Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3330389 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 11, 1967
Filing dateApr 6, 1965
Priority dateApr 6, 1965
Publication numberUS 3330389 A, US 3330389A, US-A-3330389, US3330389 A, US3330389A
InventorsArnold Kaplan
Original AssigneeArnold Kaplan
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Luggage case
US 3330389 A
Images(6)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 11, 1967 A. KAPLAN 3,330,389

LUGGAGE CASE Filed April 6, 1965 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. ARNOLD KAPLAN il w wa ATTORNEY J ly 1967 A. KAPLAN 3,330,339

LUGGAGE CASE Filed April 6, 1965 6 Sheets-Sheet INVENTOR. ARNOLD KAPLJN ATTORNE Y July 11, 1967 A. KAPLAN 3,330,389

LUGGAGE CASE Filed April 6, 1965 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 INVENTOR. ARNOLD KlPLA/V United States Patent 3,330,389 LUGGAGE CASE Arnold Kaplan, 1319 Auerbach Ave., Hewlett Harbor, N.Y. 11557 Filed Apr. 6, 1965, Ser. No. 446,020 37 Claims. (Cl. 190-49) This invention relates to luggage cases and more particularly to improved frame members therefor.

In the luggage case prior art, there are included many examples of one-piece extruded frame members. The frames used have not been entirely satisfactory from several standpoints and at best :have imposed unnecessary limitations on the configuration of the case. Manufacturers utilizing one-piece frame construction had the choice of notching the frame to a sharp, miter-type joint at the corners, or alternatively using a generous radius at the corners. Both of these choices have severe drawbacks that are overcome by the present invention.

Considering the first alternative made available by the prior art, it is evident that the metal extrusion had to be carefully heat treated within a very close and specific range in order to provide structural soundness when the frame is notched. This is an additional step which involves extra costs and extra handling. The incidence of rejection of parts is also a factor in adding to the cost of the unit. Moreover, even after the frame is properly notched and bent, it is still necessary to mask the mitertype corner in some way. Thus the designer is presented with additional problems pertaining to the esthetic appeal of the luggage. Additionally, cutting and removing portions of the extruded frame tends to structurally weaken it to the point where the luggage is susceptible to damage from rough handling.

The second alternative available to the luggage manufacturer is to generously round the corners in order to avoid cutting and/or notching the frame. There are of course practical limitations to how small a radius can be formed. For a given standard size of luggage, generously rounding the corners means that the interior dimension will be reduced. This is a serious drawback, particularly where suits or coats are carried in the luggage because there will be a tendency to crush and wrinkle the shoulders. Of course, one way to avoid this is to make the entire piece of luggage wider but this is obviously an undesirable expediency.

By way of contrast, the present invention provides multisection frame members wherein the straight top, bottom and sides are metal extrusions and the corners are each preformed separate castings. The corners and sides are provided with interlocking means whereby they may readily be snapped together and securely held by swaging, adhesives or welding. The corners may be as sharp as desired and yet no strength characteristics are sacrificed. The short sections comprising the top, bottom and sides are much easier to handle than the long continuous frame section of the prior art. No special treatment of the metal is required prior to assembly. Accordingly, since no machining is required on the extruded or cast members, the rejection rate of the members is substantially reduced. In addition, unsightly corner joints do not have to be disguised and the luggage case need not be made unnecessarily large.

The present invention provides improved corner construction for both a top opening and bottom opening luggage case. For both types of cases the description and drawings will be directed towards hard shell luggage as opposed to the soft sided, flight bag type, but it should be understood that the invention is not limited thereto. For both types of luggage, the support frame for the two side shells is of multisection construction and includes "ice lengths of extruded members which interlock with cast corner pieces. In the bottom opening piece of luggage, comparable to the aforementioned flight bag, waterproofing boots are included at the ends of the flexible hinge on the top of the case.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide improved frame construction in a luggage case.

Another object is to provide improved frame construction for soft and hard sided luggage cases.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide a lugage case frame of multisectioned construction.

A further object is to provide a luggage case wherein the frame therefor is comprised of cast metal corner sections and extruded metal sections connected thereto.

Another object is to provide a multisectioned frame construction for luggage cases wherein the sections interlock by snapping together.

A still further object is to provide luggage case frame construction wherein the corners are relatively sharp.

These and other features, objects and advantages of the invention will, in part, be pointed out with particularity and will in part, become obvious from the following more detailed description of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing which forms an integral part thereof.

In the various figures of the drawing like reference characters designate like parts.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a prior art piece of luggage of the bottom opening type.

FIG. 1A is a pictorial view of the prior art device of FIG. 1 in the opened condition.

FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of the present invention as embodied in a top opening luggage case;

FIG. 2A is a bottom plan view of the luggage of FIG. 2;

FIG. 2B is a pictorial view of the FIG. 2 luggage case in the opened position;

FIG. 3 is a pictorial View of the present invention as embodied in a bottom opening luggage case;

FIG. 3A is a bottom plan view of the luggage of FIG. 3;

FIG. 3B is a pictorial view of the FIG. 3 luggage case in the opened position;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation view of one side of the closure panel taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary plan view taken along line 66 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional elevation view taken along line 77 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevation view of the side of the closure panel opposite to and mating with that of FIG. 5, the view being taken along line 88 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary plan view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary sectional elevation view taken along line Ill-1t) of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevation view of another male corner member taken along line 1111 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary side elevation view taken along line 1212 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary sectional elevation view taken along line 1313 of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevation view of another female corner member taken along line 1414 of FIG. 2;

FIG. is a fragmentary side elevation view taken along line 15-15 of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary sectional elevation view taken along line 16-16 of FIG. 15;

. FIG. 17 is a transverse sectional elevational view taken through mating frame members in the vicinity of a lock;

FIG. 18 is a transverse sectional elevational view illustrating a typical arrangement of the opposed frame members along a side at the bottom of the case intermediate two corners.

FIGS. 19 and 20 are exploded pictorial views of the members comprising the female and male portions of the luggage case; and

FIG. 21 is a typical sectional view through a male frame member showing means to retain the luggage liner.

Referring now to the drawing and in particular to FIG. 1 and FIG. 1A, there is shown a typical example of the prior art known commonly as a flight bag. Reference character 10 denotes the bag in general. Bag 10 is comprised of 'side sections 12 and 14, as well as trans 'verse central portion 16 having an integral handle 18. The

bag usually is soft sided being made of a fabric, but, as will be explained hereinafter, the sides may be rigid and the transverse, central portion will still serve as a hinge if it is flexible. In order to use the bag side sections 12 and 14 are separated so that the opposed faces thereof lie flat and face upwardly. The sections are then continuous and can accept a number of full length garments up to the thickness of one of the sections. Usually a continuous, zippered panel 20 is provided on the two opposed inner faces of the side sections so that the clothing may be fully covered and protected.

After the bag is filled, side sections 12 and 14 are brought together as shown in FIG. 1. It will be seen, however, that the outside ends 22 of central portion 16 tend to bunch inwardly causing the clothing therein to be wrinkled. While the bunching and resulting wrinkling have long been recognized as a problem and a shortcoming of the bag, it was hitherto felt to be unavoidable inasmuch as the inside had to be maintained as watertight as possible. The present invention teaches means for providing an internal boot that maintains the inside of the luggage substantially watertight and yet does not wrinkle the clothes inside. An outer, openable flap is also provided.

FIG. 3 and FIG. 3B will be used to illustrate only the improved boot feature of the present invention. Other important features of construction, applicable to FIG. 3 will be discussed hereinafter With respect to the FIG. 2 embodiment in order to simplify the description.

Luggage case 30, illustrated in FIGS. 3, 3A and 3B, is of the bottom opening, hard shell type. It should be understood, however, that the improved boot feature now to be described may be used with equal facility on a soft sided case. Side sections or panels 32 and 34 are each concave in cross section and are provided with inwardly depending, peripheral flange portions 36 and 38, respectively, along the three edges thereof. Matingly opposed frame members 40 and 42, to be described more fully hereinafter, are secured to their respective flange portions to provide closure means for the luggage case.

Flexible hinge member 44 i suitably fastened to the upper end of shells 32 and 34 by means of a peripheral welt 46. The hinge is therefore in the form of an inverted U defined by a central transverse portion 48 which includes handle 50 and downwardly depending transverse faces 52 and 54. The abutment of faces 50 and 52 and the nonfianged edges of shells 32 and 34 is concealed by the peripheral welt. Both the outer ends of the hinge central portion 48 are provided with a downwardly depending inner flap or boot 56 which substantially covers the space between the ends of transverse faces 52 and 54. In addition, upwardly and inwardly depending outer flaps 58 are also provided and are positioned such that they completely enclose the ends of the hinge by extending 4 between faces 52 and 54. Flaps 56 and 58 are both secured to each side of the hinge by welts 60, it being noted that welt 60 joins one end of each flap 56 to the ends of transverse hinge portion 48. Welt 60 also joins the side edges of flap 58 to the opposed ends of hinge faces 52 and 54.

As best shown in FIG. 3B, outer flaps 58 are each provided with a bisecting zipper 62, there being further provided a snap fastener 64 at the unattached end of each flap so that they may be releasably secured to mating fasteners on transverse portion 48. Clip 66, integral with the end of zipper 62, is adapted to releasably mate with a lock 68 secured to the side frame of the luggage case. Thus it will be seen that with the zipper unlocked and open, outer flaps .58 will bend and spread apart when the case is opened. When the case holds a full complement of garments, inner flaps or boots 56 will serve to prevent crushing of the garment case and overlaying flaps 58 will complete a substantially watertight arrangement. Even more important is the fact that the outer flaps are partially separable. Whereas in the prior art, the comparable portion of the bag was made of one extra long piece to permit full opening, the present invention permits the bag to lay flat when it is open because flap 58 separates along a central line defined by the zipper. When the case is closed, the flap will not bulge inwardly to wrinkle the clothes because it is no longer than it has to be to permit full opening. 7

The opposed frame members mentioned hereinabove may best be described in connection with the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2, 2A, 2B and FIGS. 4-l8. In the second embodiment, top opening luggage case 70 is comprised of su-bstanliatly identical shells 72 and 74 joined to each other by means of hinges 75. Hanger means 77 may be provided on the inside of the case and bumpers 79 included on the bottom of the case. Each of the shells have four inwardly directed, peripheral flanges 76a-76d and 7811-7811, respectively. Male frame member 40 is secured to flanges 76a-76d and female frame member 42 having a handle 43 is secured to flanges 78a-78d (FIG. 2B) in a manner now to be described.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged transverse section illustrating the cross sectional configuration and relationship of frame members 40 and 42 in the fully assembled condition. The cross section shown in FIG. 4 is typical for any point in the frame assembly between the corner members.

Frame member 40 is comprised of a wall member 80 from which depends a peripheral, outwardly facing longitudinal head 82 having a groove 84 therein. Bumper 86 is disposed within the groove and is adapted to protect the surface of the luggage since it projects outwardly therefrom. To capture the bumper, the sides of groove 84 are deformed inwardly at a point above the centerline of the bumper. A first ledge 88 extends substantially perpendicular from approximately the midpoint of wall member 80, the ledge being provided with a plurality of teeth 90 on the upper surface thereof and a shallow recess 92 on the lower surface thereof. Second ledge 94 extends outwardly from wall 80 intermediate the end thereof and ledge 88. Upturned end 96 together with first and second ledges 88 and 94 as well as a portion of wall 80 define a keyway, the function of which will be described hereinafter in conjunction with the corner assembly. The lower end and inner side of wall 80 is formed with a V-shaped rib 98 projecting towards the center of the luggage.

Frame member 40 is advantageously formed by the continuous extrusion of a lightweight metal. Prior to assembly, the underside of bead 82 diverges slightly away from the upper surface of ledge 88 so that flange 76a of shell 72, for example, may be placed therebetween. The bead and the ledge are crimped causing teeth 90 to bite into ledge 88 thus preventing the flange 76a from separating from frame member 40.

Female frame member 42, which would also be produced by continuous extrusion of the same lightweight metal as frame member comprises a vertical wall .180 adapted to be in abutting, confronting relationship with wall when the luggage case is closed. Outwardly facing V-shaped track 102 is positioned at the bottom of wall 10!) whereby it mates with V-shaped rib 98 on frame member 40. The abutting walls and the nesting rib and track of each frame member assures that the case will closely tightly all around whereby the interior of the case will be protected from water.

Frame member 42 further comprises a central portion 164 integral with and depending perpendicularly from the uppermost portion of Wall 100. Central portion 184 is provided with a shallow recess 105 in which there is permanently secured a decorative cover strip 108. Bead having a longitudinal grove 112 dimensioned to receive bumper 114 complements head 82 and bumper 86 in frame member 41), so that in the closed position of the case, the frame member is symmertical about central portion 104. Bumper 1.14 is also captured within groove 112 in the same manner as bumper 86.

Bead 110 has depending therefrom a short vertical wall 116 substantially parallel to and spaced from wall 109. Integral with the bottom of wall 116 and extending outwardly from the center of the case is a first ledge 118 having a plurality of teeth 120 formed on its upper surface. Teeth 1211 are similar in function and configuration to teeth 91) of ledge 88. By way of example, flange 78a of shell 74 is inserted between the initially diverging bead 110 and first ledge .118. The bead and ledge are then crimped so that teeth 120 bite into and retain flange 78a in position.

Second and third ledges 122 and 124 extend inwardly towards the center of the case from walls 116 and 180, respectively. The underside surface of central portion 104, wall 116, and second ledge 122, defines one side of the keyway while the underside surface of central portion 194, wall 108 and third ledge 124, defines the other side of the keyway. The function of the keyway will be described hereinafter in conjunction with a typical corner assembly.

The description given hereinabove is typical for all of the frame members comprising the four sides of the luggage case. FIG. 4 is typical for any point intermediate any two adjacent corners. The only structural differences among the four sides will be due to the inclusion of the handle in one side, locks in another and binge members in still another. These elements, however, are only additions and therefore the cross section of the frame members are substantially identical except for the corners.

Referring now to FlGS. 5-10, a typical upper corner installation will be described. FIGS. 5-7 particularly illustrate a typical male corner member 13% disposed between adjacent upper and side frame members 40. Corner member 131 has a substantially rectangular volume (FIG. 7) and in the assembled condition is contiguous with both adjacent side frame members. The upper surface of corner member 131), in the form of a bead 131, is provided with a longitudinal groove 132 contiguous with groove 84 and adapted to capture bumper 86. A slot 134 is also provided in corner member whereby flange 76a of shell 72 may be secured (FIG. 7). It may best be seen in FIG. 6 that frame members 48 and corner member 139 appear to be a single continuous piece.

Corner member 130 is secured to adjacent frame members by means of a tongue extending from each of the ends thereof. In FIG. 5, it will be seen that tongue 136 extends horizontally from the lefthand end face of corner member 130 and tongue 138 extends vertically downward from the righthand bottom surface of corner member 130. Referring once again to FIG. 4, tongue 136, by way of example, is shown disposed within the keyway defined by recess 92 in the underside of first ledge 88, a portion of wall 101), second ledge 94 and upturned end 96 of ledge 94. The tongue is secured in the keyway by means of a staking operation the force of which is applied upwardly against ledge 94 in the direction indicated by the arrow. Alternatively, adhesive may be used for this purpose, or, if the mating members are aluminum, they may be welded. Slotted post 140 is included in the corner casting and is adapted to releasably engage a latching mechanism L (FIG. 17).

The comparable female corner member is illustrated in FIGS. 8-10. Bead 152 (FIG. 10) is substantially the same in cross section as bead 119 of frame member 42. Further, a longitudinal groove 154 is provided to accommodate and capture bumper 114. Thus in the assembled condition, corner member 150 appears to be a continuation of frame member 42. As in the case of the male corner member, a slot 155 is provided in female corner member 150 whereby flange 78a of shell 74 may be secured (FIG. 10). By means of stepped down central portion 156, provision is made for a latching member which is secured thereto by suitable fasteners positioned in apertures 158. A typical latch L that may be employed in cooperation with post 140 is shown in phantom in FIG. 17.

Corner member 150 also in the form of a metal cas ing is provided with suitable tongues at each end where by it may be inconspicuously joined to frame members 42. Since corner member 150 is much wider than corner member 130, a T-shaped tongue is provided at each end. As best illustrated in FIG. 9 and FIG. 10, tongue 16!) extends horizontally from the righthand end face of corner member 150 and tongue 162 extends vertically downward from the left-hand bottom surface of the cover member. FIG. 4 illustrates the assembled condition of the aforementioned tongues. The keyway defined by the undersurface of central portion 104, a portion of Wall 100 and third ledge 124, accommodates one side of tongue while the keyway defined by the undersurface of central portion 104, wall 116 and second ledge 122 accommodates the other side of tongue 161). Central portion 161 of tongue 160 fits in between the opposed ends of ledges 122 and 124 (FIG. 4). The central, enlarged thickness of tongue 160 is swaged in the direction of the arrow so that the side portion thereof is spread laterally thus locking the corner member to the frame. This type of cross sectional configuration provides increased ruggedness and durability as opposed to two separate parallel tongues with no central portion. The two separate types of tongue construction were found to be inherently weak and had a tendency to fracture. The foregoing is by way of example, it being understood that the same arrangement is provided for tongue 162 which has a thickened central portion 163. The central portion is swaged to cause tongue portion 16-2 to be displaced laterally, as shown in FIG. 10.

The cast bottom corner members function in substantially the same manner as the upper corner members. However, since no latches are required at the bottom of the particular case illustrated, the corner members may be substantially shorter and the mating frame members correspondingly longer. FIGS. 11-13 illustrate a typical bottom edge corner member 176. Once again, a bead 172 is provided with a groove 174 adapted to capture bumper 86. With the corner member in place, a continuous appearance is achieved together with the adjacent frame members.

Male corner member (FIG. 11) is provided with two tongues 176 and 178. Tongue 176 extends horizontally from the lower part of the lefthand face of corner member 178 and tongue 178 extends vertically from the righthand side of the corner member upper face.

Female corner member 180 (FIG. 14) is also provided with a groove 182 in bead 184 to capture bumper 114. In the particular corner illustrated, there are two tongues 1'86 and 188, each having a thickened central portion 187 and 189, respectively, to define a T-shaped cross sectioned configuration. The tongues of both male and female corners at the bottom corners of the case fit into keyways in the frame members 42 in the same manner as described in conjunction with the upper corners.

The manner in which the frame segments are assembled is illustrated in FIG. 19 and FIG. 20. Disregarding the configuration of each section, it will be seen that each cast corner member is provided with a tongue at each end. Each extruded member has a mating keyway at each end. Thus it is a simple matter to assemble the various members as shown and secure them by any of the aforementioned methods.

FIG. 21 is a typical cross section through one of the male frame members. A fabric inner liner 190 is provided with a fiberboard stiffening member 192 and is inserted between first and second ledge-s 88 and 94 of male frame member 40. This feature was omitted from the showing in FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 in the interest of clarity. Since 'the tongue and keyway configuration occurs only proximate the corners of the frame members at the juncture of the cast and extruded components, a clip 1-94 is utilized to secure the liner to the male frame member. A suitable adhesive may be used to secure the liner to the female member but such an expedient is not available with the male member since the bonding surface is not large enough.

Clip 194 is an extruded, rigid plastic in the form of a U defined by a first leg 196 and a second leg 198 having an enlarged end. After the liner and stiffening member are inserted between ledges 88 and 94, the clip is snapped onto ledge 94 such that enlarged end 198 abuts the liner. A dual purpose is thereby served. The clip not only retains the liner in place but also conceals crimp marks and the bare edge of the liner.

There has been described hereinbefore an improved frame construction applicable to both top and bottom opening luggage as well as to soft and hard sided luggage. The multisection construction using straight extruded sections and cast right angle corner members successfully avoids the shortcomings of the prior art devices. The corners may be made as sharp as desired thus assuring maximum useful usage of the interior dimensions without adding unnecessarily to the exterior dimensions. The frame sections need no longer be heat treated to provide strength nor do they have to be machined to achieve square corners. Assembly is done merely by interlocking the various sections together and in addition, since the sections are each relatively short their handling is much easier.

As an additional feature on the bottom opening luggage case, an improved hinge member is provided. The inclusion of the inner boot assures that the clothes contained therein will not be wrinkled. The inclusion of the openable outer flap completes the end sealing of the flexible hinge and also permits the bag to be opened to the fiat condition without requiring an extra long filler piece which would tend to wrinkle the clothes when the bag is closed. It should be noted that the inner boot and openable outer flap arrangement may also be used advantageously on either hard or soft sided luggage cases having the improved frame described herein or the prior art one-piece frame.

There has been disclosed heretofore the best embodiments of the invention presently contemplated and it is to be understood that various changes and modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A luggage case comprising, in combination:

(a) two concave shells hingedly secured to each other whereby, in the closed condition, said shells define a hollow compartment having opposed sets of peripheral edges;

(b) first and second opposed, multisectioned frame members secured to said peripheral edges of each of said shells, each of said frame members comprising: (1) a plurality of elongated, substantially rigid, straight sections secured to the opposing edges of each of said shells intermediate at least three of the corners thereof,

(2) a rigid, right angle section secured at said corner edges of each of said shells to opposed ends of each pair of adjacent straight sections said straight sections and right angle sections being contiguous when assembled to define, in combination, a continuous frame member wherein each section of said continuous member is provided with a substantially U-shaped, outwardly facing groove on the outer surface thereof, the grooves beingcontiguous in the assembled condition;

(c) a resilient bumper disposed within the groove, the

outer end of the groove being narrower than the inner end whereby said bumper is captured therein;

(d) closure'means to releasably secure said shells to each other; and

(e) at least one hinge member joining the lowermost edge of each of said shells and an external handle member secured to one of said shells, said frame members being secured to all said edges of each of said shells.

2. A luggage case comprising, in combination:

(a) two concave shells hingedly secured to each other whereby, in the closed condition, said shells define a hollow compartment having opposed sets of peripheral edges;

(b) first and second opposed, multisectioned frame members secured to said peripheral edges of each of said shells, each of said frame members comprising:

( 1) a plurality of elongated, substantially rigid, straight sections secured to the opposing edges of each of said shells intermediate at least three of the corners thereof,

( 2) a rigid, right angle section secured at said corner edges of each of said shells to opposed ends of each pair of adjacent straight sections said straight sections and right angle sections being contiguous when assembled to define, in combination, a continuous frame member wherein said first frame is a male member having a longitudinal convexridge extending at least a portion of the entire length thereof and wherein said second frame is a female member having a longitudinal concave depression extending at least a portion of the entire length thereof, said ridge and depression of said first and second frame members, respectively, being adapted to nestingly fit together in the closed condition of said luggage case;

(c) closure means to releasably secure said shells to each other; and

(d) at least one hinge member joining the lowermost edge of eachof said shells and an external handle member secured to one of said shells, said frame members being secured to all said edges of each of said shells.

3. A luggage case comprising, in combination:

(a) two concave shells hingedly secured to each other whereby, in the closed condition, said shells define a hollow compartment having opposed sets of peripheral edges;

(b) first and second opposed, multisectioned frame members secured to said peripheral edges of each of said shells, each of said frame members comprismg:

(1) a plurality. of elongated, substantially rigid, straight sections secured to the opposing edges of each of said shells intermediate at least three of the corners thereof,

(2) a rigid, right angle section secured at said corner edges of each of said shells to opposed ends of each pair of adjacent straight sections said straight sections and right angle sections being contiguous when assembled to define, in combination, a continuous frame member wherein said first and second frame members have different Widths, the wider of said two frame members including a latch, the narrower of said frame members including means to engage said latch, the combination of said latch and latch-engaging means defining said closure means;

(c) closure means to releasably secure said shells to each other; and

(d) at least one hinge member joining the lowermost edge of each of said shells and an external handle member secured to one of said shells, said frame members being secured to all said edge of each of said shells.

4. A luggage case comprising, in combination:

(a) two concave shells hingedly secured to each other whereby, in the closed condition, said shells define a hollow compartment having opposed sets of peripheral edges;

(b) first and second opposed, multisectioned frame members secured to said peripheral edges of each of said shells, each of said frame members comprising:

(1) a plurality of elongated, substantially rigid, straight sections secured to the opposing edges of each of said shells intermediate at least three of the corners thereof,

(2) a rigid, right angle section secured at said corner edges of each of said shells to opposed ends of each pair of adjacent straight sections said straight sections and right angle sections being continguous when assembled to define, in combination, a continuous frame member wherein said right angle sections are defined by first and second tongue members extending outwardly therefrom along an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of said straight sections, said first and second tongue members being in planes mutually perpendicular to each other whereby, in the assembled condition, said first tongue member is in the plane of one of said straight sections and said second tongue member, at right angles thereto, is in the plane of another adjacent one of said straight sections, and said right angle sections in said first frame member are male sections and said right angle sections in said second frame member are female sections, said tongues of said male and female right angle sections having different widths whereby said wider tongues are adapted to mate with the keyway of said wider straight sections and said narrower tongues are adapted to mate with said narrower straight sections;

(c) closure means to releasably secure said shells to each other; and

(d) at least one hinge member joining the lowermost edge of each of said shells and an external handle member secured to one of said shells, said frame members being secured to all said edges of each of said shells.

5. A luggage case comprising, in combination:

(a) two concave shells hingedly secured to each other whereby, in the closed condition, said shells define a hollow compartment having opposed sets of peripheral edges;

(b) first and second opposed, multisectioned frame members secured to said peripheral edge of each of said shells, each of said frame members compris- (1) a plurality of elongated, substantially rigid, straight sections secured to the opposing edges of each of said shells intermediate at least three of the corners thereof,

(2) a rigid, right angle section secured at said corner edges of each of said shells to opposed ends of each pair of adjacent straight sections said straight sections and right angle sections being contiguous when assembled to define, in combination, a continuous frame member;

(0) at least one hinge member joining the uppermost edges of each of said shells and an external handle member secured to said hinge member, said frame members being secured to the remaining edges of each of said shells; and

(d) closure means to releasably secure said shells to each other.

6. An improved frame member for a luggage case having two concave shells hingedly secured to each other whereby the edges of the shells are in opposition to each other to define a hollow compartment in the closed condition, the luggage case further including closure means to releasably secure the shells to each other, said improvement comprising:

(a) a plurality of elongated, substantially rigid, straight sections secured to the opposing edges of each of said shells intermediate at least three of the corners thereof; and

(b) a rigid, right angle section secured at said corner edges of each of said shells to opposed ends of each pair of adjacent straight sections, said straight sections and right angle sections being contiguous when assembled to define, in combination, a continuous frame member; wherein each section of said frame members is provided with a substantially U-shaped, outwardly facing groove on the outer surface thereof, the grooves being contiguous in the assembled condition, there being further provided a resilient bumper disposed within the groove, the outer end of the groove being narrower than the inner end whereby said bumper is captured therein.

7. An improved frame member for a luggage case hav ing two concave shells hingedly secured to each other whereby the edges of the shells are in opposition to each other to define a hollow compartment in the closed condi tion, the luggage case further including closure means to releasably secure the shells to each other, said improvement comprising:

(a) a plurality of elongated, substantially rigid, straight sections secured to the opposing edges of each of said shells intermediate at least three of the corners thereof; and

(b) a rigid, right angle section secured at said corner edges of each of said shells to opposed ends of each pair of adjacent straight sections, said straight sections and right angle sections being contiguous when assembled to define, in combination, a continuous frame member; wherein said first frame is a male member having a longitudinal convex ridge extending at least a portion of the entire length thereof and wherein said second frame is a female member having a longitudinal concave depression extending at least a portion of the entire length thereof, said ridge and depression of said first and second frame members, resepctively, being adapted to nestingly fit to gether in the closed condition of said luggage case.

8. An improved frame member for a luggage case having two concave shells hingedly secured to each other whereby the edges of the shells are in opposition to each other to define a hollow compartment in the closed condition, the luggage case further including closure means to releasably secure the shells to each other, said improvement comprising:

(a) a plurality of elongated, substantially rigid, straight sections secured to the opposing edges of each of said shells intermediate at least three of the corners thereof; and

(b) a rigid, right angle section secured at said corner edges of each of said shells to opposed ends of each pair of adjacent straight sections, said straight sections and right angle sections being contiguous when assembled to define, in combination, a continuous frame member; wherein said first and second frame 1 1 members have different widths, the wider of said two frame members including a latch, the narrower of said frame members including means to engage said latch, the combination of said latch and latch-engaging means defining said closure means.

9. An improved frame member for a luggage case having two concave shells hingedly secured to each other whereby the edges of the shells are in opposition to each other to define a hollow compartment in the closed condition, the luggage case further including closure means to releasably secure the shells to each other, said improvement comprising:

(a) a plurality of elongated, substantially rigid, straight sections secured to the opposing edges of each of said shells intermediate at least three of the corners thereof; and

(b) a rigid, right angle section secured at said corner edges of each of said shells to opposed ends of each pair of adjacent straight sections, said straight sections and right angle sections being contiguous when assembled to define, in combination, a contiguous frame member; wherein said right angle sections are defined by first and second tongue members extending outwardly therefrom along an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of said straight sections, said first and second tongue members being in planes mutually perpendicular to each other whereby, in the assembled condition, said first tongue member is in the plane of one of said straight sections and said second tongue member, at right angles thereto, is in the plane of another adjacent one of said straight sections and said right angle sections in said first frame member are male sections and said right angle sections in said second frame member are female sections, said tongues of said male and female right angle sections having different widths whereby said wider tongues are adapted to mate with the keyways of said wider straight sections and said narrower tongues are adapted to mate with said narrower straight sections.

10. The combination in accordance with claim 4 wherein said wider tongues of said right angle sections are defined by a thickened central portion, said thickened central portion being adapted to be deformed whereby the thinner side portions of said tongue will expand laterally to the longitudinal axis of said tongue to thereby lock said tongue in the keyway of said straight section.

11. The combination in accordance with claim 5 wherein each of said straight sections is provided with a keyway at each end thereof and each of said right angle sections is provided with a tongue extension at each end thereof, said tongues and keyways being adapted for an interfitting and locking relationship in the assembled condition.

12. The combination in accordance with claim 5 wherein each section of said frame members is provided with a substantially U-shaped, outwardly facing groove on the outer surface thereof, the grooves being contiguous in the assembled condition, there being further provided a resilient bumper disposed within the groove, the outer end of the groove being narrower than the inner end whereby said bumper is captured therein.

13. The combination in accordance with claim 5 wherein said first frame is a male member having a longitudinal convex ridge extending at least a portion of the entire length thereof and wherein said second frame is a female member having a longitudinal concave depression extending at least a portion of the entire length thereof, said ridge and depression of said first and second frame members, respectively, being adapted to nestingly fit together in the closed condition of said luggage case.

14. The combination in accordance with claim '5 wherein said first and second frame members have different widths, the wider of said two frame members including a latch, the narrower of said frame members including means to engage said latch, the combination of said latch and latch-engaging means defining said closure means.

15. The combination in accordance with claim 5 wherein said right angle sections are defined by first and second tongue members extending outwardly therefrom along an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of said straight sections, said first and second tongue members being in planes mutually perpendicular to each other whereby, in the assembled condition, said first tongue member is in the plane of one of said straight sections and said second tongue member, at right angles thereto, is in the plane of another adjacent one of said straight sections. a

16. The combination in accordance with claim 15 wherein said right angle sections in said first frame member are male sections and said right angle sections in said second frame member are female sections, said tongues of said male and female right angle sections having different widths whereby said wider tongues are adapted to mate with the keyways of said wider straight sections and said narrower tongues are adapted to mate with said narrower straight sections.

17. The combination in accordance with claim 16 wherein said wider tongues of said right angle sections are defined by a thickened central portion, said thickened central portion being adapted to be deformed whereby the thinner side portions of said tongue will expand laterally to the longitudinal axis of said tongue to thereby lock said tongue in the keyway of said straight section.

18. The combination in accordance with claim 5 wherein said straight sections are extrusions and said right angle sections are castings.

19. The combination in accordance with claim 5 wherein said shells are flexible.

20. The combination in accordance with claim 5 wherein said shells are rigid.

21. The combination in accordance with claim 5 wherein said hinge member is a flexible, sheet material member.

22. The combination in accordance with claim 5 wherein said hinge member is in the form of an inverted, open ended U-shaped, elongated channel having a central portion and two downwardly depeding spaced legs, the longitudinal edges of the each of said channel legs being secured to an upper edge of each of said shells, there being further included an inner flexible boot secured to and depending downwardly from each of the central end portions of said channel and a pair of openable outer flaps having side edges and a bottom edge, said flaps being secured to said channel across the open ends thereof whereby said boots are covered.

23. The combination in accordance with claim 22 wherein the side edges of said outer flaps are secured to the ends of said downwardly depending spaced legs of said channel and the bottom edge of said outer flap is secured to a portion of the top edges of said shell.

24. The combination in accordance with claim 22 wherein said outer flaps each include a zipper disposed in the plane of the longitudinal axis of said channel when said case is closed whereby said flaps may be opened and laterally spread apart when said luggage case is opened.

25. The combination in accordance with claim 22 wherein said outer flaps each include an extension adapted to overlay at least the ends of the top surface of said 7 hinge member and fastening means to secure said flap extension to the top of said hinge member.

26. The combination in accordance with claim 9 wherein said wider tongues of said right angle sections are defined by a thickened central portion, said thickened central portion being adapted to be deformed whereby the thinner side portions of said tongue will expand laterally to the longitudinal axis of said tongue to thereby lock said tongue in the keyway of said straight section.

27. The combination in accordance with claim 26 wherein said straight sections are extrusions and said right angle sections are castings.

28. A bottom-opening luggage case comprising, in combination:

(a) tWo concave shells hingedly secured to each other whereby, in the closed condition, said shells define a hollow compartment having opposed sets of peripheral edges;

(b) first and second opposed frame members secured to the peripheral edges of each of said shells;

(c) closure means to releasably secure said shells to each other;

(d) an inverted, open ended, U-shaped, elongated hinge member having a central portion and two downwardly depending spaced legs, the longitudinal edges of each of said hinge legs being secured to an upper edge of each of said shells;

(e) an inner, flexible boot secured to and depending downwardly from each of the central end portions of said hinge member; and

(f) a pair of openable, outer fiaps having side edges and a bottom edge, said flaps being secured to said hinge member across the open end thereof whereby said boots are covered.

29. The combination in accordance with claim 28 wherein said outer flaps each include a zipper disposed in the plane of the longitudinal axis of said hinge member when said luggage case is closed whereby said flaps may be opened and laterally spread apart when said luggage case is opened.

30. The combination in accordance with claim 28 wherein said outer flaps each include an extension adapted to overlay at least the ends of the top surface of said hinge member and fastening means to secure said flap extension to the top of said hinge member.

31. The combination in accordance with claim 28 wherein said hinge is a flexible sheet material member.

32. The combination in accordance with claim 28 wherein said shells are rigid.

33. The combination in accordance with claim 28 wherein said shells are flexible.

34. The combination in accordance with claim 1 including an inside liner for each of said shells, and means to secure said liners to said frame members, said liner-securing means for said straight sections of said first frame member comprising a clip, said liner-securing means for said straight sections of said second frame member comprising an adhesive.

35. The combination in accordance with claim 34 wherein said straight sections of said first frame member includes a pair of inwardly extending ledges, said liner being disposed between said ledges, said clip member being disposed intermediate said liner and one of said ledges to thereby retain said liner in place.

36. The combination in accordance with claim 35 wherein said clip member is U-shaped and defined by two spaced legs, said legs, in the assembled condition, being disposed on either side of one of said ledges whereby said liner is disposed between one of said legs and the outer of said ledges.

37. The combination in accordance with claim 34 wherein said clip member is an extruded, rigid plastic.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 943,333 12/1909 Becker 19028 2,200,972 5/1940 Stein l49 2,788,871 4/1957 Arlitt -49 3,104,740 9/1963 Kofiler 19043 FOREIGN PATENTS 550,901 9/1956 Belgium.

FRANKLIN T. GARRETT, Primary Exainmer.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US943333 *Jun 24, 1909Dec 14, 1909Benjamin F BeckerSuit-case.
US2200972 *Jun 10, 1938May 14, 1940Leo SteinCarrying case and frame structure therefor
US2788871 *Aug 26, 1955Apr 16, 1957Arlitt Jr William HReinforcing means for articles of luggage
US3104740 *Sep 15, 1960Sep 24, 1963 Koffler
BE550901A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3613843 *Dec 29, 1969Oct 19, 1971Mayfab IncCenter folded travel bag
US3698522 *Jun 18, 1970Oct 17, 1972Holiday Luggage Mfg Co IncLuggage case
US4677832 *Apr 7, 1986Jul 7, 1987Kidde, Inc. (Presto Lock Company Division)Luggage latching system
US5755311 *Jun 7, 1995May 26, 1998Samsonite CorporationDifferential pressure formed luggage with molded integrated frame
US6131713 *Jul 28, 1999Oct 17, 2000Sher; Yu-YiFramework of luggage
US8668064Dec 16, 2010Mar 11, 2014Samsonite IP Holdings S.a. r.l.Assembly structure for a luggage case
WO1996039893A1 *Jun 5, 1996Dec 19, 1996Samsonite CorpDifferential pressure formed luggage with molded integrated frame
Classifications
U.S. Classification190/115, 190/121
International ClassificationA45C5/00, A45C5/03, A45C5/02
Cooperative ClassificationA45C5/02, A45C5/03
European ClassificationA45C5/03, A45C5/02