The Time I Found a 20th Century Trunk in a Dumpster

Several months ago I discovered an antique trunk while dumpster diving at an apartment complex. This stunning piece of history was propped up in the dumpster just waiting to be rescued from the landfill. After multiple lock picking tutorials and failed attempts to get into it, I had temporarily given up, residing the trunk to the garage until I was ready to try again.

It wasn’t until September that my curiosity got the best of me and I enlisted the help of my husband, Alex. With some hammering and usage of tools that definitely would not be in the standard lock picking kit.. the heavy clasps snapped open and we were finally able to see what lay inside this piece of early 1900’s craftsmanship.

The interior is lined with deep royal blue drawers on one side and a large open interior for hanging clothes or larger items on the other. Dust bellowed from the drawers when we opened them and tickled our noses with a musty aroma only attributed to items that have been locked away for decades.

The lock reads “Eagle Lock Co — U.S.A — Terryville Conn”

Eagle Lock Company was founded in 1831 in Terryville, Connecticut and was known, at one time, to be the largest trunk and cabinet lock maker in the world. Their business thrived during WWI and expanded even more during the Second World War, but lack of funding caused them to go out of business in 1975, after celebrating 142 years of business.

I still have trouble believing that someone would decide to throw away such an interesting item. It’s beat up, it’s cracking and damaged, it’s heavy and practically obsolete; but it’s also an incredible piece of history that I am thrilled to have acquired.

You can watch the video of me finding it below!

Full time dumpster diver. I post videos on youtube.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store