Objects Database

Rucksack - possibly homemade

Accession Number


Object Name

Rucksack - possibly homemade




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

'A' frame rucksack with two pockets. Leather straps and metal buckles


canvas, leather, metal


42(h) x 40(w) x 14(d) cms

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

Address in Dundee scored out."ST ANDREWS SCOTLAND"




Human beings have been carrying things on their backs since time began, be it the food of hunter gatherers, babies in the papoose of a native Indian woman or the necessities of war on the backs of the world's armies.
It wasn't until the early 1800's that folk started carrying things on their backs purely for leisure purposes and having initially used the various military knapsacks around at the time, mountaineers and outdoor folk developed their own versions with equipment manufacturers quickly learning that there was a market to be exploited. Rucksack, incidentally, is another word that we have borrowed from the German language; 'rucken' meaning back combined with sack or bag. The Americans have translated it rather more literally to 'backpack'
Bergans of Norway were one of the first to produce a functional rucksack for the outdoor market way back in 1909. A plethora of variations followed, one of which we have here in the collection. We can't find a manufacturer's name in this one and it's possibly hand made as many were back in the 1950's which we suspect is when this one began its life. There were 'make your own' rucksack kits around at the time.
Our old friends, Alfie & Joy Ingram, kindly donated this nice little sack. It might not have a maker's name but there's some nice Scottish provenance in the remains of names and addresses inside the top cover.

Acquisition Method

Alfie & Joy Ingram

Acquisition Date


Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



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