Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Shwayder Trunk ManufacturingQ: This label is on a card table with a checkerboard top that has been in my family since the late 1930s or early 1940s. I wasn't able to find any information about the company that made it and hope you can help.

A: Jesse Shwayder founded Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing in Denver, Colorado, in 1910. His brothers Ben, Mark, Maurice and Sol joined the business between 1912 and 1923. The name "Samson" on your card table label was based on the character in the Bible known for his great strength. It was first used on Shwayder's suitcases in 1916. The company began making folding tables and other products when sales of suitcases declined during the Depression. The five men pictured standing on a board balanced on the table are the Shwayder brothers. The company advertised its suitcases and tables as "Strong Enough to Stand On." The name of the company was changed to Shwayder Brothers, Inc., in 1931. A patent listed on your label was issued in 1934, so your table must have been made after that. The company name was changed to Samsonite in 1965. After several changes of ownership, it now operates as Samsonite Corporation, with headquarters in Massachusetts.


GJR said...

The comment about the name change to Samsonite in 1965 confuses me. In 1957 I bought a set of Samsonite luggage in preparation to begin college.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that confuses me too. I have old luggage that belonged to my Mom and it was purchase by her in 1954.

Malcolm Davidson said...

That is one of the most interesting historical facts I have seen about the luggage industry. I wonder what happened to Revelation with those expanding clasps?
Your research and comments are always a joy.
Malcolm Davidson