April 2, 2010

Traveling in style with my Samsonite Streamlite hatbox travel case and Loewe umbrella

Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events,Samsonite vintage hatbox — Cristina de Prada @ 2:48 pm

Truth be told, the only traveling I’ve done with this wonderful vintage Samsonite Streamlite hatbox is the trip a couple of years ago from Cologne (Germany, where I bought it at an antique fair for a hefty 50 euros) to Barcelona where I live. But it’s such a beauty that I could not resist buying it, specially considering its mint condition -key included- (after buying this one I saw others cheaper, but they where all dirty or damaged). These come up frequently on eBay (US) and can be bought at a reasonable price.

The vintage style Loewe umbrella on the other hand was a gift, a couple of years ago, from my wonderful mom. The umbrella has a green leather handle and luscius fabric that is green on the inside and shocking pink on the outside, with the lettering LOEWE making a repeated circle pattern. I believe these umbrellas are still available, although from looking at their website I think the handles are now all brown, which is a pity.

Funny enough, after having bought the hat box I happened quite by chance upon the corresponding patents, one for the manufacturing process and one for the design.  The patent allows us to date the design to 1955 (that’s when the patents were filed, although they were granted in 1958). I’ve also found an old ad for the hatbox, dated 1955, already with the famouse catch phrase “… it’s strong enough to stand on!”.

If you check out the patents you might be surprised (as I was) that they are not under the name of Samsonite but Shwayder Bros. Jesse Shwayder founded the company in 1910 and Samsonite was a trademark (that was first used in 1941). The name of the company was not changed to Samsonite until 1966.

All pictures can be seen in more detail on Flickr if you follow this link.


  1. Yeah, I have the exact same hat box that I got at a flea market for $5 🙂 2 keys included too. I love mine! I often put the hair flowers I make in it to take to different events because I know they will be protected. Thanks for the extra info on it!

    Comment by Steph @ Tart Deco — April 2, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  2. Thanks Steph… I must say I realized I was being a sucker by paying so much, but having it shipped from the US would have cost quite a lot too, so I don’t regret it.

    Comment by cristinadeprada — April 2, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

  3. Pero qué bien cuentas siempre todo… leer tus post es una auténtica maravilla, un pequeño cuento de mañana o de tarde 🙂

    Comment by Nila Taranco — April 5, 2010 @ 10:25 am

  4. Fabulase hat case. I have a set of vintage round American Tourister suitcases in lipstick red that I just adore.

    Comment by Min — April 5, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

  5. Ah!!!ayer mismo me compré una Samsonite similar en Etsy.

    Comment by Blanca — April 11, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

  6. Oh nice! Lucky me – I have two Samsonite hat cases. One is dark blue with ivory trim and the other is chocolate brown embossed alligator. I have owned them so long I do not know where they came from. Now they hold vintage gloves, vintage evening bags, and other tiny treasures. They will be on my blog one of these days. Thank you for the info.

    Comment by Pamela — April 19, 2010 @ 5:16 am

  7. I know you have the key to this great case but also just in case you didn’t know, you can call Samsonite with ANY model number of any old case you might have and they will MAIL YOU two keys for FREE. I own three vintage cases of theirs and they sent me the keys to all of them. It helps because the latches can catch and open by accident. 🙂

    Comment by Tammy — May 22, 2010 @ 12:10 am

  8. Querida Cristina, eres única, por eso te digo que estoy muy orgullosa de TI. Loli de prada

    Comment by Loli de prada — March 13, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress