Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


Rectangular brown leather suitcase


Rectangular brown leather suitcase

Object information

Physical description

A brown, leather, rectangular suitcase. The lid of the suitcase is attached to the base with stitching, the suitcase features reinforced corners and large metal studs for the suitcase to rest on. The studs are on both the horizontal base and the base when the suitcase is standing vertically. The suitcase has a thick leather handle, connected to a metal ring at either end which has then been adjoined to the suitcase by a sandwich of leather around each ring attached to the case with a stud. On either side of this handle are the metal buckles and locking devices each impressed with the text "ENGLISH / WILKS / LEVER". The interior of the case is lined with a brown coloured fabric and both the lid and the base feature brown cotton interior pockets. Two leather straps join the lid and the base on the inside of the case allowing the lid to be propped open. The suitcase is well worn. Accompanying the suitcase is a leather luggage tag and a metal buckle.

Statement of significance

The collection consists of documents, photographs, scrapbooks, clothing and other memorabilia from the careers and personal lives of Emma (Emilie) Roach, a well-known and successful equestrian, and her husband John (Jack) Burton, who made several record-breaking drives in motor vehicles across Australia during the 1910s and 1920s.

Born in Narrandera, New South Wales, in 1898, Roach began equestrian competition at the age of 10, and continued through most levels and types of competition, remaining an unpaid amatuer, until her retirement in 1955. Her main competitions and successes were in the show-ring. After Burton and Roach married in 1925, they lived in Sydney for many years and travelled from there to agricultural shows in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland where Roach would compete and Burton worked in motor vehicle sales and writing articles for motoring magazines.

Object information

Back to top