Saturday, April 27, 2013

Origins of the Modern Vacation and Jewelry Travel Cases

As summertime approaches, we turn our thoughts to vacation travel.  So how did the concept of "vacation" come about.  Well, as you likely surmise, the movement from an agrarian economy to specialized industry obviously plays a huge role in the ability to "get away" while not greatly impacting your ability to create wealth by taking care of livestock or crops.

The modern concept of vacation travel is generally attributed to the "Grand Tours" taken by upper-class Europeans (who obviously had the economic means and were not required for daily work).  These travels were mainly meant to be educational:  learning various cultures, perfecting their language skills, and maintaining cultural common ground between and among the ruling elite.

The economic limitations of this kind of extensive travel was logistical:  there were few roads and limited mechanical means.  With the advent of the steam locomotive and expansion of railway systems, the ability to readily travel moved down the economic scale and by the mid-1800s, travel for recreation or tourism became common place among the upper-middle class.  And with the industrial revolution, labor shifted from the farm to plants and assembly lines, where the need for any one individual was not so crucial for production as on a family farm.  (We should not forget the legal introduction of work rules here either!)

The final piece of the puzzle for U.S. vacations is the automobile and corresponding road system (set up, by the way, by Eisenhowser's Interstate Highway System), which made cheap travel possible for almost all on the economic ladder, and contributing to several other industries, one of which is the travel case industry, and specifically for, the jewelry travel case.  More on that in our next blog!

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