These types of tags and labels have often been reproduced in various forms- as stickers, wrapping paper, and fabrics that all seek to catch a bit of that old time magic and place it firmly in the the present. The culture of collecting labels is not only a sign of increasing travel, but also of the quality of one’s luggage. If a traveler intended to own a trunk or suitcase for decades (as many did) then these labels might be seen again and again.
The iconic designs speak of a time when travel websites did not bid for the lowest fare, when a flight or a boat trip was a huge extravagance even for those well-off, and as such was intended to be remembered – at least until the next trip.
Even in the early days of air travel, airlines marked customers’ baggage with gorgeous labels. Between 1950 and 1970 passenger flights increased tenfold and came to dominate the travel market. Along with this shift in consumer habits came the birth of the self-serve era when labels were simply not used in the same ways since travelers were increasingly expected to carry their own cases except for checked baggage.