What Is a Steamer Trunk?

A steamer trunk is a sort of baggage or transport trunk. Historically, the large, rugged trunks would have flat tops so that they could be stacked on top of 1 an additional, although contemporary equivalents are accessible with beveled tops and other styles.

Steamer trunks were popularized in the 19th Century when they ended up utilised primarily on steam-driven boats and locomotives but would have also been utilized on stagecoaches and other kinds of transport. They are nevertheless used nowadays for transporting goods, despite the fact that much less not often for vacation, while a lot of locate use as linen storage or game containers in present day properties.

History of the Steamer Trunk

Despite the fact that trunks were normally in regular use at the commencing of the 19th Century, it wasn’t right up until about 1870 that the steam trunk was released and obtained recognition. At this time, extended-length journey through cross-nation railroads and in excess of the h2o was getting to be well-liked and men and women required a hassle-free and risk-free way to transport their possessions with them.

The trunks, which vary from chests that tended to be much more ornate and took up a a lot more long lasting situation in a house or other developing, were large sufficient to have apparel and other things without having harmful them.

At first, the steamer trunk was a fundamental wood trunk but, over time, its design became far more ornate. They were lined with paper and coated with components like leather, and even the shape of the trunk transformed, but the basic principle remained the very same. Afterwards types could also be stood up and opened, revealing the contents which have been retained in individual compartments.

steamer trunk inside the room
Image Credit: David Mark, Pixabay

What Are the Different Types of Steamer Trunks?

The stage of a steamer trunk was that it was rectangular and conveniently shaped so that it could suit very easily into corners and comfortable places in locomotives and boats.


Early steamer trunks are typically much more basic. They have flat tops, are created from wood, and are not likely to have too several ornate attractive additions. However, with the Victorian Age came a new wave of steamer trunks. Much more ornate trunks that ended up protected in materials like leather-based are most very likely from the Victorian or later ages. Modern day steamer trunks are seldom used for vacation, and they will frequently consist of ornate features like hinges, handles, and some purely attractive additions. They may possibly be created from wooden and can be coated with other supplies.


Wooden is the standard substance employed in the construction of the trunk. It was simple to perform with, readily obtainable, and durable adequate to be capable to hold a person’s belongings. Over time, the trunks ended up certain in leather-based, paper, or other components.

Top Design

A steamer trunk experienced a flat top so that other trunks and containers could be positioned on best. People designed with a curved best have been produced so that other boxes could not be put on top, for that reason stopping injury to the trunk and defending the objects in.

worn out steamer trunks
Image Credit: JAE ., Pixabay

Steamer Trunk Uses

Steamer trunks are massive, cumbersome, and challenging to pull close to by today’s specifications. As such, they are not often used for journey, but they do nonetheless uncover typical use.

With a heritage of close to one hundred fifty many years, they make great antiques and collectibles for the house. They are comparatively inexpensive and there’s a excellent range of trunks created with different resources, patterns, and finishes.

Modern day steamer trunks are nonetheless valuable as containers. They are large and their rectangular proportions mean that it is easy to suit nearly any kind of item inside of. They are used as linen boxes, to maintain video games, or for common storage.

Advantages of Steamer Trunks
  • Durable – Well-constructed steamer trunks can last decades. There are still some examples of trunks from the 19th Century which show how long they can last.
  • Convenient Storage Space – The shape of the steamer trunk means that it can be used to store anything from clothing and bed linen to paperwork or virtually anything in the house.
  • Attractive Collectibles – Steamer trunks can be found in antique shops and thrift stores. They are attractive and offer an affordable means of introducing a little antique chic to your home.

Disadvantages of Steamer Trunks
  • Cumbersome – The size of steamer trunks means that they are convenient for storage, but they are difficult to lug around because of their size.
  • Heavy – From a transportation point of view, the weight of wooden steamer trunks means that they are much less convenient than modern luggage alternatives.

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Steamer trunks are a sort of trunk after used predominantly for transportation and as early baggage. They ended up utilized on steamboats, liners, and locomotives. Their hassle-free shape and dimensions meant that they were useful for stacking and storing, although also providing sufficient place to keep belongings.

Today, steamer trunks are a lot more very likely to be utilized to keep linen at the foot of the guest bed, but they are still attractive and stay well-liked with a good deal of men and women.



Showcased Image Credit history: David Nisley, Pixabay