Hartmann was founded in 1877 by Joseph S. Hartmann, a Bavarian
trunk-maker, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hartmann has been making
exquisitely crafted luggage, travel cases and fine leather goods for
over 135 years.
Mr. Hartmann had a vision to build "luggage so fine it will stand as
a symbol of excellence". Hartmann was soon a favourite among
the most affluent travellers thanks to its quality, sturdiness and
Hartmann is a brand with a proud heritage of the finest craftsman-
ship. As travel has evolved over time, so have travel cases – from
classic Pullmans for steamers and sturdy trunks for train cabins to
the sleek carry-ons for today’s jetliners.
Hartmann has innovated the luxury travel experience across the
decades, and continues to anticipate its on-going evolution.
In the early 1910s, the nation was in the midst of vast industrial
growth. The newly established railroads connected 38 states,
facilitating more frequent travel.
Those early travellers all appreciated Hartmann’s product not only
for its quality and durability but also for its brilliant practicality
and a fashion sense.
In 1923, Hartmann pioneered the “Cushion top” for wardrobe
trunks, which kept coat hangers in place to prevent creasing.
This exciting development was widely used by celebrities, royalty
and the rich and famous. More than half a million Hartmann
wardrobe trunks were sold around the world.
To reduce the appearance of wear and tear on
leather suitcases, Hartmann was looking for a new,
super-strong leather with maximum durability and
The president of Hartmann presented the belt from
a flywheel to a Canadian tannery. In 1939,
Hartmann developed Belting Leather, a unique
vegetable-tanned leather that retains all of its
characteristics – “nature's beauty marks” – result-
ing in a distinctiveness not found in other leathers.
During the steel shortage of WWII, Hartmann collaborated with the
US Navy to develop the Seapack, made from a flexible basswood
frame – a revolutionary product that was durable yet lightweight.
This material proved to withstand travel better than aluminium or
steel, allowing the U.S. to utilise these metals for wartime
purposes. It was presented to Prime Minister Winston Churchill by
President Roosevelt as an example of outstanding American manu-
facturing. Later, Seapack evolved into Skymate.
Skymate was designed with a flexible wooden frame and side
panels to create more packing space and convenience. Author Ian
Fleming immortalised Hartmann in his 1954 novel, Live and Let
Die, with Agent 007 – James Bond – carrying a lightweight
Hartmann Skymate suitcase.
The Hartmann journey began in 1877. When great journeys were made on steamships, Hartmann was
the choice of affluent travelers. As we moved into the era of railways Ad traveled far and wide.
Hartmann became the luggage to be seen with, carried by celebrities and sporting icons.
Modern travel continued to evolve And as we took to the skies, Hartmann continued to anticipate the
needs of modern travel. Hartmann was carried by Presidents in office, and bore the names of great
modern designers. We evolve with the changing landscape of travel, Our drive for timeless design,
Exquisite quality. This is the proud of Hartmann story.