Revelation luggage

In the 1950s and 1960s Revelation was a high-end luggage manufacturer and a competitor to Antler.

The company started in 1923. Revelation pioneered expandable luggage in the 1920s. In the 1930s it launched the Rev-Robe - a wardrobe case.

In the 1950s Revelation was in the forefront of luggage technology. It intoduced new models with Fibreglass reinforced sides in the 1950s and moulded plastic cases in the 1960s.

Revelation updated the Rev-Robe cases to new styles. There were different Rev-Robes for ladies and gents.  In 1964 the Green Shield Stamp catalogue listed the Revelation Silverline Rev-Robe case alongside Longines watches, Parker 51 pens, the Kenwood Chef, Christian Dior 'Miss Dior' perfume, Wedgewood china and a Mappin & Webb canteen of cutlery as the 'finest in the land'.

In the 1960s Revelation ranges were:

Revelation Superlight: Gents Rev-Robe and cabin bag c1965
Revelation Superlight: Gents Rev-Robe and cabin bag c1965

Revelation Superlight

Revelation launched Superlight in 1959. The original cases were in 'gay' 1950s' colours:

In the 1950s and 1960s 'gay' meant bright or cheerful. Bright colours were fashionable in the 1950s and early 1960s, but by the mid-sixties Revelation introduced sober shades, such as grey.

Earlier cases also had the Revelation logo of a man carrying a suitcase on the locks.

The original Superlight range comprised:

Cabin bag

Revelation added a cabin bag to their Superlight range in the 1960s. The cabin bag had a sticker showing BEA approved it for cabin luggage. Unlike today, cabin bags went under the seat. The overhead racks were for coats and hats.

Revelation Sheerline

Revelation Sheerline suitcases from advert, 1963
Revelation Sheerline suitcases from 1963 advertisement in 'Queen' magazine. Used by kind permission of Antler Ltd

Superlight was a soft case with hard sides. Sheerline was moulded from a material called Royalite. Royalite is a trademark for a type of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). It can be moulded into rigid, yet flexible shapes; ideal for a suitcase.

The Sheerline suitcases cost from £8 8s. A Rev-Robe in this material cost £11 19s 6d. In today's money these prices are £116 and £165 respectively.

Revelation innovated throughout the sixties. They launched many new ranges including:

Revelation did not fare well in the 1970s. The factory closed in 1973. Antler subsequently bought the Revelation brand.

Article by Steven Braggs, February 2019

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Good article. A few months ago I bought a dark blue Revelation hand luggage at an auction. Apparently it is quite old, since I saw a similar one on the internet that dates back to the 30's/40's. It still has some worn labels attached: Belgique Excelsior Hotel, Directorate General of Customs, and Paris-Nord. After a complete cleaning, its general condition is quite good, and I also added a layer of natural oil to revitalize its surface. Greetings from Argentina.

I worked at Revelation Luggage in their Piccadilly shop as a packer when I left school in the 70's. I left to travel a few years later and I was re-hired in the 80's as salesman. I will never forget my time there even now.
Thank you for this information, very interesting. I am using an expanding suitcase as a coffee table that was used for holidays with my parents in 50s/60s. I just noticed an image on the locks, put my glasses on and discovered a Revelation Man!.. A search led me to this info! Thank you. :-)
Moira Caldow
I have a New Old Stock "A" Case and over night bag still in their original box.Can you give me any into about them ?
Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

Mid Century ★ Facts & Figures ★ Collectibles

Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

★ Mid Century ★ Facts & Figures ★ Collectibles ★