What Are Doctors Bags?
Traditional Gladstone Doctors Bag
Doctors bags are mainly known as a Gladstone bag, they have openings at the top that allow the bag to open very wide.
Gladstone Doctors bags are very collectable and were used to carry equipment to patients. Original doctors bags have a very distinctive aroma to them as you can smell the medicines that were once carried in them.
Doctors today still use these types of bags, but not all are genuine leather bags nowadays.
Gladstone Style Travel Case
Gladstone Travel Case
Doctors bags normally have a large brass top that locks together with two carry handles and can be locked with a key.
The Gladstone bag was named after the prime minister William Ewart Gladstone, a typical Victorian bag. Gladstone’s name became associated with the bag made by leather maker J G Beard from his leather shop in Westminster.
Gladstone Bag Inside
Today the Gladstone bag is more a fashion travel bag due to its large opening at the top and being able to expand to hold many items.
The traditional Gladstone Doctors Bag was made from a stiff leather, with a heavy-duty off-white type canvas material inside with pockets to hold medical equipment and medicines when a doctor was visiting patients.
Some more exotic Gladstone bags were made from Crocodile and Alligator leathers as you can see from this very rare Gladstone case.
Horn back Alligator Gladstone Bag
Gladstone bags became a normal item to be used not just by Doctors, but the GPO also used this style of bag for technicians to carry equipment in them.