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Steamer trunk

Date: c 1920
Dimensions:
Overall: 470 x 1070 x 540 mm
Medium: Leather, wood, metal hinges, locks and studs, fabric lining and layer of wallpaper lining added later
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Desmond Milligan
Object Name: Trunk
Object No: 00046019
Place Manufactured:England

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    Description
    The steamer trunk is typical of trunks of the 1920s, which opened out for use as a wardrobe and chest of drawers. The trunk belonged to Leo and Florence Milligan, who migrated from Britain to Australia in 1951.
    SignificanceThe travelling trunk has always been an evocative symbol of the long sea voyages taken by millions of migrants. The trunk was used by Leo and Flo Milligan, who were among the 1.5 million Britons who migrated to Australia between 1947 and 1982. Leo and Flo were the parents of comedian, actor and writer Spike Milligan.
    HistoryLeo and Flo Milligan bought the steamer trunk in England in the 1920s. They used it for all their travels from Britain to India and Burma, where Leo was posted with the British Army, and also for holidays. The Milligans used the trunk when they migrated to Australia in 1951, and again in 1964 when they took a cruise on the P&O liner HIMALAYA. The luggage tag and P&O stickers on the trunk relate to the 1964 cruise.

    The trunk is representative of early 20th century steamer trunks. Constructed of leather and wood, it folds out with drawers (now removed) on the left and a space for hanging clothes on the right.



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