Sometimes, we as consumers don’t necessarily have access to everything quality and well-made. Throughout history, the military has provided a fine example of an institution that reserves the right to some superior products for themselves. The dependence of a person’s life on a functioning buckle or zipper or the endurance of a material under extreme conditions, draws an attention to detail that consumers often don’t get the luxury to experience. Industry is another good example.

Du Pont canvas utilitarian bag.

Well-travelled Du Pont canvas utilitarian bag.

Industrial purchasers have big wallets and tend to get less caught up in unnecessary innovation or flashy design. The right material is put where it’s best served. With important purchases costs are secondary and form follows function.

Vintage Canvas Bag

Du Pont canvas utilitarian bag, detail of the leather strap.

This bag from Pro Can Corp. was made for Du Pont.

Linen Canvas

Du Pont utilitarian bag, detail of stamp of linen canvas.

I wonder what they transported inside? Whatever it was, they certainly wanted to keep it safe. Its content was protected by thick canvas and secured by a leather strip that runs through durable metal buckets, which can be secured with a pad lock.

Vintage Du Pont canvas bag

Du Pont canvas utilitarian bag, with metal ring for pad lock.

The bottom is made out of a unusual thick rubber/PVC. Maybe to protect from chemical spills?

Can Pro Corp., Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin

Du Pont canvas bag from Can Pro Corp., Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin.

and tagged , , ,

24 Comments

  1. Posted January 13, 2010 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

    Great post (where did you find that bag?) and wonderful site. You're nailing it.

  2. Posted January 13, 2010 at 7:25 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for your kind words! I found this bag at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. It's by far the biggest flea market in the LA area and takes place every 2nd Sunday of the month. Here more info: http://www.rgcshows.com/

    Sebastian

  3. KL
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    Love the Rose Bowl flea market!

  4. caroline
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    The Rosebowl is overpriced. Go to Long Beach for much better deals.

  5. Kris
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    How big is it? Your photos are lovely, but I'm having trouble getting the scale.

    Also, what's the point of a padlock if you can just use your mother-of-pearl gentleman's knife to cut open the bag? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Posted January 26, 2010 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    Kris – The bag is about 2' 6'' x 1' 10''. I recently found a canvas utility bag that is even more extraordinary than this one. Will write about it soon! Sebastian

  7. David
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    Heavy canvas bags like this were most often used by companies for transporting valuable papers, cash receipts, bank deposits, bonds and other securities etc. via messener or armored car service, to and from company offices, banks, etc.

    A large company like duPont might receive tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue per day, and this in the era when payments were made by mailing in a paper check, hence the need to transport the checks, cash, whatever to a bank for deposit, or between various company locations. Also, not too long ago, many industrial concerns paid their hourly workers in cash – one received a small "pay envelope" – with the gross pay and deductions written (by hand!) on the outside on a little printed ledger. The "payroll". secured in bags like this, would be transferred to the various plants and offices by armored car to be distributed to each employee on payday.

    In college in the 70s, I worked part-time as a teller in the Fifth Avenue office of the Bank of New York. One of our customers was the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and every day we would receive their cash/check deposits in canvas bags like this one(marked "Metropolitan Museum"), often as much as $50k after weekends or when a large exhibit was opening.

    In addition to a lock, the bags would typically (and, more importantly) be sealed with a lead wire seal, which, if broken would show evidence of tampering (a "chain of custody" feature). It's true one could simply cut it open, but the lock/lead-wire seal mechanism was more of a way to detect tampering (and possible fraud or employee or messenger theft) – if "regular" thieves took the bags, well then no amount of padlocking was going to protect the contents anyway!

    I enjoy reading your blog – keep up the good work!

  8. Posted April 6, 2010 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    My company, The Mount Washington Auto Road, has this exact bag.
    It has been used for many many years as our bank deposit bag. We are located in the northern White Mountains of New Hampshire far from any services. After all these years (established 1861) a daily trip is still made into town for banking and post. This bag is part of our company heritage along with antique vehicles, farm equipment, race trophies and many company ledgers. I found your website by searching for Can Pro Corp in order to see if they might still be in business and able to make minor repairs to our bag. I did not find a website for them.

  9. Peterson Conway
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 4:12 AM | Permalink

    I think you guys are hitting a nerve with these writings: in our age of consumerism and disposable products it's dead on. Keep at it!

  10. Ed
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 5:20 AM | Permalink

    I found a CanPro Corp.bag like this but it had 3 pcs. The small money bag (18×12) has a plaque on it that states HER MAJESTY Union S.C..There are 2 large matching bags (24×36). Do not know how to add pictures. I tried to find the Her Majesty Corp in Union SC but did not have any luck. Anybody have any insight on this find?

  11. kat
    Posted November 20, 2010 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    I have this exact bag however it does not have Du-Pont or anything else stamped on it other than security mode no 113. Is this worth anything? I know it was used as bank bag

  12. Posted March 26, 2011 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

    These bags were used to carry the 'rush' 35mm film cans from mlocation to studio after the days shoot. These can carry up to 3 cans of film and were not meant to be 'bank bags' but celloid courier bags with same keyed locks to make sure that the flm was not tampered with en route from location to editor.

    Values are limited to vintage film buffs, studio types and the odd non-industry individual that finds them to be cool. I have paid as little as $75 and as much as $400.

    Ken

  13. Sebastian Kaufmann
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    @ Ken. Thanks for the explanation. That's very interesting.

    Sebastian

  14. Anonymous
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    my son and i just found a bag just like yours we were wondering if it might be worth something it is in great shape

  15. Anonymous
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    forgot my email sorry it is myrawalden@aol.com

  16. G. Robillard
    Posted January 26, 2013 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

    Hi, For sale?

  17. J.O'M
    Posted May 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    I enjoyed this find and the blog.

  18. Tex
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    I have 1 for sell if ur interested in buying another. Ken Gumbel. R anyone else

  19. Tex
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

    Forgot email address texasblood1500@gmail.com

  20. Tex
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    Yes I have 1 for sell

  21. Trinita Logue
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    Do you still have this bag for sale? Can you send a photo and price?

  22. Diane Vail
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

    Is this bag available? How much would it be?

  23. kaufmannmerc
    Posted April 20, 2015 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    Hi Diane, this bag is not available for sale, good luck finding one.

  24. Jerry
    Posted April 13, 2016 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

    @Ed, A Her Majesty and Top Value Stamp store existed in Union SC for years. Top Value was a competitor to S&H Green Stamps. I am unfamiliar with Her Majesty but one would suppose it was a comparable trading stamp.

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