Messenger bag is a style of bag, originally designed to carry mail messages. It comes with a long belt to be worn across the body or shoulder, and can be designed in a wide range of materials. More often than not, the sack of messenger bags is made of fabric, but leather and plastic variations are also quite common.
A Brief History of Messenger Bag
Messenger bags also go through a handful of other names, including travel and courier bags. They were also initially used to carry letters and other mailings, even as early as in ancient times. Among others, bike messengers and Pony Express staff were the first to carry messenger bags. And today in the UK, some couriers from the Royal Mail used oversized messenger bags bags instead of regular messenger bags.
The first modern messenger bag was actually the bag used by utility linemen in the 1950s. It was designed by the De Martini Global Canvas Company and its purpose was to accommodate all the tools that were needed by linemen when going up electricity poles to fix them. The initial messenger bag was made of cotton fabric and lined with a waterproof fabric. The shoulder strap was also made of cotton and webbed, closed bag with two straps and also had a pocket inside for bills. These bags were not sold in stores, but issued to and by various courier companies based in New York.
Globe Canvas was the main supplier of this bag for most of these companies in New York during the 70s and 80s Back then, messengers received their bags from their employers and it showed who worked for whom only by the color of their bag. The De Martini bag received a facelift in 1984 when John Peters first made it nylon and added binding and buckles and light-reflecting stripes. And so, with these simple additions, the fashion madness for messenger bags begun. It is worth noting that before these bags made specifically for cyclists emerged, fashion brands make similar products modeled after map case bags used by the military. They have been in use for over a hundred years.