Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Trotting the Globe!

As a schoolboy growing up in Australia and going to Boarding School we all had ports in which to carry our belongings in, to and from home for the holidays and also smaller versions to carry our books between classes and back to the dorms. They were also used extensively by schoolchildren until the advent of back packs to carry their books. What is a port you ask? Well basically it is a suitcase, as to why it is called a port I can only guess. I think that it was a small suitcase designated as hand luggage to be carried when disembarking off an Ocean Liner when travelling.

Invariably these small suitcases were made by Globetrotter. Going about its business since 1897 this British company has been quietly creating luggage of distinction, to become one of the best luggage companies in the world! They really do not subscribe to trends or fads, as their reputation has been built on good solid craftsmanship and design.

These are for the man who wants the perfect piece of solid reliable luggage. Carried by the solidly rich and famous from Douglas Fairbanks, Captain Scott, Sir Edmund Hilary to Winston Churchill, they are a travelling staple, having been to the ends of the world and back.

Each case is handmade with just the handles taking 5 days to make in antique Victorian presses. Cases themselves are made out of heavy fibreboard with multiple layers of bonded paper.

Of course over time they have updated some of their designs to move with the times, however the craftsmanship and general overall savoir faire of these cases styas the same. Recent lines for JCrew and Hackett have retained classic British styling and workmanship while remaining classic.

I wonder what has happened to my old Globetrotter port? I have a feeling it is in a barn at home in Australia, hopefully being discovered by an over inquisitive nephew!


  1. Aren't they beautiful!

    I recently saw one, probably more of an attache case, hung vertically on the wall, and used as a cabinet!

  2. I love the classic look of these.
    Are you packed yet for your trip?

  3. Oh well..now I need one haha I´ve always love these suitcases...but it is sooo hard to find one here...thank for saying I rocked the cardigan..I try to do my best you know I´m no model haha


  4. I love Globetrotter. I had a simple navy one in college that I loved - perfect for weekend excursions. Recently I was in Agent Provocateur (for research purposes of course!) and Globetrotter has done a truly fabulous set for them.

  5. Merci pour votre commentaire :)
    A bientôt

  6. Dear David, thank you for dropping by. If I could have won something I would have wanted one of these ports. Handsome and practial, my favorite thing in life.

  7. These are all beautiful, David! Much more handsome than the clunky old suitcase I own that has been transformed into art supply storage!

  8. David-
    Thanks for visiting my blog today. It's is apropos....I think we must be on some sort of cosmic-fashion-soulmate wavelength. Like a good Hermes bag...one should never skimp on their luggage. I love the Globetrotter...definitely on my wish list

  9. These have the traditional look I admire. As much as I like classic Vuitton monogram luggage it doesn’t scuff all that well. The globetrotter product seems more durable and acquires a patina more gracefully. It is reassuring to see a quality British product still manufactured in the U.K. I can see these in an Agatha Christie film. Do you think they are available in Toronto? The prices aren’t for the faint of heart. Perhaps resale on eBay is better.

  10. "Port" derives from the wonderfully Victorian term "Portmanteau", meaning a leather suitcase that opens into two hinged compartments. I still have my Globite school port from the mid 70s. It's were I keep my microscope.

  11. Glen , I am so very glad that you have cleared up the meaning of port for me! Many of my friends had the Globites and believe it or not I was quite jealous!

    Mr SWF, they last forever and ever and are very discreet, unlike some monogramed luggage.

    Catherine, you are so very welcome!

    Mark, very practical and as you say handsome!

    Kevin, mine too. It has to be practical handsome/beautiful.

    Aphrodite, you are very welcome!

    Quintessance, I juste check out AP and they look great. How did the "research" go?

    Andy, you could try ebay?

    Bruce, that sounds such a great idea.

    Ilduce, play your cards right and you never know.

    Belle, No!

  12. Calling a school bag, like the one you have an image of, a "port" is very much a regional thing. In Sydney they were called a "school bag" or "case". It was only in Newcastle NSW and points north particularly Queensland were they called a "port".

    The word is a contraction of "portemanteau" which was used in the 19th and early 20th century for any sort of bag used for travel.

  13. Another thing the Globite bags were good for was as a makeshift seat a tired school boy could take his ease on whilst waiting for a bus or train.


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