How were old suitcases made from paper/cardboard?

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I have an old suitcase from the 40s. It’s nice and sturdy, still shiny after so many years. My grandma says school satchels used to be like it. How on earth were these made? Papier-mache style with lots of glue? layers in a press?

In: Technology

You would have to study the suit case to find out exactly how it was made but you are on the right track here. You do not need much glue for the paper mache or cardboard as boiling water will work wonders. What you think is glue is likely used to make it watertight so the cardboard does not disintegrate. It could be a form of glue or it could be things like shellac, vinyl, or other watertight materials. It could also be covered in leather as one of its layers. In the 1940s they did not have synthetic plastics so all of the materials were natural materials but could have been processed somewhat. Most of the cheap crappy suit cases from this period is long gone but a few nicer more expensive suit cases is still perfectly usable today.