Peter and I rescued this trunk from an uncertain fate yesterday after his mom decided she didn’t have room for it anymore. Now it is sitting happily and beautifully in my bedroom at home. I must say I am in love with this trunk, it is a true antique with decidedly a lot of undiscovered history.
Now, I don’t mean to get all American Pickers on you but after some consideration of the trunk’s features and a few google searches we began to narrow down the origins and time period of the trunk.
Peter’s uncle bought it for his mom from an estate sale in North Carolina.
It was made by the H.W Rountree & Bro Company which was founded in 1875. They were most famous for their roller tray trunks. Unfortunately, I can’t check to see if this trunk has a roller tray because we have no idea where the key is. However, it seems likely since the “seal” on the trunk says “roller tray trunks” right on it. Plus, I found this really interesting advertisement from 1907 in the Times-Dispatch of Richmond, VA.
The trunk of the bottom right hand corner looks very much like this one!
The lock provides even more information about the time period. The Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company made locks beginning in 1868. Here is the lock, in-full:
The hinges are also noteworthy:
The hinges were made by The Stanley Works founded in 1843. There is a date on all the hinges which I assume is the patent date: “June 10 79”. A quick search in the patent records shows that there was a patent from June 10th 1879 for a hinge granted to Stanley Works (#216,399). Based on this knowledge, I’m am going to guess the trunk was fabricated sometime shortly after 1879. Which means it is likely over 100 years old!
However; the trunk’s biggest mystery is its previous owner.
How cool is this!? The original owner’s initials are painted on. I gave me a Peter chills to see something so interesting. It’s reminiscent of what they were going for in The Darjeeling Limited:
W. A. W. I’m sorry, you cannot have your trunk back.
If anyone reading this has any information on this particular trunk or its facets let me know! If you think you know who W.A.W. is then I would love to hear it.