Onboard one-to-one storage system: Where the Vikings succeeded but we failed

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The Vikings were indeed a resourceful bunch. While modern air transportation, with its shambolic overhead bin system, is a seat of confusion and disorder, Vikings, of the late 8th to 11th centuries, had already conceived a way of implementing one-to-one storage on board their ships.

When 30 stout Vikings sat themselves down on deck, there was hardly ever any place left for luggage. Consequently, they devised an innovative on board storage system, in which their chests actually doubled as seats. With their unique multipurpose, space-saving credentials, these Viking crates are unlike any we have ever come across. They would carry the trunks with them, and while on board the ship, they would nail them down at their respective rowing positions on the deck. The chests were designed accordingly, to serve their purposes as both storage unit and seating.

Several such Viking coffers have been salvaged over the years, to offer us some insights on the specific aspects of their utilitarian design. These are basic wooden chests, of a somewhat rectangular shape. The tops are slightly curved, as a way of re-directing the water on deck. The minimal polished finish of the lid provides a relatively smooth surface to sit on. The slightly slanted sides of the trunks actually impart greater balance and stability, while facing the undulating waves of the sea. The raised base in fact ensures that the luggage stored inside the chest remains dry throughout. The following picture shows the actual oak trunk that was recovered from a salvaged 800 A.D. Viking ship called the Oseberg.

The highly functional, yet compact design of the Viking chest allows optimal utilization of available space. And when it comes to modern air travel, it is surely high time that we replace the nuisance of overhead bins with a more advanced and practical one-to-one on board storage system.

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Via: Core77

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