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A striking 1930s suitcase made by Orient.
Vulcanised fibreboard (also known as vulcan fibre) is renowned for its tough yet lightweight properties and was invented in 1859 by Englishman Thomas Taylor. It's heyday was in the first part of the twentieth century when it was used for factory bins and trolleys, and for luggage - as it looked like leather yet was tougher, much lighter, and cheaper. The material is formed of paper, cotton and wood pulp, 14 layers of which are specially bonded together - ‘vulcanised’ - and saturated in a special solution, which is then compressed to the desired thickness. The exact formula is one of its most closely guarded secrets. It is also used today, to make Globe-Trotter suitcases, using the same technique and materials.
Country of origin: UK
Date: c.1930 - 1950
Material: vulcanised fibreboard, leather corner protectors, brass fittings and cloth-lined interior
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Condition: excellent, considering the decades of travel it has seen. A few scuff marks and scratches add to its patina; and although we've had it carefully cleaned and polished, its true character remains.