Steamer Trunk

RORY: You know, I believe there was something at the auction that Mom wanted but she didn’t get. Isn’t that right, Mom? …

LORELAI: I think it was a steamer trunk for Rory to take with her to military school, wasn’t it, honey?

Steamer trunks are a type of vintage luggage named for their location of storage in the cabin of a steam ship (“steamer”). Also called “flat tops”, they first appeared in the 1870s, but were most popular in the 1880s to the 1920s. They are distinguished by their flat or slightly curved tops, usually covered in canvas, leather or patterned paper, and are about 14 inches (36 cm) tall to accommodate steamship luggage regulations. The correct name for them is actually “packer trunks”, but they have been called steamer trunks so widely and for so long that this is now the usual term for them. No longer very handy for luggage, they are often bought in antique shops to be used as decorative items [see picture].

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