The satchel is perhaps the bag we most strongly associate with childhood. Already in Shakespeare we find its classic image, so evocative of that blend of innocence and delinquency of our schooldays.
The satchel is a very old type pf bag. Its name means nothing more than ‘small bag’, and its origins probably lie in the huntsman game bag of medieval times. In Britain, the school satchel was last widely used in the 1950s, when it was part of the traditional school uniform, along with the school tie, peaked cap, shorts and blazer.
A repository of dog-eared books, inky pens, half-sucked jawbreakers, and last year’s horse chestnuts. Eventually, it would give way to a contemporary variation and the trendier street alternative, the messenger bag.
The form itself, however – butter-soft leather, buckled flap, and long-strap worn diagonally across the shoulder – has influence many a contemporary bag: from manbag of the late 1990s to the woman’s daysack of 2010.