Gladstone bag

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A 16-inch Gladstone bag made of ox leather

A Gladstone bag is a small portmanteau suitcase built over a rigid frame which could separate into two equal sections. Unlike a suitcase, a Gladstone bag is "deeper in proportion to its length."[1] They are typically made of stiff leather and often belted with lanyards. The bags are named after William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898), the four-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.[2]


Hinged luggage was first developed in the late 19th century. The first Gladstone bag was designed and manufactured by J G Beard at his leather shop in the City of Westminster.[3]


  1. ^ Lehmann, Mary Augusta (1917). The leather goods department. The Ronald press company. p. 81. 
  2. ^ Freeman, Morton S. (1997). A new dictionary of eponyms. Oxford UP. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-19-509354-4. 
  3. ^ "History of the Gladstone Bag". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. Retrieved 2009-10-31.