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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

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Brown leather suitcase with 'W.H.E.' (Walter Herbert Eddison) impressed in black in the centre of the lid

2003.0072.0002

Brown leather suitcase with 'W.H.E.' (Walter Herbert Eddison) impressed in black in the centre of the lid

Object information

Physical description

A brown leather suitcase with 'W.H.E.' [Walter Herbert Eddison] impressed in black in the centre of the lid. The base of the initials are oriented with the hinged side of the case, ie. they are the correct way up when the handle of the case is uppermost as it would be if it was being carried. It has a pair of lockable brass catches and a simple leather handle with steel fittings on the front. The front corners of the lid, which is hinged at the rear, have been repaired with sewn-on reinforcing patches. There are four small domed metal feet on the base and also on the back of the case. Inside if lined with cotton fabric which is striped in pale grey-blue and white.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of two suitcases and a child's farmyard set which belonged to the Eddison family. The suitcases date from the early twentieth century while the farmyard set dates from the mid-nineteenth century. Both suitcases have sustained slight water damage. Some of the figures in the farmyard set have broken legs but overall condition of set is good.

The suitcases belonged to Walter Eddison, an Englishman who first came to Australia in 1913. The outbreak of the First World War forced the postponement of Eddison's plans to relocate his young family to Australia. Instead, he joined the AIF and served in Gallipoli and France. When Eddison finally returned to Australia with his family in 1919, he was allocated land in Canberra's Woden Valley as part of the soldier settlement scheme. Walter Eddison's story encompasses several Australian history themes - migration, war, and land settlement.

Object information

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