BY MOLLY JEBBER, AMISH ROMANCE AUTHOR
In the 1800’s, heavy trunks were used to travel on boats or by wagon rather than suitcases. Trunks were sturdier, and the ones stored on the boat, train, or wagon would’ve crushed a regular suitcase.
In the 1900’s, a suitcase was literally for suits, and some had a compartment for hats. The average suitcase was made of vinyl stretched over a wood frame with a buckle or lock closure.
Let’s talk about Samsonite for instance. In 1910, Jesse Shwayder founded Samsonite Luggage Company in Denver, Colorado. He had first worked for Seward Trunk Company in New York. After he learned the process of needs of what it would take to have his own manufacturing company, he left and started what he called at the time, Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company, March, 1910. He had ten employees and $3,500 to begin his business.
To be set apart from the other trunk manufacturing companies, he made sturdy and stronger trunks and priced them high. He chose Samson after the Bible story about Samson being strong. This approach didn’t work out well for him. He didn’t turn a profit, so he sold door-to-door. By 1911, he was making a profit. In 1912, his brother, Maurice joined his business to help him market his product.
In 1918, they couldn’t keep up with all their orders to fill. They constructed a second factory and hired more employees to meet the high demand for their trunks and suitcases. In 1929, the Great Depression hit, and the brothers realized traveling would lessen and buying suitcases would not be practical when people were just trying to make ends meet.
To keep their company viable, they began making sandboxes, card tables, and everyday needed things at reasonable prices to keep their employees and to make a profit.
After surviving the worse financial crash and in 1939, they created the suitcase called Samsonite. Over time, the Samsonite brand replaced the name Samson. An interesting fact about Samsonite is that they became a manufacturer of Lego bricks for a while. During World Wars and the Korean War, they converted their factories over to making items the war needed. When the wars were over, they went back to manufacturing suitcases and their other ideas for consumers.
Thank you for joining me here today!
DO YOU HAVE A SUITCASE BRAND YOU REALLY LIKE?
Magdelena’s Choice released January 25, 2022 in stories like Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble and more. Please visit me at Molly Jebber Amish Books to learn more about where I’ll be speaking and my books.