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Romadka Brothers Trunk from Milwaukee

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Giasole's loves6 of 18Saratoga TrunkMartin Maier Antique Trunk
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (32 items)

    Here's a large metal covered Romadka Brothers trunk from the late 1880's to 1890's that I've been working on recently. I felt I needed to clean and repaint it because the paint was worn off, with light surface rust on it. I spent a few hours cleaning the cast hardware pieces, which are not painted, just coated to keep them from rusting. I really like how they used a wide variety of hardware pieces on this trunk. The brass lock was cleaned and it has a key. I haven't finished the interior yet and need to make a tray for it.
    I would like your opinions about the color of the trunk. I had some oil based paint custom mixed, an antique burgundy with a touch of metallic finish added. It's always hard to know what color would look best on these and I personally like this color. But I would like everyone's comments about the color you would like best if the trunk were yours. Thanks!

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    1. greendog greendog, 7 years ago
      Look's great Marvin, you got to love Romadka hardware, great color you chose, really goes good with the black trim and the wood. Thanks for the comment on the M M oak slat, I love it.
    2. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      I love the color ! Awesome and it would look good in my bedroom too :-) Beautiful restore !
    3. trunkman trunkman, 7 years ago
      Beautifully done Marvin. The colour I think contrasts well with the black and silver. Mine is still in the original brown which is fine but a bit drab. All black wouldn't work so well either - so this over brown for sure... would have a hard time choosing an alternative. Very nice...
    4. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      I think the colour looks great, but don't forget in the future that there are other colours.
    5. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 7 years ago
      Thanks Greendog, Manikin, trunkman, and blunderbuss2! I do appreciate the feedback and comments! Blunderbuss, I don't do the metal covered trunks too often but always struggle to decide what color to use (unless it's nice enough to stay with the original color). What color do you recommend in the future anyway? I'm open to suggestions!
    6., 7 years ago
      Great Romadka! with all the trimmings. Metal covered trunks pose the most problems. If you are making one for yourself, you can paint it pink with green polka dots. However, if you plan to sell it anytime in the future, then you have to appeal to the masses, and not everyone will agree on a color. This is why we paint the interior of our houses beige when we are selling. It's not great, but it's not offensive either. This is why we so so many trunks makers used a mild green, canvas covering. The green was the beige of their day. Probably the most popular two colors are this burgundy, and a hunter green.
    7. Drill Drill, 7 years ago
      Wonderful restore Marvin.I do like the color. I will say that I like personally like darker, deeper colors.Dark Wine as opposed to light burgundy,Hunter Green as opposed to light greens,Dark browns as opposed to light etc.Color is very tricky sometimes though. Above is an A.V. Romadka Patent with the leaf this may narrow the year down a little more.
    8. Drill Drill, 7 years ago
      Romadka Bros.Building
    9. Drill Drill, 7 years ago

      The original picture of the building and full Romadka history can be found on page 108 (as well as other trunk Makers of Wisconsin. just scroll up a bit)
    10. Drill Drill, 7 years ago
      Maybe it was sold on this corner?
    11. Drill Drill, 7 years ago
      The romanesque revival Gilpatrick – with its rusticated stone and distinctive turret – was on 3rd and Kilbourn (a site occupied by the Hyatt Regency) and is best known as the scene of the attempted assassination of Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. It was built to house the Romadka Trunk Co., but M.P. Gilpatrick bought it and converted it into a hotel by 1907. The hotel closed in 1932, and the building was torn down in the early 1940s. An attached tavern managed to survive until 1970.
    12. KathyKay, 7 years ago
      Beautiful trunk. I think the paint color is very nice, looks great with the wood and the trim.
    13. jscott0363 jscott0363, 7 years ago
      What and incredible Romadka Bros. trunk! Just a beautiful trunk and a superb job Marvin!!
    14. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 7 years ago
      Jim, I agree completely and that's why I'm curious about what most people think about metal painted trunks and open to suggestions. I've typically stayed with dark green or blue and burgundy and I like the darker colors too. Thanks for the feedback.
    15. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 7 years ago
      Drill, thanks again for all the interesting history information. I had found the Romadka patents a few years ago and have seen that they sometimes used earlier patented parts with later style parts, such as with this trunk. So I always try to see what is the latest patented item on the trunk to help with an approximate age, including the lock, lathes, hinges, etc. I love the articles in the early journals and it's the best source of the company histories. Many people today don't realize how many large trunk companies there were and several in cities such as Racine and Milwaukee! I drove through Racine a couple years ago and some of the old brick factory buildings are still there and closed up. I would have loved to be able to walk through some of them! Thanks
    16. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 7 years ago
      Thanks KathyKay and Scott! Still have to work on the interior but look forward to it this Spring.
    17. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 7 years ago
      Hi... I do appreciate the visits and "love" from everyone else too! Thanks

    18. Im4anythingOld, 6 years ago
      Hi, I have admired this trunk and saved this photo to my own romadka folder for future color options Excellent Job and color choice, I hate picking a color.

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