A carpet bag is a traveling bag made of carpet, commonly from an oriental rug, ranging in size from a small purse to a large duffel bag.
Such bags were popular in the United States and Europe during the 19th century. They are still made to this day, typically as women's decorative small luggage and purses, although typically no longer made out of old carpets.
The carpetbaggers of the Reconstruction era following the American Civil War were given their name from this type of luggage which they carried.
From the Scientific American Supplement, No. 561, October 2, 1886 "The old fashioned carpet bag is still unsurpassed by any, where rough wear is the principal thing to be studied. Such a bag, if constructed of good Brussels carpeting and unquestionable workmanship, will last a lifetime, provided always that a substantial frame is used."
Carpet bags sometimes served as a "railway rug", a common item in the 19th century for warmth in drafty, unheated rail-cars. The rug could either be opened as a blanket, or latched up on the sides as a traveling bag.
i would very much enjoy owning a carpet bag. i think they are classy.
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