Steamer trunks: does anyone travel with them anymore?

Inspired by Joe Vs. the Volcano,* I did some online searching for steamer trunks. I noticed, however, that most places that sell them promote them as furniture (“makes a great coffee table” or “fits perfectly at the end of your bed”), rather than as a steadfast traveling companion that could save your life when your ship makes an impromptu visit to the bottom of the Pacific.

I realize that in our modern era of bulletproof fabrics and airplane travel that most luggage needs to be, well, lighter than a trunk made of oak.

But are steamer trunks ever traveled with anymore, rather than placed in front of the living room couch? Does anyone make a steamer trunk designed to see the world rather than watch the Travel Channel with its owner’s feet propped up on it?

Really, I’m curious, not just looking for a survey of people who travel with 'em, which is why this is in GQ.

*And really, how often do you hear that phrase?

I hope it’s not considered gauche to bump your own topic three days after it was first posted. Because I’ve just done it.

Aren’t they designed to be carried by servants and porters? Not many people travel with an entourage these days.

Wardrobes of the steamer era necessitated larger luggage. This was an era where you generally wore separate clothing for each meal, plus nightclothes.

(Admittedly, this was true only of a certain monied class. However, they did most of the traveling)

It’s also possible to carry this stuff around if you never have to pick it up. That’s the job of porters, stewards, bellhops and valets, none of which are around anymore to any significant degree.

Actually, I used one to transport a person for a while a few years back, but that wasn’t -travel-, per se, just movement around a hotel…

The stand-up steamer trunks are very much used in the concert industry. Costumes and instruments are shipped in them. The expensive ones are aluminum and round-cornered, but the cheaper ones have replaced the wood veneer box with a heavy black PVC plastic, strapped with nylon webbing. Still have the “campaign hardware” brass corners for heavy-duty knowcking around.

On a tangential note, many of the houses in the Fan district here in Richmond were built around the turn of the 20th Century and many have “trunk rooms” which are little more than big closets. If anyone ever tried to talk you into moving into a Fan house with them, you had to make damn sure you didn’t get stuck with the “trunk room” as your bedroom.

Can you buy steamer trunks in luggage stores these days, as in Joe? Or are they only available from furniture or decorating places?