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Antique Oak slat Trunk Excelsior

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    Posted 5 years ago

    (143 items)

    Came across this beauty this week -- I had to refinish it due to a red stain that did not do it justice. This one is in pristine shape... all original...

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    1. Drill Drill, 5 years ago
      Awesome find pal.
    2. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      awesome trunk!!! Trunkman, did you get this in ontario by any chance?
    3. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Ok, I don't think it's the same one. Just for fun I was looking for trunks for sale in Canada, someone in Ontario has a barn full of trunks stating must sell asap, in the back ground in one of the pictures is an oak slat trunk, hard to see but the way the corners are made could be a Martin Maier, To far for me to drive. Again awesome trunk you lucky dog!
    4. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Thanks Drill... Greendog actually no I picked it up outside of Quebec City -- did not see one for sale in Ontario -- probably would have driven to get it though!
    5. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      dude send me the link....
    6. Caperkid, 5 years ago
      Beautiful trunk sir great job.
    7. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
    8. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      The link says city of Toronto but the address says Striling, Ontario, or something like that.
    9. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      That's too funny greendog -- I saw this exact ad this morning and missed that one tucked in the back -- good eye!!! Thanks for sending me the link... I will do a little follow up to see and let you know if something comes of it.
    10. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Cool, good luck with it, cant stop drooling over your new trunk!!!!!!!!!
    11. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Thanks again greendog -- just made contact with the seller -- trying to ascertain if it is a slat trunk or not... yah this one is sweet... second one I found in the same area... still have the first one...
    12. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Thanks trunkman, if they gave out trunk of the month awards, you would win for sure this month.
    13. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Not sure about that greendog -- pretty stiff competition this month on trunks... I have such fun with all this eye candy on this site... thanks for the "thumbs up"
    14. jscott0363 jscott0363, 5 years ago
      Wow, Wow, Wow!!! That is absolutely spectacular trunkman!! What an amazing find. I've yet to encounter an Excelsior oak slat trunk that wasn't near the $2K mark or higher. I'd blow my whole trunking budget for the year if I bought one like this beauty!! Incredibly nice find!!!!
    15. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Thanks so much jscotto for the great comment...
    16. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      greendog it turned out to be a stripped pattern trunk and not an oak slat -- a very nice one though with great studding.. if it was closer I would have picked it up...
    17. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Oh ok , thanks for checking that out.
    18. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Let's talk about Excelsior for a minute, are you saying the trunk was made by the Excelsior trunk co.? Awhile back I read an article, a man said he did extensive research on trunks and found that there was never an Excelsior trunk co. Excelsior lock co. yes but no trunk co. He says the reason some oak slat trunks were stamped Excelsior was because it was of superior quality, look at the definition of Excelsior, it means something of superior quality. So is there or isn't there an Excelsior trunk co.?
    19. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      I honestly have no idea... did someone have an excelsior stamp at some company that made these? A couple of our contributors may know more...
    20. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      I don't know, I have seen pictures of oak slat trunks with Excelsior stamped into the wood on some and others into a leather lock cover, and that it wasn't made by the excelsior trunk co. just a mark of superior quality. I will look around and see if I can find this article it was on the internet, so you know it's got to be true, ha ha.
    21. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Ok, I found the article, This old, it talks about J. Eaton getting a patent on an oak slat trunk made of superior quality, it was dubbed the Excelsior patent. It sounds like his trunks were the only ones to bare the Excelsior brand. But there never was an Excelsior trunk co. You can read the article at - This old
    22. Drill Drill, 5 years ago

      H'mmmmmmm I wonder!
    23. greendog greendog, 5 years ago , This will take you to the article.
    24. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Oh now that's interesting... hmmm... is this the 'smoking' gun on the question at hand? Marvin you out there???
    25. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Thanks Caperkid for the great comment...
    26. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      I'am trying to find that label that says maker of Excelsior patent trunks at HMS he has lots of labels.
    27. Drill Drill, 5 years ago

      Here is the link to the history of the Excelsior "Hardware Co." not to be confused with the Trunk Co. (hope it posts,sometimes they do not it is through the Stamford
      Historical society) it gives a great history of Bridgeport lock, Eagle Lock Yale and Towne and Frank w. Mix.
    28. Drill Drill, 5 years ago
      Record group- 18 or just search keyword " Excelsior lock" in the search window.
      hopes this sheds some light.
    29. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      I found no label that said maker of the Excelsior patent trunk, did find one label that said Excelsior trunk co. and one, looked like old newspaper add that made reference to Excelsior trunk co. in El paso Texas , but I don't think they made the Excelsior patent trunk.
    30. Drill Drill, 5 years ago
      Excelsior Trunk Factory -is listed in the 1891-2 Springfield, Illinois directory:
      Excelsior trunk Factory 109 N 5th, Herman Kolb Proprietor.
      The label that you refer to courtesy of HMS antique site has the address as 107 west side square,

      I think it is Safe to say that the "Excelsior Trunk Co." existed. I think I'll try to piece it together a little further.
    31. Drill Drill, 5 years ago

      Here is Eaton patent that Marvin referred too.
    32. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Thanks for the great info and sleuthing... that Eaton patent looks pretty simple re. design... now the question is... did the Excelsior trunk company make oak slat trunks??? I suppose a label on an oak slat would help, or do we go with the stamp on the leather or on the trunk body as the label for the company? Gets lost between the style or type of trunk and the maker...
    33. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Regardless trunkman, its a beautiful trunk!
    34. Drill Drill, 5 years ago
      I agree with green dog,really show trunk T-man.

      Incidentally ,The first mention of an Excelsior trunk that I find was by Jonathan S. Eaton exhibited two Excelsior trunks in 1865 claiming to be the Patentee at the Tenth Exhibition of Massachusetts, Charitable Mechanic Association Boston Sept,1865
      Report of the Judges: pg. 118 , Exhibit 520 and 620. (Sorry !Having trouble linking the page best I can do!)
      Having said all that, Those are great questions T-man??? I think I want to go back to: H'mmmmmmmm ,I Wonder?
    35. NevadaBlades, 5 years ago
    36. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Thanks walksoftly, TassieDevil, fortapache, NevadaBlades, mikelv85, officialfuel, jscott0363, blunderbuss2, Caperkid, greendog and Drill for the love...
    37. myoldkyhome myoldkyhome, 5 years ago
      Oh my!!! I love this. What a beauty. You truly have an incredible trunk collection.
    38. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
      wow this is a beauty ! Lovin' the design with slats :-)
    39. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      What a nice find! Perfect condition, your finish gives back its former beauty, bravo :-)
    40. racer4four racer4four, 5 years ago
      Stunning trunk, beautiful work on it Trunkman.
    41. inky inky, 5 years ago
      Beautiful trunk...why would anyone want to stain lovely oak..with red...thank goodness you found it, great job...:-)
    42. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Thanks NavadaBlades, inky, Kyratango, Manikin, myoldkyhome, and racer4four for the encouraging comments... keeps me going at this...
    43., 5 years ago
      Very nice trunk. The wood slat trunk was patented by Jonathan Eaton on Jan 7 1868, and that is what you have. He also patented a revised trunk that had paper covering that looked like slats as he believed the real hardwood slats would be too expensive. That patent was on Oct 26 1869. To date I have never seen one of these paper covered trunks. Excelsior is a generic name, much like Acme, and is not the maker of the trunk. In my Eagle lock catalog they had a line of locks they produced also with the name excelsior. Marvin Miller and myself have done a great deal of research on this and to date have not found out who made these trunks. I have seen a few different labels in these trunks, but never one from Excelsior. There were at least two trunk makers who used the name Excelsior, one was in Kansas City, and the other was in El Paso. I have a 1914 catalog from Cutter & Cutter that shows a slat trunk that they call "Excelsior". The trunk company of Fall River trunk Co. also produced slat trunks, and they usually have a label on them on the bottom cleat. From what I can tell the "Excelsior" trunk was produced until the late 1880's, and the Fall River was later. They differ mildly in construction and the hardware used. The holes you used for your lid lifter is where the leather lock protector (not a lid lift) went that had the name Excelsior on it as well as the patent date. Go here,
      to see what it looks like. While this is on an Excelsior toy trunk it is the same as the lager trunks except that this one is smaller. Contact me for one.
      Hope this helps,
    44., 5 years ago
      Follow up:
      Understand that in the 1800's (and even into the 1900's) inventors were patenting anything, and everything, they could (the patent laws were much more lax) and many, if not most, never produced the item they patented. More often they sold the rights to the patent for others to produce. I am sure that somewhere in the 1800's there is a patent for a rocket ship. In any case, I would guess that Eaton leased his patent to be produced by a trunk company. Also, the majority of trunk makers did not label their trunks as they were meant for resale, which is backed up by labels I have from trunk "sellers" of slat trunks. I am sure that Eaton required that the trunks bear his patent, in the form of a leather tag, or stamped on the slats, and he chose the name Excelsior. (a common generic term) to appear on the trunks. The Excelsior trunks were made with Oak, which at the time was an expensive wood (more expensive than leather) reserved for furniture, not trunks. This is why he amended his patent. The later Fall River trunks (and others) were not Oak, but another hardwood, and as the patent had expired, they did not have to acknowledge him. However, the Cutter & Cutter catalog, calling their trunk "Excelsior" was, I believe, trying to capitalize on the Excelsior name.
    45. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Jim thanks so much for the clarification regarding these trunks. It is fascinating how patents and makers and sellers formed a mix of commerce during this time. I have three oak slat trunks and they are all a bit different from one another, so it makes some sense that different companies may have been involved in their manufacture. This one has all the marks of and Eaton patent trunk but does not bear the Excelsior stamp, although as you say it might very well have been on the leather lock guard. My other one has the wood stamped "Excelsior" twice on it as a patent recognition. The third one is so different from the other two I still have no idea who made it and it bears no marks-- well come to think of it from what I have learned from you I really have no idea who made the other two either! It is refreshing to have this information you and Marvin and others have gleaned over the years so a very big thank you for sharing your knowledge with us -- greatly appreciated...
    46. Rick55 Rick55, 5 years ago
      Oh how I love this one Trunk! Although I haven't seen the before, the after is fantastic!
    47. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Thanks so much Rick55 -- the before wasn't too bad just a deeper red stain... not paint like the last one...
    48. Drill Drill, 5 years ago
      Great clarification Jim.

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