Franklin D Roosevelt - Wardrobe Trunk

First president to fly by plane Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Airplane travel only really began to take hold in the early 1900s. Technically, Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to have flown in an aircraft, although he was no longer in office. It was in 1910 in an early Wright Flyer. During the 1900s, it was safer and much more efficient for a president to travel by railroad than by air. In the 1930s, passenger air-travel became more common, but it was not until in 1933 when Franklin D Roosevelt flew in an aircraft that a current president had ever traveled by air.

A special aircraft was designated for him, a precursor to Air Force One. Although there is no evidence that Franklin D Roosevelt actually used the craft, it remained for Presidential usage from 1933 to 1939. He did fly in 1943 to a conference in Morocco. Although Franklin D Roosevelt continued to have planes available to him while in office, it was not until 1947, under Truman, that Air Force One became the official method of transportation for the president.

Story from RMS Titanic

In 1912, Walter Douglas, American billionaire heir to the Quaker Oats fortune, and his wife Mahala travelled to Europe to acquire furniture for their sumptuous villa outside of Minneapolis, “Waldon.”

During their trip, they met a poor young French woman name Berthe Leroy, (who would later marry and take on the last name “Boulard”). Mr. and Mrs. Douglas agreed to hire Berthe as their servant, and she accompanied them onto the Titanic for their journey home.

When the wreck occurred, Mr. Douglas made sure that his wife and servant were safely aboard lifeboats, but unfortunately he died in the sinking. Berthe remained loyal to Mrs. Douglas and went on to stay with her at her estate. They journeyed to Paris together in 1924 and bought this trunk, along with another identical one. When Mrs. Douglas reached the end of her life, she left the trunk to Berthe, who returned to France for the remaining years of her life. Berthe ended up leaving the trunk to her niece, Nathalie. The 'D' on the suitcase stands for Douglas and it was Berthe who had the initials printed on the suitcase.

Ernest Hemingway - The Library Trunk

Anything can travel, not just clothing.

Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. Additional works, including three novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works, were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

The “Library Trunk” and boxes for books was not created just exclusively for travels, but also for use at home to be set on a table. Many well-known writers joined the bibliophiles and collectors acquiring these trunks, including Ernest Hemingway who in 1927 got his ideal library trunk designed for himself with secret drawers and snug shelves that accompanied the writer on his travels.

The library trunks were met with wild enthusiasm by all those who could not face even the shortest journey without their beloved books. They also delighted those travelers whose voyage would be incomplete without a search for rare editions or books only to be found far from home. At the time, the pocket-size paperback did not exist.