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The Antler Story

After 90 Years of innovation, Antler has a long and established tradition of producing quality, innovative luggage designed for lightness and strength without compromising quality.

It began with a horse and cart. J. Boultbee Brooks, company founder, roamed the Midlands as a leather trader in the 1870s. He would move his goods using the traditional transport of the day, a horse and cart. When his horse passed away, Brooks let his eye for innovation lead him to becoming an early adopter of the new 'safety bicycle'. However, he found that the combination of rickety 19th Century paving and hard seats made the ride unbearable. To solve this, Brooks invented a new type of saddle. The Brook's saddle, as it was known, quickly became popular and achieved worldwide success. It was soon joined by saddlebags and panniers.

Then came the stag and antler. It was in 1920 that Boultbee's son entered the passenger luggage market with leather wardrobe trunks for ocean liners and unique 'motor trunks' to attach to the cars. A keen interest in wildlife meant the adoption of the stag's head and antler as a brand symbol for the luggage line. Next came the war effort. In the second world war Antler shifted its focus to producing haversacks, webbing belts and similar military equipment to help in the war effort. After the war, there was a return to the luggage business,with further innovation in soft-sided luggage with rich, quality linings.

A new age of mass air travel dawned in the 1950's and tourism boomed. Antler saw further opportunities to develop products to cater for a new and ever-expanding market. One bestseller, the 'Airstream', combined soft and hard fabrics into one suitcase. Whatever way people travelled, Antler led the field with technical innovations. A relocation in 1962 saw Antler move from the Midlands to its current location in Northern Manchester, England. Additional manufacturing sites were established in Mossley, Littleborough and Exeter to match increasing demand. With continued innovation towards the end of the 20th Century, Antler continued to forge ahead with new products, entering the hard luggage and suitcase market and introducing quality leather goods. The company played a key part in the rollercase revolution, a technical innovation that changed the way luggage was shaped forever.

Today, Antler continues to innovate with one of the very lightest luggage collections called the Antler Liquis which builds upon a unique heritage that has continually embraced and pioneered new developments in the luggage industry.

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