Steamer Rugs - 1910 Travel Guide
On some steamers steamer rugs can be hired from the purser at a charge of $1.00 for the voyage. It is not safe, however, to depend on getting a rug in this way unless the company acknowledges the receipt of the order in advance and states that the rug can be furnisbed. Rugs are very cheap abroad and make acceptable presents. Silk rugs have little warmth.
They are such robes or rugs as are familiarly used in carriages and automobiles, or upon proches or steamers, or upon invalid chairs or couches, and are generally known as lap robes, carriage or auto rugs, or as travelling or steamer rugs. They differ in use and character from ordinary bed blankets, and are only exceptionally used upon beds in place of these.
Since 1859, when the question arose in regard to the classification of traveling rugs as between “blankets” and “manufactures of wool,” the proper classification of these articles has been occasionally the subject of discussion in the Treasury Department.
In 1806 and 1809 the department decided that they should be classified as manufactures of wool not otherwise provided for. A similar decision seems to have been made in 1870.
In 1888 the department decided to modify its previous rulings, and to concede that these articles should be classed as rugs, upon the ground that they were such both under the comprehension and the commercial significations of the word. The only testimony in the record in regard to commercial designation, and which was given for the purpose of distinguishing the importations from shawls, was from a witness who said that they were always and prior to March, 1883, bought and sold by the name of “traveling rugs,” and that he had never heard them called “shawls.”
Lap Robes—Steamer Rugs. Woven woolen spreads of mixed colors, some with fringed ends and some with hound edges, used to cover the legs and bodies in automobiles, on couches, in carriages, at seacoast resorts, and in hospitals and sanitariums, are not dutiable under paragraph 289, tariff act of 1913 as blankets. Their classification as woolen manufactures, paragraph 288, is affirmed.
See Treasury Decisions Under Customs and Other Laws, Volume 32, P. 628-633 By United States. Department of the Treasury, (Riley & Co. v. United States (No. 1800) T.D. 37225