Vintage Lucite Tray & Luggage Rack, Forerunner Of The TV Tray

A vintage advertorial announcing “what’s new” to ladies who read Modern Woman magazine (volume 17 number 1, 1948). In this case, “what’s new” was a Lucite tea tray and luggage rack. Since the photo was courtesy of DuPont, I assume it was a DuPont piece.

Tea for two — on a distinctive “Lucite” table, combining an attractive Chippendale-style tray and luggage rack of the crystal-clear plastic. The light-weight tray is easily removed for carrying dishes. The decorative, sturdy luggage rack folds away for convenient storage, and has gold-color tapes across the top, woven in a leaf pattern.

It sure sounds like what we call a TV tray today.

Old Luggage Is a Trip

I remember luggage from the old movies. Big trunks, body size standing up and deep enough for a couple of bodies. Inside were drawers and a full closet with a mirror.

When I started planning for my first big trip as a kid I wanted one of those. My Mother and I went shopping for my first luggage (of my own!)  I was looking for one of those big trunks. Even though I had no idea how I would cart that trunk around on my own, I was already having the adventure of  planning everything I would pack into it!

I didn’t find a big trunk. But I wasn’t disappointed. I got a new suitcase, vintage 1970’s, blue, with tiny wheels. Mine was pretty plain and practical, none of those handles that extend out, no extra pockets on the outside to stash secret treasures or books to read. It’s long gone now. On some kind of trip of it’s own I guess.

Later, I wanted a suitcase like my Grandmother’s. It was plain brown with a broken handle. It’s only real charm were stickers from all kinds of places. I don’t know if she had been to all of them herself or if some came from other family and she kept adding to them that way. I do know that she came from Ireland as a young woman and went out to BC as a married women with her husband and children. After that she moved back to Ontario again, when I was already born or at least heading that way.

We went on family trips, sometimes my Grandmother took trips with us. I never noticed her getting stickers for that suitcase then, but I was just a kid. There was a lot I didn’t notice and a lot I did notice. We were in dozens of US states up and down starting from Ontario and ending up back there eventually. We took drives out to BC in a big, huge camper which we delivered to Red Deer, Alberta and then took the train the rest of the way. She may have added more stickers to that suitcase all along the way.

She’s been gone awhile now. I don’t know where the suitcase is. I never would have dared to go looking through her things, it just wasn’t something I would have felt right to do and I know she liked to have her things left alone. I don’t have any truly firm beliefs about what happens after we die. But, if we get to choose I think my Grandma would be keeping up with what we are doing and yet, I hope, she takes a few road trips too. Pack up her suitcase with the essentials and enjoy her sense of adventure forever.

Flickr: Vintage Luggage

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