PIECE OF HISTORY TO WEAR
In the late 19th century, the Victorian style reflected the sentimental taste of Queen Victoria, and the merits of the English Industrial Revolution. Subsequent development of railroads facilitated the rise of a new social class - working women - who needed a sturdy bag for travel. Such a compact, rounded travel bag on a strong metal frame with a secure closure, a lock and a key emerged in 1860. Newly rich professionals and proprietors demonstrated their wealth through luxurious possessions. Their favorites included expensive genuine alligator and crocodile accessories trimmed in sterling silver. Casual styles included doctor's and travel bags, trunk cases, shopping bags, ladies' pocketbooks, chatelaines, and small purses. The average size was over 10" for casual use. Among novelties most noted were lady's opera pouches, with sterling or German silver Repoussé frames.