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My First Trunk

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Furniture8095 of 138141980's -- WaterBedPlywood trunk with retro covering needed fixing
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (1 item)


    I first found this trunk back in February. When I saw it again two weeks ago, I couldn't resist! I purchased it and brought it home. I know I want to restore it and I've done some research online about how to do that. Before I start, though, I'd like to know more about it. I don't care about it's monetary value. I'm interested in it's age, who made it, what it's made of so I can clean it properly and how it appeared originally so I can duplicate it as much as possible.

    Thank you!!

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    1. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Hi Chris, welcome to the world of trunk restoring and collecting! I've been at it for many years and started in a similar way. Along the way I've done a lot of research so I can tell you that the trunk style is a "Cross Slat" trunk which has the wood slats on top going from front to back and along the edges. That style was patented in 1880 by Charles Taylor a trunk maker in Chicago. But the hardware and style was also made by trunk companies all across America, so it is often very hard to know which company actually made the trunk. Taylor also designed the metal latches on the trunk, but the initials on the latches are possibly of the hardware company or foundry that made them. The hardware was usually made by large trunk hardware companies and not the trunk maker themselves. The embossed metal covering with the leaves and vine design came along a little later, beginning around 1886 to 1888 and there were eventually a few dozen patterns, also made by several trunk hardware companies and the American Can Company. Most of these trunks with that metal and hardware were made in the 1890's to about 1910, even though they used some earlier patented items. These were made in a variety of sizes and models with different numbers of wood slats. The interiors had lift out trays and many had one or more compartments in the lid. I'm sure there are some nice examples you can also see here on Collectors Weekly if you look back through earlier trunk postings from other collectors. Have fun with your restoration and feel free to ask questions.
    2. ccooke66, 6 years ago
      Marvin, thank you so much for all of the information you provided. This is very helpful! I've been all over this trunk looking for clues and for something I may have missed. Last night, I discovered, that the slat end caps have writing... PAT MAR 1880. I really like these slat caps. I'm hoping that I can keep them throughout this process. One looks kind of iffy because of rust, but the rest seem to be fine.

      The embossed that zinc or tin or...?

      Thank you so much!!
    3. KathyKay, 6 years ago
      Trunks are addictive. There are so many different sizes and styles you will be on the hunt for more and before you know it you have one or more in every room of your home. It is like eating potato chips once you start you can't stop. As TrunkerMarvin said you can learn a lot from viewing the posts on CollectorsWeekly. There are a lot of extremely knowledgeable folks that share their years of research with others, I know I've learned a lot from them.

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