The idea went back thru time when women would gather linens, household goods and clothes for their trousseaus. Some linens were lovingly embroidered and were expected to last. Most were cedar to protect the contents.
The biggest manufacturer was the Lane Company, begun by John and Ed Lane in 1912. After a hostile take over in 1987 they went bankrupt in 1992 but continued making hope chests until summer in 2001. It is now known as the Lane Furniture Company.
The chests came in many designs. Samples can be seen on Ebay with bids starting at $39 and going up into the high three figures.
Some 12 million chests were made.
Some of my friends had hope chests. I never did, although I've ever been without hope. Today my hopes aren't about linens but are more about
- World Peace (I sound like a beauty queen contestant)
- Health for me and those I love and like
- Good friendships
- As much time as possible in the places I love
- A dog
- My husband's happiness