Becoming a Globe-Trotter

Still made in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire England using original manufacturing methods, Globe-Trotter luggage has over the years built a cult following among well heeled travelers the world over. The process of making these incredible instruments of exploration has largely remained the same for over a hundred years – something not too many luggage makers can boast (though there are still a handful who can).

The company recently released a video highlighting the making of its iconic cases. More on that construction process from the Globe-Trotter craftsmanship page:

Each case is uniquely constructed from vulcanised fibreboard; a special material invented in Britain during the 1850’s consisting of multiple layers of bonded paper. Handles are produced by the leather team who also form the iconic Globe-Trotter corners over a period of 5-days on antique Victorian presses.

Globe-Trotter has a rich and celebrated history as the maker of some of the finest suitcases ever invented. At a certain point they even added handles and wheels – blasphemy to some, salvation to others. The photo gallery under the heritage section of the Globe-Trotter site features some fantastic images of Globe-Trotter cases used throughout the years. The pictures are so amazing to me, I couldn’t resist posting them. Most companies would kill for this type of legacy. Inspiring to see from this video that the company is still producing cases in England using the same construction methods and exacting standards of quality. [Globe-Trotter]

Comments on “Becoming a Globe-Trotter

    Matthew on January 6, 2012 4:23 PM:

    Watching the video gives me hope for this world.

    N. C. Traveler on January 6, 2012 4:34 PM:

    Nice! I’m lucky to own a huge Globe Trotter case. I used it on a trip to South Africa and London in 2010 and it easily consumed clothes for both summer (U. K.) and winter(Johannesburg), souvenirs and work items. Although it is an understated case, it is admired every time I use it: by airline staff, hotel bellman and drivers. It has flown with me commercially back and forth across the Atlantic many times and it is in great shape despite having been subjected to the rigors of airline baggage handlers! Preparing for a trip with my Globe Trotter is great because I’m not limited by what I can carry (it’s capacity is amazing); and cinching up the leather straps is a great final gesture before setting off to the airport.

    Ray Hull on January 6, 2012 5:04 PM:

    Now, Im going to have to research mine–it looks identical to the peer prep “de-planing” from BOAC, except mine has seriffed “BP NYC” painted on the end shown in the pic. Bought it at a 1970s estate antique auction of the (Brede) Pedersen Turkey Farm, Cambridge, NY. Had to rejuvenate the leather with natural cream, but it came right back and was used a lot during the 80s. Great case and even greater brasses, but I don’t recall seeing any logo or “England” marks. Thx. for spurring me on.

    Aaron on January 7, 2012 8:50 AM:

    Good old British bobbies, a long and honorable tradition of hassling little old ladies and other less fortunate members of society!

    JLL on January 7, 2012 11:36 PM:

    Had a 26 inch case made for me a couple of years ago (without wheels) and it’s the best piece of luggage I’ve ever owned. Picking up a larger wheeled case when I’m next in London (that was a mental hurdle let me tell you, but a bad back will do that). And the Globe-Trotter shop in Burlington Arcade is fantastic.

    Adam on January 8, 2012 8:24 AM:


    I just wanted to let you know that I have some pictures of inside the Globe Trotter factory from my visit last year. You can see them here:

    There is also an interview with the creative director and one of the factory workers, both of which you can read here:

    I hope you enjoy them.

    Smith & Ratliff on January 8, 2012 9:10 PM:

    Awesome. I’m still in a canvas duffle phase, but can’t wait for the next few years when I’m traveling with my luggage collection.

    USA on January 8, 2012 9:41 PM:

    What’s this have to do with America?

    jordan w on January 9, 2012 2:56 AM:

    why did we stop getting stickers for suitcases? such a shame….

    Ghost on January 9, 2012 6:10 AM:

    @USA “What’s this have to do with America?

    Absoulutely nothing. Believe it or not there is a whole world of beautifully made product out there that is not born from a country less than 250 years old.

    As Michael ahppily states about ACL:

    A Continuous Lean serves as a discovery agent for those with an appreciation of quality, style and provenance.

    Note there is nothing about ‘ … long as its made in the USA’

    david himel on January 9, 2012 10:13 AM:

    to be fair…and I am a huge fan of this blog and Michael’s writing there is a bit of both sides of the mouth on your post Ghost. The blog has “the American”list…and the facebook version has a photo stating support ” the American Working” on the profile pic. I would suggest (possibly without trying to offend) the blog is biased toward supporting Americana with a bit of a free pass for England. The English know that American colonials love their accents. Although and noted: MW was working up here in Toronto a while back. The line between international conglomerate clothing, small companies, heritage companies and the like is very fine. Many many many manufacturers do a little bit of all of the above, make some in china for the profit margin, some in canada for the heritage and some in the u.s.a. for the heritage/craft/marketing. The issue is murky and rarely explored on fashion blogs because it penetrates through the mystique of jingoistic ideas like “made in America” . One last thought: the made in America theme itself is a bit of a slippery devil…the entire concept likely started in Japan where Japanese reverence of pre 1960s American heritage spurred a 20 year vintage clothing trend and empires over there. When Japanese brands started buying up American brand names and crafting better clothing then the high profit low grade clothing of American brands in China…the few “heritage companies” left upped their game to survive and have kinda jumped on the patriotic bandwagon. I probably got myself in trouble here but that’s just the way its been in the blogging world for a while now.

    brad on January 9, 2012 5:38 PM:

    touche on the last comment.. I am wearing a Pendleton flannel shirt… with a tag that says “Made in China.”

    Adam on January 9, 2012 7:29 PM:

    Thanks for the post, but I just don’t get the attraction to these cases. Sure there is a certain “heritage” element, and they look nice, but they are made with paper using a 150 year old technique. I’m all for style and craft, but as for me personally, it usually catches my interest when it meets function and durability. Never owned one though, maybe they last forever…but I can’t see myself traveling with it.

    CAL on January 10, 2012 1:07 PM:

    I must admit I am a bit with Adam on this one. I love the idea or these cases, but I wonder (not having one) just how practical they are for modern business travel. With today’s massive airports and tight connections I want a case that rolls well, takes a beating and I don’t mind jamming in an overhead bin…never mind the abuse a case takes when checked. I think my heart would skip a beat the first time my Globe Trotter came back with a big scratch from a conveyor belt. I will stick with my Travel Pro for now. But I still do love the idea of the cases and a more leisurely approach to travel.

    TMH on January 11, 2012 3:09 AM:

    Love the photos. Dressed for Travel

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