Joseph Trojanek was born June 1, 1893 in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. His parents, Ferdinand and Caroline were born in the United States. His grandparents Frantisek and Annie Trojanek came from Novosedly, Bohemia in 1854. Around 1911 he worked in the shops of Dodson, Fisher and Brockman where he learned the leather business, making saddles and harnesses. He remained there for four years. He then went to work for the Minneapolis Trunk Company where he learned the manufacturing of luggage and trunks. About the age of 21 he went to Eau Claire, Wisconsin and went to work at the Eau Claire Trunk Company as factory superintendent. This is about the time that he changed his name to Tronick from Trojanek. He always felt that Tronick went better with Trunks. He entered the Army as a member of the Eighty Sixth Division stationed at Camp Grant near Chicago during World War I. His ability to work with leather became known, thus he was made part of Headquarters Company at Camp Grant as a saddlerly sergeant. In 1919 Dependable Baggage Company was built in Stanley, Wisconsin and Joseph was factory superintendent. The first night in Stanley a cyclone blew the roof off the Trunk Factory, thus he acquired the nickname "Cyclone Joe". About this time he got an idea to make automobile trunks. He worked on this idea secretly at home. In 1923 the Tronick Tourist Trunk was put on the market. It was a successful product and he was proud of the fact that he had sold product as far away as Norway. In 1923 after a series of fires the factory was reorganized as the Stanley Baggage Company. His advertising was somewhat innovative. Just before you came into Stanley there were a series of signs that read as follows: Touring is the bunk, without a Tronick Trunk; So you're lucky now to be, where they install them free. In 1932 during the great depression automobiles were being built with trunks as part of the car. Also, the government had started the Civilian Conservation Camps, better known as the CCC Camps. He felt there was need for for these young men to have foot lockers, so he developed one. He had several designs that he eventually manufactured. This turned out to be one great idea. These were rough years. Mr. Tronick never lost his optimism. He would hunt in the fall and winter and fish in the summer. In 1933 the Stanley Baggage Company was changed to the Tronick-McKenize Company. During WWII Mr. Tronick took orders for trunks for the government. His ideas kept quite a number of people working during the 1920s, through the depression, and into the 1940s. Family vacations with his wife Olga and five children continued on Prairie Lake in Chetek, Wisconsin. Later they would buy a cottage on Lake Pokegama, Chetek, Wisconsin. In 1946 the Tronick Trunk Company was relocated from Stanley to Chetek, Wisconsin because of Mr. Tronick's love for fishing During this period of time the Tronick Tackler Nonsinkable Tackle box was invented and manufactured, along with the Badger Shooting Kits. Joseph Tronick died August 24, 1967 in Chetek, Wisconsin. His wife, Olga, died January 27, 1978. All five of their children are still living.
Thanks to Juanita Tronick Dineen for keeping her father's memories
(Joseph J. Tronick) alive so that his history can be shared with others.