Hartmann Inc. was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by Bavarian Trunkmaker, Joseph S. Hartmann.


Mr. Hartmann had a vision to build “luggage so fine it will stand as a symbol of excellence.” Because of his vision, the company grew rapidly.
In 1908 The Hartmann trunk wins first prize at the California Exposition in Sacramento, California.


The nation was in the midst of vast industrial growth. Newly established railroads were providing arteries for trade between the 38 states, and people were traveling like never before.

The hartmann red X becomes synonymous of outstanding quality.


by 1925 More than half a million Hartmann trunks are in use around the world. George Herman "Babe" Ruth travels extensively overseas to promote baseball with a Hartmann Cushion Top Wardrobe Trunk in tow.


By this time, Hartmann offered over 800 models, sizes and colors of steamship trunks and luggage. Commercial aviation expanded significantly during the 1930s, as new aircraft designs were introduced and new air routes circled the globe. The public regarded air travel as exciting and glamorous. Hartmann responded to the trend by designing luxurious, fashion-oriented luggage for this glamorous, wealthy group of international travelers.


For years, Hartmann had been making framed luggage out of aluminum and steel. After a year of testing, Hartmann developed, and later manufactured, the lightweight, durable basswood frame.

This material proved to withstand travel better than aluminum or steel, allowing the U.S. to utilize these metals for wartime purposes.


Inspired by America's first jetliner, the ultra-light Hartmann 707 luggage collection is created.

Author Ian Fleming immortalizes Hartmann in his 1954 novel, Live and Let Die, as Agent 007 – James Bond carries a lightweight Hartmann Skymate suitcase.

The Hartmann Knocabout is tested at the University of Wisconsin's College of Engineering, the Knocabout frame stands up like a "Spartan" to 423 pounds of pressure, 300 more pounds than any other piece tested. From this, Hartmann Knocabout frames are known as "Spartanized."


Hartmann developed more distinctive, fashionable luggage pieces for the women of America, who at the time were responsible for 80 percent of luggage sales.

Lyndon Johnson begins his time as President of the United States. President Johnson carries a Skymate.

Hartmann is selected by DuPont to be the first to introduce luggage of Corfam. This collection provides the same look, feel, and presitige of Hartman's fine leather collections and provides better scuff resistance. Specifically tailored to women, the collection features intricate nylon stitched Spanish embroidery.


Before the famous 747 was introduced, airplanes did not have overhead storage compartments for luggage. Working from the 747’s interior specifications, Hartmann designed the first three-piece luggage “wardrobe” the “747 Carry-ons.”


Continuing the fashion forward tradition, Hartmann hired designers Halston and Gloria Vanderbilt to create collections for true fashion devotees. Their designs opened a whole new market for luggage in the 1970s. At the same time, the Boeing 747 enters service and changes the face of travel by reducing the cost of flying. The era of affordable air transportation had arrived. This introduction led the masses to the airports and increased the need for luggage and travel gear for everyone.


Hartmann was the first manufacturer to pioneer the business suiter compartment to meet the demands of business travelers. This compartment is separate from the main packing department of the Mobile Travelers and can accommodate up to two hanging suits.

Hartmann develops a partnership with the acclaimed New York accessories designers Lambertson Truex to update current products and design new, stylish collections for the next century.


Hartmann celebrates its 125th Anniversary, the highlight of which, included a window display featuring vintage Hartmann product, at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street, in New York City.

Hartmann remains committed to its heritage and the consistent themes of its past, including design innovation, product performance, and quality craftsmanship, which are the ongoing inspiration for its new products like the Oxford Weave fabric in the Wings® Collection.


Recommitted to its heritage of true craftsmanship, Hartmann brings back American made, vegetable tanned leather and high performance components. Additionally, the brand undergoes a redesign and emerges with a new identity and tagline. “Since 1877.”

In 2014 The first Hartmann flagship opened in New York City.