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Carpet bag

United States



13-5/8 in x 15-1/4 in x 6-1/2 in


Wool (carpet), leather, brass

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



Ex coll. Mrs. E. Tatnall (Mary Corbit) Warner


Carpet bags were particular, soft-sided traveling bags that allowed easy and light conveyance of a few personal belongings.  They contrasted with wood-framed traveling trunks of various sizes and weights.  The bags made of pieces of carpet, thus durable and colorful.  Typically, the top of the bag, lined with leather, had two handles for easy handling.  This carpet bag enhances that design with a hinged lid and carrying handle with a locking latch.  The bag has blue-stripes-on-white mattress ticking that lines the inside.

Carpet bags became known through the term "carpet-baggers," used to describe individuals who traveled to new places seeking political office or opportunity, typically with unscrupulous connotations.  Carpet bags have also enjoyed periods of fashionability in the United States in the years since.