antique bags

Vintage purses on display at SFO Museum


Alligator claws handbag early 1900s Courtesy SFO Museum

A new exhibition at San Francisco International Airport features vintage and antique bags from the 18th to the 20th century that will have you rethinking the way you carry around your everyday essentials.

SFO Vintage purse lady

Scenic beaded purse c. 1914. Courtesy SFO Museum

Once, both men and women wore purses attached to their belts or fabric bands that hung from waist.

Interior pockets were invented at the end of the 16th century, and men began discarding their purses and stuffing their money and personal items in their pockets instead.

That left women holding the bags, which evolved into the indispensable accessories and decorative art and fashion objects on view in the SFO Museum’s latest offering – Essential Style: Vintage and Antique Purses- in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at SFO Airport through July 24, 2016.

Items on exhibit are on loan from the Antique Purse Collectors Society.

Here are some more images of the vintage bags and purses on display:


Arts and Crafts-style handbags c. 1920s. Courtesy SFO Museum

SFO Museum purse colored

Spiderweb design needlework purse c. 1820. Courtesy SFO Museum