it. I bought it at a Thrift Store and wanted information on it but nothing comes up when I Google the name. I am hoping that someone here might be able to give me some information on this trunk. Any info would be helpful. I am planning on using the trunk as a toy chest for my kids, but i dont want to paint or destroy the trunk if it is a true treasure. .

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    1. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      This is a very nice old trunk. It is great to have a maker's label because most do not. (sorry I have no info on the maker -- there were a lot at the time) It was made in the early 1900's, manufactured at this trunk company. This style form and type of trunk was standard for its day, and there are many similar ones out there, which means it does not have a high value. this trunk looks nice and has nice metal embossing on it. I would say that you should feel free to decorate it as you like and use it for fun and enjoyment. You will lose a little value if you paint it, but since it is not a high value trunk I say make it work for you. These lids can be a little dangerous for kids fingers so you may want to have new hydraulic like hinges placed on the inside so it does not slam down on little fingers. Nice trunk and thanks for the post!
    2. BelMal BelMal, 9 years ago
      I guess there wouldn't be many (if any other) known trunks of this maker. One to keep for sure! HISTORY. Quincy, Illinois, early settlers came to the area by reports of lush land called the "Jewel of the West," later "The Gem City." Company first established in either 1863 or 1876, and came to be called Gem City Trunk Company by 1885. Moved a few times over the decades, always on Maine Street (#634, 410, 642). A bit more info (five lines only plus a trunk label) can be found in this book: 'Images of America : Quincy Illinois'. Authors: Carl and Shirley Landrum. Publisher: Arcadia, Charleston, SC, 1999. A copy of the book (ISBN 978-0738501277) can be found on, for instance, on, and in the following libraries: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL; Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN; Carthage Public Library District, Carthage, IL; Chicago State University, Chicago, IL; Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL; Lyons Public Library, Lyons, IL.
    3. sassys123, 9 years ago
      This is beautiful,I would use it as a coffee table and of course storage also.I would make sure there is no mold on the inside of the paper but just in case spray it with a clear coat of polyurethane (sp)... I love this piece...
    4. BelMal BelMal, 9 years ago
      To 'sassy123' comment: don't use chemicals, and for two reasons: the toxic vapors will stay stuck inside the trunk's wood, and the chemical reaction with the paper and its old glue might result in the paper peeling off, or bubbling, either quickly or in the longer run.
    5. carolew17, 8 years ago
      I just bought one of these trunks at auction. I live just across the river from Quincy. Mine is very small and great antique condition. It has the original paper covered tray in it. Really neat little trunk. I will be listing it on eBay.

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