Gladstone / Doctor's Bag

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Forrestal, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Forrestal

    Forrestal One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Here are some pictures of a Gladstone / Doctor’s Bag I bought in an antique store in Hermann, Missouri.

    It is made of HEAVY cowhide. It measures 21” long x 12” high x 8” wide.
    There is almost no cracking of the leather, it is fully leather lined, the locking hardware works and it even came with the key.

    I applied two coats of Pecards and the leather, which had not received any care in years, softened up very well.

    There is no manufactures labels or markings. The bottom is stamped Warranted Genuine Cow Hide 340.
    I hope someone on this forum with knowledge of these types of bags might be able to answer some questions:

    1.Is the proper name of this type of bag a Gladstone or a Doctor’s Bag?
    2.Any Idea who the manufacturer is?
    3.What do you think is the approximate year it would have been manufactured?

    I have seen similar bags on Ebay that are in terrible shape selling for $100 to $300. I have seen new leather bags of similar style and quality selling for $1,200.00.

    After a brief negotiation with the antique store owner I paid $20 bucks.

    Regards,
    Forrestal


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  2. FinalVestige79

    FinalVestige79 Practically Family

    Messages:
    787
    Location:
    Hi-Desert, in the dirt...
    That is a beautiful bag! I've been looking for one of those for years, I have one but its larger and in beat up shape.
     
  3. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,111
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Officially, they're called GLADSTONE bags, and are named after William Ewart Gladstone, a British prime-minister of the late 19th century who did a great deal of cross-channel travelling.

    Doctors used these bags, I suppose, because they're very wide and open. Therefore it easy to reach into them and get your medical instruments in a hurry.
     
  4. SMUPhil

    SMUPhil New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Little side story about doctor's bags. My great-grandfather was a surgeon in Miami, FL from the 20's-60's, and during the war years (too old to serve at that point) he was like THE on-call surgeon in Dade County. Everyone around town seemed to have story about how he delivered their baby, or reset some kid's broken leg. Anyways, about 15 years ago, my grandmother was in a Miami Ralph Lauren store and on top of one of the shelves, was an antique doctor's bag with my great-grandfather's initials on them! My grandmother asked about it and she was told that they had bought up local antiques to place around the store for ambience. She explained the relation and asked if she could just buy the bag, but they told her that because it wasnt in their inventory, yadda yadda yadda, they couldn't sell it, but they took her number down and told her they'd ask. About 6 months later, she went by the store again and it was closed, and she never heard from the Ralph Lauren people. Thanks for nothin, Ralph!
     
  5. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,111
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    OUCH!!

    Now that's crushing...a very sad story, Phil.
     
  6. cookie

    cookie I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,918
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Aussie ebay is a good source for these.

    ebay.com.au
     
  7. Talbot

    Talbot One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,840
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    Seemed like just about every grown up male had a bag like this when I was growing up in the early 60's.

    It was not uncommon to hear someone say "Miss Gladstone, queen of the bags!" when referring to an unattractive woman.

    I wonder the origins of the phrase, film, radio or TV?
     

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