Throughout the years the trunk has been used by many different cultures as a valuable storage option. The simple box makes sense as a means of containing items that must be kept safe over a long period of time. It was inevitable that the simple wooden trunk later evolved into something more decorative and functional at the same time.
As an essential luggage item the trunk enabled long distance travelers the luxury of carrying a large quantity of clothing on the journey. Larger trunks were stored in the holds of ships while smaller cabin trunks were able to be taken into the sleeping quarters for the day to day changes of clothes.
Similarly the use of trunks became popular in the homes of many rural estates, particularly those that were used as summer houses and were left dormant during the colder months. Valuables were able to be stored away in these trunks for months at a time where they would be left safe until needed again.
French trunks were the sort of rustic furniture commonly found in many homes no matter what the class level. The lower classes would have used plain undecorated versions while the upper classes had trunks that were much more decorated and impressive. These trunks slowly evolved into the more common chest of drawers with legs added to the basic type of trunk and the hinged lid replaced by a set of drawers.
The most popular type of wood used to create the early trunks was oak which was in plentiful supply and would provide a solid finish for the trunk. Inside the trunk a cedar lining is commonly found which is known as a deterrent for insect pests and would ensure that the clothes that came out of the trunk were in much the same condition as they were when they were put in.
Nothing has changed today with the trunk still providing a solid and reliable storage unit. These trunks have also given way to the alternative storage option which is popularly used in the bedroom known as the chest of drawers.