Value of Red Cross WW2 Trunk?

This was my husband's mother's trunk as she was a nurse during the war and believed to have been in Europe with this. Everything is intact, including the key. We would like to sell it but would like to know what the value is, so we have something to go on. The trunk measures 32" w x 19" h x 19" D Nothing has been painted to destroy the original condition.


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April 27, 20210 found this helpful

This is a piece of history. I would definitely get an appraisal from a dealer.

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April 29, 20210 found this helpful

This is one for the professionals, It has great history and story. Online many trunks like this one are listed in the 100's. But to be more accurate and get the value, you could try locally antique stores, look for additional markings for company/brand maker. This also can help for location and value. If you find company name, maybe they are still in business,this will answer questions faster. If not there are a few places online that can help.

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April 29, 20210 found this helpful

This trunk has a label in it. McBrine Baggage which is out of Guelph, ON. Canada.

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April 29, 20210 found this helpful

Do you have any papers or pictures of your Mother-in-law with the case?

Perhaps you should talk to a museum about it and consider donating it if they would take it (which they may or may not). Sometimes the provenance of the piece (the history that your MIL has with the piece combined with the piece gives the piece historical value much more so than a monetary value.

I am a personal history buff and teach a class on preservation and if this was mine, that would be my first pass at determining what to do with it. Personal history is being lost daily and if all is as you say, people could learn about your MIL, her role as a nurse, and about the piece itself.

There is a museum of health care:

But perhaps her hometown museum may have more interest or if your local Red Cross has contacts for their keepsakes, they may also be of interest.

Please post back what you decide and learn. To me the historical value with the history (story) is going to be worth much more than trying to sell this at an auction. Just me!

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April 29, 20210 found this helpful

This trunk is nothing like the WW ll 'trunks' normally posted for sale so it would be very difficult to try and place a value as it could be more or less valuable than information we could provide.

I agree with PGHgirl about contacting museums as this could a valuable asset and wouldn't that be neat - a personal family item on displace for the world to see - a card with your name as the donator?
CDC established July 1, 1946 which means your trunk is close to 75 years old.
I believe if this belonged to me, I would contact branches of the CDC to see if I could find out who used the letters on the trunk. I'm sure they probably have records and may have information as to exactly where this trunk was used.

This another avenue to try:

The Communicable Disease Center (CDC) was founded July 1, 1946, as the successor to the World War II Malaria Control in War areas program of the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities.

History of CDC:

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April 30, 20210 found this helpful

It's hard to find a Red Cross WW2 trunk this size. But I think you just need to compare prices with military trunks of about the same size. I think that at that time the trunks were made the same for the military and nurses, only they added different identification marks.
For example this trunk is in good conditional and about the same size and is sold for $488:
So, I think the price of your trunk is about $600-800, maybe even higher, I think it will be difficult to sell it at a very high price.

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