In the autobiographies of Harpo and Groucho Marx, there are a few mentions of “paper suitcases”, which evidently were the luggage of choice for the financially not-so-well-endowed. These anecdotes apparently happened mainly between 1900 and 1920.
But what was a paper suitcase? Was it a euphemism used for a simple cardboard box tied up with string? Or did they actually use to make cheap luggage that looked like leather but was only painted to look like leather?