Trunk


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Used by Peter Øertz Denmark, 1875-80 Wood, metal 1996.117.001 - Gift of Ralph G. Thuesen


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When immigrants traveled from Denmark to the United States, their belongings often traveled in large wooden trunks like this one - especially immigrants in the nineteenth century. Before 1900, many immigrants had to bring everything with them to start a new life in America: clothing, tools for working, tools for cooking, and any keepsakes or heirlooms that might fit in the remaining space. The name and address painted on this trunk served as a shipping label, to be sure that the trunk and it's contents would reach the correct destination.  


  • A typical immigrant trunk from the 19th century.

  • The name and address ensured that the trunk would reach the same destination as its owner.


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