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C. A. Taylor trunk

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    Posted 11 years ago

    (82 items)

    Just purchased this today and would love to know if anyone has any information about this trunk. I am going to leave it as-is for now, and consider re-finishing it in the future to remove the paint that is not original and replace the handles which are broken. The Certificate of Guarantee dates the trunk to 1914 and can be read in the second photo. There is also a metal tag on the top front of the trunk that says "C. A. Taylor Trunk Works , Number 107846, Chicago, New York" and the company logo. I have found a patent date on one of the pieces of metal hardware, but I neglected to jot it down (late 1800's) so I need to check it again for that information. Inside the box are some treasures original to the trunk which I will post separately since I am out of room for pictures in this posting! ( and

    The description of the trunk before I purchased it was as follows: "Antique Taylor “Traveler” Trunk Circ 1914 with original certificate. 25“ high x 38 ½ long x 22 ½ wide. Not refinished. Accessory for the Model T Ford. Original working solid brass lock with key. Original hardware. Has flip top inverted box and separate pull out box. Very ornate metal work. Very good condition. Great to refinish or use as is." After reading that now that I have the trunk, and having gone through it thoroughly, I do not understand the part about the boxes, it makes it sound like there are two boxes but I only see the one that sits on the top. Is there another one hidden??

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    1. hotkitties, 11 years ago
      It looks like a typical steamer trunk. Too bad someone had to paint it, that is a real mess. Mine is covered in a leather-type fabric, if this one is too, it makes me wonder if you can ever get that paint off. Inside is nice. I hope you can refinish it to its original beauty! ;)
    2. SMD SMD, 11 years ago
      It's not typical in that it was a traveler trunk, meant for the automobile, and the interior is very different then the typical steamer trunk with it's straps and the design and shape of the compartments. The paint is a shame, but it's wood (no leather) so it should come off with a little work some day. I am curious if anyone knows anything more about this specific Taylor trunk. Thanks!
    3. Jerry Landsman, 11 years ago
      CA Taylor Trunk Works - high quality trunks with offices in NY and Chicago. Their Taylor Professional Trunks were top of the line. They actually made a variety of trunks, including huge trunks for musical harps. There should have been some mechanism on the back for fastening to the auto. Look for inside wooden braces to see there should have been a second drawer/box or tray. Hope this helps
    4. SMD SMD, 11 years ago
      Thanks for that information. Apparently this trunk has not revealed all its mysteries to me because supposedly there ARE two boxes inside (per description in my original post above), the one is obvious and I am thinking the other is what appears as a raised area ("false bottom") in the bottom but darn if I can figure it out.
    5. lynn, 11 years ago
      I have a CA Taylor XX Professional trunk with a mural inside the cover. It contains a shallow, covered, sectional box, which also has mural on outside of a hinged lid. This lifts out and a tray is underneath and a section below that is the bottom of the trunk.
    6. SMD SMD, 11 years ago
      This trunk still has me wondering. Why are there straps and padding inside? Why the odd shape for the compartments? Why is the interior front raised up while the back flush to the bottom, is something hiding under there that I can't get to?

    7., 11 years ago
      Hello. You trunk is NOT for an automobile, the seller was wrong. A car trunk would never be that large. It is a travel trunk, but also more. Taylor made many specialized trunks such as Circus trunks, Tool box trunks, Voting boxes, Drummers trunks, and more. Taylor trunks were made with a Basswood body, and covered with Duck canvas (high quality) or heavy canvas. Look carefully yours still has the canvas. You should be able to remove the paint as Taylor trunk canvas is extremely hard to remove (they used great adhesives!) Most likely, from other Taylor trunks I have seen, your trunk was used to carry something like a musical instrument. The felt was so it was not scratched, and the straps to hold it secure. I dont know about the "dead space" in the trunk. Can you get to the space below the front portion? If not, it may be that it is just the design of the trunk. Also, the top, removable tray is hinged to swing up. Under the tray there should be 2 tray holders to keep the tray upright so you can access the bottom portion without removing the tray.
      Good luck,
    8. SMD SMD, 11 years ago
      Thaks for the great information, Jim! I will take another look at the trunk with fresh eyes. Did you see my other posts of items that came inside the trunk? In the top tray, perfectly fit into the sections, were an air matress with pump, 4 wooden pegs and two bundles of cloth.
    9. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 11 years ago
      Hi, First, I agree this is not an automobile trunk and it was not called a "steamer" trunk either. It was sold in 1914 and one of their Professional XX series trunks, which Taylor specialized in making for many professional uses including circus trunks, musical instrument, motion picture equipment, etc. I own a Taylor Trunks for the Profession" catalog from 1908 which shows all these styles of trunks. The tray in the top was made to swing up into the top with those metal hinges on the back. The configuration of straps and compartments in the bottom tells me that this was specifically designed for carrying a piece of equipment, musical instrument, etc. that fit into all the compartments. Most likely the other items you found in the trunk such as an air matress, pump etc. did not come with the trunk and were just being stored in there. Yes, it was canvas covered and has been repainted. It's great that your trunk still has the tray and the compartments inside, which were often thrown out later. So, I believe your trunk was a a special instrument or equipment trunk, which could have been used by a professional musical group, circus, theatre, etc. etc. I hope this helps. Marvin See more trunk history at
    10. Shadrack_Jones Shadrack_Jones, 10 years ago
      I have a 1909 edition of the same trunk. It's stripped of the canvas and the wood is refinished. I don't know if that diminishes the value of the trunk but it's a beautiful and functional piece of furniture in my home.

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