Thursday, 24 December 2015

The Gladstone Bag and the Great Depression of the Early 1900s

One of the world’s most popular luggage suppliers, Brenner Luggage, situated in South Illinois Street in Indiana, owes a good deal to the austerity of the Great Depression of the early 1900s, during which time travellers with taste but reduced spending ability, began looking for stylish but inexpensive luggage with style to match the iconic Gladstone Bag.

An article in Indianapolis Monthly in September 1997 tells how Charles Brenner met this need ‘with overnight cases made by covering wood-framed boxes with leather-grained coated paper.  Rubber-coated canvas zipper bags were also made at this time, on machinery previously used to manufacture the Gladstone Bag.’

Still today a stylish Gladstone Bag can be purchased quite inexpensively from mass market suppliers, rarely hand made by time served craftsmen, and today’s examples are often made from canvass or other materials far less expensive than leather.

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