US 2341104 A
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Feb. 8, 1944. s. KLEBER 2,341,104
- FOLDING SUITCASE Filed April 10, 1943 Q i I BY M "r ns wk r/vs .nrss.
Patented Feb. 8, 1944 FOLDING sUrrcAsn Samuel L. Kleber, Pittsburgh, Pa., assignor to Kleber T'runk& Bag Company, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Application April 10, 1943, Serial No. 482,531
hung in it full length, which protects the gar-V.
ments from dust when the case is open, which carries garments without wrinkling them, which has a shoe compartment inside, and which has luggage pockets on the outside of the case.
In accordance with this invention, my suitcase has a rigid rectangular top wall to the top of which a carrying handle is attached. A pair of side walls, preferably made from a non-rigid material such as fabric, are hinged at their tops to the opposite sides of the top wall. The end walls and bottom wall which are secured to the ends and bottom of the sidewalls are rigid so that the case has a rigid frame and is strong and durable. These end and bottom walls 3 are divided lengthwise into half-sections to'permit the case to be opened so that the side walls can be swung out into a common plane in which they are connected by the top wall. A ring or the like is attached to the outside of one of the bottom wall sections for hanging up the case after it has been opened. In the upper end of the open case there is a support for clothes hangers on which suits, coats, and other garments can be hung. As the garments can ex-z tend down into the lower half section of the case, they can be hung out full length or substantially so. -To protect the garments when the case is open and to help hold them in place when the case is closed, a flexible curtain is hung from the upper end of the open case. When the case is closed, straps connected to the end portions of the top wall and extending across the outside of the curtain support the por tion of the curtain adjacent the top wall. will be seen that when the closed case is standing on its bottom the garments therein will extend from the hangers upwardly in one half of the case and over the straps and then downwardly in the other half of the case. The part of the curtain engaged by the straps is preferably stiffened transversely by a bar that is fastened across it to further aid in keeping the garments from wrinkling. The, two sections of by a flexible partition in. the lowerend of the,
opencase. To provide space for clothing and other articles that do not need to be hung on hangers, and to make it unnecessary to crowd them into the interior of the suitcase, pockets are formed on the outside of the wall of the case.
' The preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated inthe accompanying drawing in which Fig. l is a perspective view of my suitcase; Fig. 2 is a view of the open side of the case after it has been opened and hung up; Fig. 3 is a side view of the open case; .and Fig. 4 is an enlarged vertical section through the folded or closed case.
Referring to Figs. 1 and 4 of the drawing, the closed suitcase is of the usual box-like shape defined by rectangular walls. The top wall I of the case is a rigid member which may be made from plywood. The ends of this wall turn down a short distance to form vertical flanges twhich may be covered with leather to increase the wearing qualities of the case and to enhance its appearance. The rest of the top preferably is covered by a suitable long-wearing fabric,.such as colored twill or duck. Attached to the central portion of the top is a leather handle 3 by which the case'may be carried.
The cases end walls 5 and the bottom walls 6 (Fig. 4) joined thereto are made from a rigid material, such as fabric-covered plywood, which, with the top wall, form a rigid rectangular frame for the case. The upper end of the end walls extend up behind flanges 2 by which they are protected and prevented from bulging outwardly when the case is closed. The two side walls '5 of the case need not be rigid, and therefore to decrease the weight of the case they preferably are made from fabric stretched over sheets of stifiening material, such as cardboard. The ends and bottoms of the side walls are secured to the adjoining edges of the end and bottom walls. The upper edges of the side walls are hinged to the opposite sides of the top wall, preferably by stitching 8, as shown in Fig. 1. The tops of the end walls and the adjoining upper corners of the side walls may be reinforced with leather.
In order to permit the suitcase to be opened, the end and bottom walls are separated longitudinally substantially along their center lines into two half-sections. At the meeting edges of the wall sections one section is provided with an integral flange I0 (Figs. 2 and 3) ,thatrpro- J'ects. behind the edge of the adjoining section which is reduced in thickness at that .pointto receive it. The two wall sections thusinterfit as shown in Fig. 4 to make the case more rigid when it is closed.
The two half-sections of the closed case are locked together by the usual suitcase looks or latches II which are mounted on the lower portions of the end walls where they are readily accessible. To prevent any tendency of the bottom wall to warp or open up, a latch I2 is connected to its central portion, as shown in Figs. 2, 3, and 4. The bottom of the case is kept off the floor by hemispherical metal buttons l3 fastened to the corners of the bottom wall. These buttons or feet extend down into a plane below,
case can be swung outwardly away from each" other to unfold and flatten out the case with the side and top walls all .-lying. in substantially the same common plane. As shown in Figs. 2 and 3, the outside of one of the bottom wall sections carries a ring by which the open case can be hung up on a hook or any other convenient support (not shown). This same wall section supports a U-shape bracket l6 inside the case for supporting hangers IT on which garments l8 can be hung. Garments supported by hangers may thus hang straight down into the lower half-section 'of the case in the same way as in a clothes closet, and therefore need not be removed from the case unless desired.
While the suitcase is open the garments are protected from dust by a flexible fabric curtain l9 suspended from the inside of the upper end of the case near its open side. The portion of the curtain hanging in front of the connecting top wall I supports a substantially rigid cross bar 2| of wood or heavy cardboard preferably mounted on the outside of the curtain. Attached to the inside of'top wall I near its ends are two sets of straps 22 positioned to extend across the outside of the curtain above and below the cross bar. These straps are detachably and adjustably connected together by snaps 23 or the like. The purpose of the straps is to support the central portion of the curtain when the case is closed so that garments hung in the case behind the curtain will be supported by it adjacent the top of the case, as shown in Fig. 4. Otherwise, they would drop down into a pile in the lower part of the'case and become wrinkled. The purpose of cross bar 2| is to prevent the curtain and straps from sagging toward the center of the straps which would permit the clothing therein to bunch up beneath the handleof the case instead of laying out flat. By having the cross car on the outside of the curtain, its edges will engage the straps if it starts to move sideways, and thereby hold the curtain in place.
A thin or shallow pocket 25 is provided in the lower half-section of the open case by attaching the side and bottom edges of a rectangular piece of fabric to the back wall. The top of the pocket may be closed by a leather tab 26 provided with a snap fastener 21. Directly below this pocket there is a fabric partition 28 the' upper edge of which is fastened to the back of the case. To provide a convenient way of detachably fastening the lower edge of the partition to the case without the use of metal fasteners, a rigid strip 29 of cardboard or wood is attached to the lower edgeof the partition and is adapted to be insertthese 1 ed between the lower end of the case and a thin rigid member 30 extending across the case directly above the lower end. The flexible partition bulges out and forms a shoe compartment in the case.
As there is little room for miscellaneous items of clothing and for toilet articles inside the case when several garments have been hung inside, and-as any attempt to pack such things inside with those garments would tend to wrinkle the latter, provision is made for carrying clothing, papers, etc., outside of the case. Accordingly, a rather large pocket 32 is formed on the outside of each side wall of the case. Each of these pockets preferably is made of a fabric material and is of the bellows type so that it will lie fiat against the case when empty but is capable of expanding considerably when necessary. Each pocket includes a flap 33 that folds down over its open top and carries straps 34 for connecting it to pacity for its size, and carries garments neatly without letting them become wrinkled. Unless it is desired to use the clothing hanging inside, the case does not need to be opened on a trip because,
the apparel needed en route can be kept in the.
According to the provisions of the patent statutes, I have explained the principle and construction of my invention and have illustrated and described what I now consider to represent its tangular top wall, a carrying handle attached to the top of said wall, a pair of side walls hinged at their tops to the opposite sides of the top wall, a pair of rigid end walls and a rigid bottom wall rigidly connected to the ends and bottom of the side walls, said end and bottom walls being divided longitudinally into half-sections whereby the side walls can be swung out into a common.
plane to openthe case into two open half-sections connected by said top wall, means attached to the outside of one of said bottom wall sections for hanging up the open case, a clothes hanger support mounted in the upper end of the open case, a flexible curtain hanging from said upper" end down into the lower half-section of the case, a substantially rigid bar fastened across the curtain in front of said connecting top wallfstraps connected to the case adjacent the ends of said bar and extending acrossthe curtain adjacent the opposite edges of said bar to support the curtain and to hold the bar against lateral movement after the case is closed, and means for detachably fastening together said two half-sections when the case is closed.
2. A folding suitcase comprisingarigid rectangular top wall, a carrying handle attached to the top of said wall, a'pair of side walls hinged at their tops to the opposite sides of the top wall, a pair of rigid end walls and a rigid bottom wall rigidly connected to.the ends and bottom of the side walls, said end and'bottom walls be;
ing divided longitudinally into half-sections whereby the side walls can .be swung out into a common plane to open the case into two open half-sections connected by said top wall, means attached to the outside of one of said bottom wall sections for hanging up the open case, a clothes hanger support mounted in the upper end of the open case, a flexible curtain hanging from said upper end down into the lower half-section of the case, a substantially rigid bar fastened across 10 the outside of the curtain in front of said connecting top wall, straps connected to the end portions of said top wall and extending across the outside of the curtain adjacent the opposite edges of said bar to support the curtain and to hold the bar against lateral movement after the case is closed, and means for detachably fastening together said two half-sections when the case is closed.
SAMUEL L. KLEBER.