US 3443671 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 13, 1969 G. DYKE EXPANSIBLE CARRYING CASE Filed Aug. 24. 1967 n l l l l l l n l n l nu FIG.3.
May 13, 1969 H. G. DYKE EXPANSIBLE CARRYING CASE sheet 2 Filed Aug. 24, 1967 \.Illll o 5 u I I l N 5 5 Gllliillw A, w B 5 B 9 n 4 5/ NNUU 1 n /I l l 1|\ FIG.IB.
May 13, 1969 H, c. DYKE 3,443,671
EXPANSIBLE CARRYING CASE: Filed Aug. 24, 1967 May 13, 1969 H. G. DYKE EXPANSIBLE CARRYING CASE Sheet Filed Aug. 24, 1967 FIG..43.
May 13, 1969 H. G. DYKE 3,443,671
EXPANS IBLE CARRYING CASE Filed Aug., 24, 19e? sheet 5 of 6 5751 meam IOIb 'O'fgm Flc-3.53 .lol
May l3, i969 H. G. DYKE 3,443,671
EXPANSIBLE CARRYING CASE Filed Aug. 24, 196? sheet Q of 6 Fae. 6
'so "I" sab United States Patent O 3,443,671 EXPANSIBLE CARRYING CASE Herbert Gordon Dyke, Box 14, Dover, Del. 19901 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 500,942,
Oct. 22, 1965. This application Aug. 24, 1967, Ser.
Int. Cl. A45c 7/00, 3/02; A63b 55/00 U.S. Cl. 190-43 45 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An expansible suitcase or the like, capable of being enlarged throughout an entire cross-section. A transversely extensible collar runs around the periphery. A slide fastener has its tracks spaced and running along the edges of that collar, with the tracks converging near one end, being there permanently coupled together and secured to the collar. A slider engages the slide fastener tracks where they are coupled together. The suitcase can be enlarged and contracted throughout an entire crosssection at will. The slide fastener is actuated by merely grasping the slider, where it is on the already-engaged slide fastener tracks, and moving it along its peripheral path.
This application is a continuation-in-part of my U.S. patent application Ser. No. 500,942, led Oct. 22, 1965, and now abandoned.
The purpose of this invention is to improve carrying cases, such as suitcases, by making them expansible and contractable in accordance with the users changing needs, in a manner that will be simple and convenient to the traveler, feasible for the manufacturer, adaptable to be made smart and attractive to meet the requirements of the market, and satisfactory in the hard use-life that a piece of luggage can be exposed to.
When a traveler is starting on a trip, occasionally he iinds as he is packing that he needs more space than he had thought, and invariably he does not know whether he is going to need more luggage capacity before the trip is over. He does not like to start out with more luggage capacity than he may ever need and be committed to carry its extra bulk throughout his travels. He prefers to pack a snug full bag, one reason being that a piece of luggage that is only partly filled allows its contents to jumble and wad. He does not like to carry any greater number of pieces of luggage than the smallest number that will serve, because having a larger number of pieces means greater expense, delay, and bother.
Yet on his trip he may be given presents, he may buy gifts to bring back, he may encounter bargains, or he may have to buy extra clothing. If he has no extra capacity in his luggage he will have to make a forced purchase of whatever luggage is available on the spot, or return with a clutter of extra loose packages that are quite inconsistent with smart, eicient traveling.
The reverse need can arise. For example if an overcoat is packed initially, and later in the trip is taken out and worn, it may be desirable to expand the case at the outset and retract it during the course of the trip.
It is an object of this invention to allow the traveler to take trim, smart-looking luggage with him, to such capaccce ity as he needs at the start; and then, when and if he finds he needs more capacity (or less if he has already enlarged it) to make that change instantly and easily available to him to the extent desired in the same carrying cases he started out with. This object is to be attained not in some special limited purpose shape, and not in some ungainly harness-like construction, but in a standard suitcase contour whose appearance can :be just as smart as any.
This versatility can also reduce the number of different sizes of suitcase the user has to ybuy and store away ready for use.
Proposals for making luggage expansible have 1been made in the past, but all have had shortcomings or limitations. It is an object of this invention to solve some of the problems that the prior art attempts left unsolved and devise a product that more fully meets the users various requirements.
The relevant prior art, apart from telescoping consturctions where one side must `be larger than the other, is by and large in three categories. There are expansible luggage configurations in which straps and latches are used for closing up the case to contracted configuration. These can be awkward and cumbersome when on the outside, as in British Patent No. 259,093, October 7, 1926, to Anderson. Even when trimly made as in U.S. Patent No. 1,712,448 to Eckhardt, they limit the suitcase to a heavy primitive type of styling which is simply not acceptable to a large part of the market. Even when the fastening latches are on the inside, as in U.S. Patent No. 2,002,878 to Belber, they still provide fastening only at spaced points and expose the case to warpage of shape and snagging and damage at the gaps between the discrete fastenings.
It is not unknown to have a case expansible over one complete cross-section and secured -by a slide fastener. In the ladys handbag of U.S. Patent No. 2,078,624 to Wolff this is achieved, but only by having the soft flexible expansion portion constitute the exposed end of the article when expanded, which would very severely limit its applicability to luggage. In the case of Patent No. 2,729,247 to Kepper the expansibility throughout a complete cross-section, together with a continuous slide fastener to hold the case contracted, is achieved only by having the zipper come apart completely for the expanded state. This means that to contract the case again it is necessary to bring together the separate ends of the zipper and mesh them into proper starting relation and then actuate the zipper closure. This meshing together and re-starting of engagement of the zipper can -be an awkward and time-consuming operation, especially for persons lacking mechanical aptitude, or travelers on a tight time schedule. Moreover, this arrangement of separating the zipper and then putting it together again can hardly be used at all in the case of stiff luggage where the parts cannot lbe freely manoeuvred about, relative to each other, for putting the zipper together again.
It has been known in the art previously to make expansible luggage with a zipper slide fastener that is always engaged in both the expanded and the contracted conditions of the case. However, whenever that was done the case was expansible only in a wedge shape, not through an entire cross-section. A number of prior art patents 3 show this type of limited wedge shape of expansibility, examples being U.S. Patent No. 2,213,821` to McCurdy, U.S. Patent No. 2,249,841 to ILoos, U.S. Patent No. 2,691,401 to Kontoif, and British Patent No. 651,536, Apr. 4, 1951, to Lawrence.
Until now no one has ever devised a suitcase that will expand throughout the entire cross-section, will have a slide fastener that holds substantially the entire periphery continuously secured together when in contracted configuration, and whose slider is in continuous engagement: ready to open the case simply by being pulled in one direction, and to close the case simply -by being pulled in the opposite direction.
'Ihe present invention provides such a case.
The advantages of -this invention may be obtained in a variety of embodiments, some of which are illustrated in this patent application. It is to be understood that the slide fastener may be the conventional zipper, it may be the more recent zipper made of two continuous nylon coils arranged to mesh and interlock, or it may be any other type of zipper or it may be a continuous bead-and-channel type of slide fastener.
The drawings show some illustrative embodiments of my invention.
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a three compartment suitcase with the outer two of the compar-tments made expansible in accordance with my invention. It is here shown in its contracted configuration.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the same case but with both of its outer compartments expanded to give it greater capacity.
FIGURES 3, 4 and 5 are diagrammatic perspective views of an expansion collar fitted with a slide fastener, such as a zipper, that goes twice around it, permitting a first degree of expansion or a second degree of expansion.
FIGURES 6, 7 and 8 are cross-sections taken on their respectively numbered section lines in FIGURES 3, 4 and 5.
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary inside view of a suitcase with its collar expanded, showing an angled web serving as anV end reinforcement to prevent sagging.
FIGURE 10 is a vertical transverse cross-section of a suitcasesuch as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, but with its left side compartment contracted and its right side compartment expanded. This figure shows a feature of the invention for protecting the opened zipper members at the bottom 'of the case.
IFIGURE 11 is a fragmentary top plan view in the handle area but with the handle removed for ease of illustration, of an alternative construction showing protectivetop aps that interlock.
FIGURE 12 is a transverse cross-section of the flaps, taken on the line 12-12 of FIGURE 11.
FIGURE 13 is a somewhat diagrammatic detail of one form of a catch sui-table for use with these flaps.
FIGURES 14, and 16 show a suitcase which is expansible on each side, with each side having two stages of expansibility, by use of the construction shown in FIGURES 3, 4 and 5.
FIGURE 14 shows the case contracted.
FIGURE 15 shows each side given stage of expansion.
FIGURE 16 shows each side having been given two stages of expansion.
FIGURES 17, 18 and 19 are fragmentary cross-sections of the slide fastener arrangement which occurs at the corners of the suitcase of FIGURES 14, 15 and 16.
FIGURE 20 is a perspective of a simple envelope type case embodying my expansibility invention as indicated in FIGURE 21, which is a fragmentary transverse vertical cross-section of the botom part of FIGURE 20.
FIGURE 22 is a iiight bag, incorporating my expansibil-ity invention as illustrated in `FIGURE 23, which is a transverse vertical cross-section of the bottom. part of FIGURE 22.
FIGURES 24 and 25 illustrate application of my invention to related articles, here a golf bag with side pockets made expansible in this manner.
FIGURE 24 shows the pockets contracted and FIG- URE 25 shows them expanded.
FIGURES 26 Ithrough 40 are different views illustrating rather diagrammatically a single combination case incorporating my invention.
FIGURE 26 shows both parts contracted.
FIGURE 27 shows them with just the inner part expanded.
FIGURE 28 shows them with just the outer part expanded.
FIGURE 29 shows both parts expanded.
FIGURES 30 through 34 show the outer part of the combination separated and used singly.
In FIGURE 30 it is contracted.
In FIGURE 31 it is expanded.
In FIGURE 32 it has one side pouch expanded also.
FIGURE 33 is a fragmentary transverse cross-section of the upper right hand corner of FIGURE 32.
FIGURE 34 shows both side pouches expanded.
FIGURES 35 through 39 show the inner member of the combination by itself.
FIGURE 35 shows it contracted.
FIGURE 36 shows it expanded.
FIGURE 37 shows it with also one side pouch expanded.
FIGURE 38 is a fragmentary transverse cross-section of the upper right hand corner of FIGURE 39, which shows the case with both side pouches expanded.
FIGURE 40 is a diagrammatic View of the tracks of the slide fastener, shown in opened configuration, about the bottom and end 4walls of the car case that is seen in FIGURES 26 through 34.
FIGURES 41 through 43 show my invention applied to a shoe case.
FIGURE 41 showing it contracted,
FIGURE 42 showing it expanded once, and
FIGURE 43 showing it expanded twice.
FIGURES 44 through 46 show my invention applied to a type of carrying case known as a tote,
FIGURE 44 being an end elevation, contracted,
FIGURE 45 being a side elevation, and
FIGURE 46 being an end elevation, enlarged.
FIGURE 47 is a top view of FIGURE 46.
FIGURE 48 is a top View of a suitcase embodying my invention, contracted.
FIGURE 49 is a top View of same, expanded.
FIGURE 50 is a cross-section on the line 50-50 of FIGURE 48.
FIGURE 51 is a cross-section on the line 51-51 of FIGURE 49.
FIGURES 52, 53, 54 and 55 are detail sections ntermediate the conditions of FIGURES 51 and 50, showing the slider action, taken on respectively corresponding lines in FIGURE 56.
FIGURE 56 is a slider seen on section line 56 of FIG- URE 57.
FIGURE 57 is a horizontal section of the slider taken on line 57 of FIGURE 56.
FIGURE 5 8 is a cross-section generally similar to FIG- URES 50 and 51 but showing an integral extrusion.
FIGURES 59 through 67 show guards for the zippers.
FIGURE 59 is a fragmentary plan view of a guard as it lies both behind and ahead of the slider.
FIGURE 60 is a cross-section taken on the line 60 of FIGURE 59.
FIGURE 61 is a cross-section taken on the line 61 of FIGURE 59.
FIGURE i61A is a side elevation of a guard.
FIGURE 62 is ta cross-sectional view similar to FIG- URE 60 but showing an alternate construction.
FIGURE 63 is a view similar to FIGURE 62 but shows ing the enlargement joint opened up.
FIGURE 64 is a section of another alternate construction, closed up, while FIGURE 65 is a similar section of it, opened up.
FIGURE 66 is a similar section of another alternate construction, closed up, while FIGURE 67 is a similar section, opened up.
FIGURE 68 is a diagrammatic section of a zipper arrangement for protection.
FIGURE 69 is a view similar to FIGURE 68 but taken across the broad end of the zipper slider.
Example of FIGURES 1 and 2 The particular suitcase shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 illustrating use of my invention has three compartments and my invention is in this example incorporated in its outer two compartments. Standard access zippers 11, 12, 13 open up these compartments for access, and close them.
Running around the great periphery of the suitcase, which is the periphery about its length and side and is generally parallel to its handle planes, are two expansion joints 20, 30. These expand the suitcase throughout its entire cross-section in planes parallel to the handle plane or planes. In the contracted configuration the opposed edges of the portions of the suitcase divided by these joints are locked into contracted configuration by these fastening means, and when they move apart to enlarged configuration they are held together by an extensible bridging collar insert 23, 33 which serves in that enlarged configuration as part of the wall of the suitcase 10 and as means to hold the portions of the suitcase together.
The means for bringing and holding the portions together into contracted configuration is a slide fastener 24, 34 which runs about substantially the entire periphery of the suitcase, with its two coacting tracks 24a, 24b and 34a, 34b running along the two spaced edges of the collar.
At one end of the slide fastener the two tracks are spaced apart by approximately the collar Width, and have their ends provided with stops 25a, 25b and 35a, 35b. From these ends they run in spaced relationship along the collar 23, 33 about the periphery of the case for at least almost all the way around the case. At that point they converge in a pair of tangent S curves. The portions of the tracks that leave the edges of the collar and converge in a pair of S curves are secured to the flexible collar, preferably secured continuously to it as by sewing. The two S curves meet, and there the two coacting tracks are coupled together permanently.
On the coupled together portion of the tracks and holding them engaged there is a slider 26. 36. Beyond the slider, at this end of the slide fastener, there is a stop means that prevents the slider from coming off the track. This can be some specific stop member, or it can simply be for example in having the sewing that holds the tracks to the collar run across the ends of the tracks. Thus the slider is always on the track, and any portion of the track that lies from the slider to the tracks converged end stop means is an engaged length of track.
The slider is arranged with its trailing-engaging end toward this stop means, and its trailing-separating end pointing in the direction in which the S curves diverge. Thus the slider can never come completely off the track, the track can never become completely disengaged, and as the slider is advanced around the tracks moving in the direction from their engaged portion to their disengaged portion it draws them together and locks them together. This preferably continues all the way around to the end of the slide fastener where the two separate stops 25a, 25b and 35a, 35b are provided at the end of its two aced apart tracks.
When it is desired to enlarge the suitcase to increase its capacity, all one has to do is grasp the slider and pull it clockwise peripherally about the suitcase.
When it is desired to bring the fully expanded enlargement joint into contracted configuration, all one need do is grasp the slider 26, 36 and pull it counter-clockwise peripherally about the suitcase. This closes up the enlargement joint and secures it closed up continuously about the entire edges of the peripheral joint. Any need to fit a slider and track ends into operative relationship is completely absent: the track ends are at all times engaged and at all times ready to actuate merely by pulling the slider in one direction to open and in the other direction to close.
Collar seam adjustable It will be noted in FIG-URE 2 that the converged permanently engaged end of the slide fastener 24, 34 terminates just a little short of the spaced opposite ends of the slide fastener tracks. The collar 23, 33 is preferably cut as a length from a long web of fabric such as canvas or heavy nylon, or flexible soft leather or plastic or the like including laminated strong flexible sheet material. This length of the collar material has the slide fastener sewed to it, with the converged end of the slide fastener just short of one end of the length of collar strip and the other ends of the tracks just short of the other end of that length of collar strip. The two ends of the collar strip that extend beyond the slide fastener ends are overlapped to make the collar strip into a closed loop collar, and are secured together by stitching to form a sewed seam 27, 37.
If in the process of assembly a given collar loop should prove a little too long or too short, the stitching across its overlapped ends can be removed without interfering with the slide fastener, and they can be given greater or lesser overlap and be fastened together again. If in a particular mode of manufacture this adjustability is not needed, I then prefer to have the converged end of the slide fastener extend in between the spaced apart opposite ends of the slide fastener tracks; this arrangement leaves essentially no gap in the continuous edgefastening together of the portions of the suitcase when they are brought into contracted configuration.
If I elect t0 have the converged end of the slide fastener stop a little short of its opposite end, I preferably would have the short gap that is left thereby be located at the top center of the suitcase, opposite the handle. There it gives minimum risk that the gap will snag on anything in the use of the suitcase. However, I prefer to safeguard that gap even further, by a suitable covering flap. The short belt lengths 38, 39 across the top of the suitcase 10 can cover those gaps.
Part-way variation For some purposes it may be desirable to have the slide fastener extend only part way around the periphery of the carrying case, and have some other type of fastener arrangement serve to releasably hold in the expansion collar for the balance of the periphery. Even in such a case, fundamental advantage of my invention can be obtained.
The slide fastener tracks in such case still have one pair of ends spaced when the expansion collar is opened up) and will have the other pair of ends converge into permanent engagement with a slider over the engaged part, and stop means beyond the slider. The tracks at their converging end region will be sewed or otherwise secured to the flexible collar. Then, whatever type of fastening means be used for the balance of the collar length, or if indeed for some applications it need not be fastened together for that remaining length, one still has the fundamental advantage that the slide fastener can be actuated from its closed position to its open position by a single sweep, at its open position not interfering with complete cross-sectional enlargement around the entire collar, and remaining in instant readiness-fully engaged-for again retracting all its length of the collar by merely a single sweep of the slider back in the other direction.
A two-stage expansion joint The present invention can, if desired, be extended to have a single slide fastener give two successive stages of expansion and contraction.
FIGURES 3, 4 and 5 show an arrangement that will do this. v
As seen in FIGURE 5, the Wide collar 40 has a converged slide fastener end 41 sewed to it, at about its midwidth. After a slider is placed upon the engaged track ends where they converge, some stop means is provided to prevent the slider coming back off that end. From this engaged end, the tracks diverge in a pair of S curves 42a, 42b running on the face of the collar and secured to it. Then, they continue in spaced peripherally parallel relationship, running on about the periphery of the collar and secured to it, back to the starting end of these tracks. There they diverge further, passing outboard of the original diverging portions.
When they have diverged sutliciently to well clear their original spaced parts, they resume approximate parllelism and run on once more around the periphery of the collar, out near its edges, and secured all along to it. The ends 43a, 43h of these two tracks occur at the region where divergence of the tracks earlier twice occurred, stopping short of Where the second divergence was completed. These ends are provided with stop means to prevent the slider from coming olf.
EIn use, when the collar is fully expanded as FIGURE 5, its cross-section will appear about as seen in FIG- URE 8.
If now less expansion -be desired, the slider will be run once about the periphery of the collar, in a counterclockwise direction as seen here. That will bring the collar to the half-narrowed condition seen in FIGURE 4, and -whose cross-section is seen in FIGURE 7. Note that the collar is narrowed uniformly everywhere about its entire periphery, and there are no localized strains upon it. Also from the configuration seen in FIGURE 4 the slider can be run once about the collar in either direction, back to re-enlarge it or on forward to further contract it. If it is run forward (counter-clockwise) to further contract it, the resultant contiguration will be as seen in perspective in FIGURE 3 and in cross-section in FIG- URE -6.
Anti-sag reinforcement The material used for the collar =may be a woven fabric. Fabrics such as canvas or heavy woven nylon have little or no stretch lengthwise but can still have some stretch in a direction slightly on the bias, due to the geometry of the weave. To counteract this, the feature may be incorporated that is illustrated in FIGURE 9. Here a length 44 of continuous web of strong straight-grain woven fabric, or of any material that does not stretch along its length, is secured on the inner face of the collar at each vertical end with the length dimension of the reinforcing web running from the upper inner corner of the expanded collar down to its lower outer corner. The reinforcing yweb maybe secured by sewing, adhering with exible cement, or by other suitable means.
FIGURE 10 on sheet 2 -In FIGURE l there is shown a suitcase like that of FIGURES 1 and 2, but it is here shown with the left expansion joint closed and the right expansion joint opened up. The suitcase has access zippers r11, 12 and 13 to give access to its three compartments. Collar 40a is folded upon itself and its enlargement zipper 24 has its tracks engaged together. A nylon coil zipper is illustrated here. This has certain advantages including better resistance against getting nicked or scuffed out of operative shape.
Luggage in use is frequently exposed to rough handling and rubbing against surfaces both regular and irregular. It is highly desirable to protect the slide fastener from damage when in use. This is especially true when the slide fastener is a zipper, and it is especially true for the bottom run of the slide fastener when it is open to put the suitcase in its enlarged contiguration.
Enclaved within the folded up collar 40a at the bottom run of the collar is a foot bar 46. It is relatively wide and shallow, and of size to t within the folded up collar. This foot fbar has the shape of a slat 47 with two tubes 48a, 48b below it at its edges, and is elongated in the direction perpendicular to the paper in this drawing. The flat slat portion can be riveted to the collar` It preferably is formed as a long continuous integral extrusion of moderately stiff elastomeric material and is then cut to the desired bar length and their ends pinched together and heat-sealed. While a stiffening bar could be attached to the upper side of the collar and carry discrete feet fastened to it from the underside of the collar, the preferred configuration is with the bar to constitute long continuous feet and be located at the under face of the collar across its bottom run. Note also that bott-om feet are provided on the opposite side of each zipper. Thus, each zipper that runs across the bottom is protected by feet fairly close t-o it and on both sides of it.
T op protective )'aps The zipper tracks sometimes leave a gap between their ends, to allow ready adjustment of the collar seam. In FIGURE 1l the zipper end where the tracks are spaced apart is located at X. The tracks start to converge at Y and terminate at Z. This gives a gap from X to Y where the edges of the expansion joint are not immediately held together for the distance of that gap. If circumstances call for further protection of this gap, one preferred way to supply it is shown in FIGURE l l.
Here Iflaps 49, 50, in the nature of short wide belt stubs, lie over each other, inside the handle, and cover these gaps. Desirably they are shaped as truncated triangles, with broad base and narrower free end. They are of leather or plastic or otherwise, preferably of intermediate iexibility. They are secured to the case as desired, but preferably by hinges 49a, 50a, that may be of heavy fabric secured within the corner welt of the suitcase and to the base ends of the flaps. The flap 49 is provided with a latch 51, which may be of the general type shown in FIGURE 13 with upper finger projections that control the lower latch projections, these projections being spring pressed outwardly to latch and capable of being linger pressed inwardly to unlatch. The other flap 'S0 has grommeted slots 51u, Sltb and 51e lthat receive latch 51.
The base portions B, B for the suitcase handle are shown in FIGURE t1, the handle having been removed for clairity of view.
When the case has both expansion joints contracted, as in FIGURES 11 and 12, the top flaps 49, 50 overlap to their maximum and the latch 51 fastens into the slot 51a at the base of the other flap 50. When one side of the suitcase is expanded, the latch at the tip of the first ap fastens into the slot 511; in the middle of the second flap. When both sides of the suitcase are expanded, the latch at the tip of the iirst ap fastens into the slot 51o at the tip of the second Hap. It will be appreciated that by extending the flapstogether with the latch and the slots-to the extreme edges, it will be possi'ble to accommodate by the means a suitcase that can, upon enlargement, double its width.
With this arrangement it will be noted that the gaps in the continuity of the securing together by the slide fasteners are covered over and protected by a simple and neat arrangement that can be styled to be quite attractive, and yet there are not straps or protrusions on the side of the suitcase to bump or rub against your leg while you are carrying it.
Case with two double stages A two-stage collar like the collar 40 of FIGURES 3-5 but preferably with a slide fastener 45 made as a continuous bead 45a and channel 45h of elastomeric material is used in FIGURES 14-19. The two-stage collar is applied to corner joint as seen on Sheet 3 at FIG- URES 17-19. FIGURE 17 shows the joint closed in. FIGURE 18 shows it opened for the first stage of expansion, and FIGURE 19 shows it opened for both stages of expansion. In FIGURES 14-16 this corner joint arrangement is shown applied to both sides of a centeropening suitcase. FIGURE 14 shows the case closed in and FIGURE 15 shows the case expanded `one stage on both sides. Of course both sides do not need to be enlarged simultaneously; if just a little enlargement is needed, one stage on one side will suflice. In the case of FIG- URES 14-16 the zipper ends 41 were placed on the near end of the suitcase, for clearer illustration. In FIGURE 15 we see the relation when the zipper slide has moved from the openable end of the Zipper for about one whole peripheral length, including the yparallel run and the convergence length, and come to rest at that intermediate location. In FIGURE 16 the zipper slides have been given thier second peripheral excrusion, and have come to rest at the nal point of convergence 41 where the zipper half tracks remain always engaged. In manufacturing any of these forms it would be possible, if desired, to provide for repeating the process of peripheral excursions and partial convergences for as many stages of expandability as desired.
Variety of embodiments FIGURE 20 shows a perspective of a simple envelope case 52. As a slim envelope type of brief case, this may he used directly as shown without a handle; if a handle and such reinforcing as desired be added, it then represents about the simplest form of suitcase. Its soft fabric or plastic side 53 has a access zipper 54, while about its great periphery there runs an enlargement zipper assembly 55 of the type disclosed in Sheet l and indicated in a fragmentary section in FIGURE 21.
For air travel a canvas flight bag of the type shown in perspective in FIGURE 22 has become almost conventional, except that the one shown in FIGURE 22 provides an expansion whenever needed by an expansion zipper 57 running, for example, centrally around its great periphery. As seen in fragmentary section in FIG- URE 23, the expansion zipper 57 is associated with a reverse S curve expansion collar 58. The usual berboard reinforcing oor 59 has edges 60 that can fold down when the case is expanded.
The invention may be applied to many kinds of cases and containers. For example, in FIGURES 24, 25 it is shown applied to a golf bag 62. The golf bag shown has two large but shallow pouches 63, 64 for carrying extra clothing and the like. These have access zippers 65, 66 and in the form shown here have enlargement zippers 67, 68. Normally the golf bag can be kept trim in size and shape. But when bulky clothing or rain coats or the like need to be carried these pouches can be enlarged to much greater depth by actuating the enlargement zipper, as shown in FIGURE 25 With the present invention it is possible to make a travelers case that is extraordinarily versatile in meeting a travelers varying needs. Such a case 70 is shown in FIGURES 26-39. Initially the case, as seen in end elevation, FIGURE 26, is a quite modest size suitcase, perhaps 6 inches thick. For this form, it is preferably made of canvas or nylon with suitable binding and trim, or other similar quite pliable material. Its top and shoulders can have fiberboard stiffeners as conventional with car cases. This travelers case is a composite article. It is made up of an inner suitcase 72, with enlargement zipper 73 about it, and a car case 74 Wrapped over it, with enlargement zipper 75 about it. There will, of course, be a suitable handle at the top in conjunction with the reinforcement referred to. The inner suitcase and outher car case are joined together by clamps 76. These clamps are interchangeable and are arranged to mate in the same successive way from left to right, so that when the inner suitcase is removed the clamp elements remaining on the car case can be joined to themselves to make the car case a solid unitary article.
T'he suitcase and the car case of this composite article of luggage are provided with expansion zippers 73, 75 of the type previously detailed. In the suitcase portion the zipper slide 73 simply travels around the great periphery as before. The car case component has a similar enlargement zipper 75. If the car case be unfolded to assume its maximum size flat area (as it can be when the traveler arrives at a stopping point) then the enlargement zipper 75 will simply travel about its great periphery. If the car case is folded over the suitcase, the zipper slide follows a path rather like a travel about two occurrences of the letter U back to back. This is lllustrated at an intermediate angle in FIGURE 40 at the bottom of Sheet 3. y
In its slim condition of FIGURE 26 the composite case can carry a moderately substantial load.
In FIGURE 27 we see the unified case 70 when a larger load of contents is to be carried in the suitcase portion 72 While the car case 74 still contains only from zero to perhaps two suits.
In FIGURE 28 we see the condition in which the car case 74 is to carry a full load of several suits, and the traveler wishes to have the suitcase with him also but does not presently have a large load for it.
In FIGURE 29 we see both the suitcase 72 and the car case 74 enlarged to carry full loads and still as a single unitary article of luggage, the two portions being fastened together by the clamps 7 6.
The next two rows of figures show the car case and the suitcase, respectively, when they are separated and used as two individual pieces of luggage.
The inner suitcase 72 would be provided with some sort of a suitable handle of its own, preferablyl one that attens down when the car case is secured about the suitcase.
In FIGURES 30 and 35 we see the car `case and the inner suitcase separate, each in its thin condition. In FIG- URES 3l and 36 we see them separate and now enlarged. Each can have its access at any suitable location and by means of a separate access zipper or any other suitable closure; therefore, the access openings have not fbeen shown. The side faces can have thin collapsed pockets 78, such as completely thin versions of the pouches 63, 64 shown in the golf bag of FIGURES 24, 25. The closed-in form of such a side pocket is shown in fragmentary section at FIGURE 33, and in its enlarged condition is shown in fragmentary section at FIGURE 38. This arrangement permits a single pouch to be opened as in FIG- URE 32 for the car case and in FIGURE 37 for the suitcase, or pouchs on both sides to be opened up as seen in FIGURE 34 for the car case and FIGURE 39 for the suitcase.
Thus it will be seen that through the practice of the present invention, one rather slim composite piece of luggage as seen in FIGURE 26 can become both the large commodious car case of FIGURE 34 and the large commodious suitcase of FIGURE 39. This illustrates but by no means ends the possibilities achievable with the present invention.
Tote cases Sheet 4 of the drawings illustrates two types of tote cases embodying my invention. The rst, shown in FIG- URES 41-43, is sometimes referred to as a shoe case.
It has been known to provide a case of this general shape with a band about it for extension lengthwise. However, the prior art has not achieved or taught any way of being able, after completely expanding the bag, to later completely contract it again with a mere sweep of the slider back, without more ado.
The shoe case 80 made in accordance with my invention has one or more horizontal expansion joints running around it. In the form shown there are two identical ones, though-among other variations-one could be wider than the other to give three possible degrees of expansion. The bands can be of the same material and color as the body of the case or can contrast.
The shoe case `80 has a handle or handles 81 and a flexible expansion collar that runs around its horizontal periphery. The strip this collar is made from has one end cut to a V point and the other end cut as a swallowtail. These overlap and are sewn together as seen at 83. A slide fastener, such as a zipper, has mating tracks 34 and 85 secured as by sewing to the edges of the collar 82. One pair of ends 84a, 85a of these tracks are spaced apart by the width of the collar, as are the two tracks for most of the way around the case. Near their other end, where they get nearly back to the first ends, theyl converge in a pair of tangent S curves. Where these S curves meet, the tracks are engaged and have a slider over them. Immediately beyond the slider is stop means to prevent the slider from ever coming off. Stop means are also provided at the other (spaced) ends of the tracks. Thus the zipper is always engaged, the slider is always on the zipper, and the slider can close up the enlargement joint by a mere sweep around it or similarly enlarge it by a mere sweep around it. Yet the zipper configuration does not interfere with complete 360 opening u-p of the entire enlargement cross-section.
The point of the V seam, where the ends of the collar overlap and are sewn together, projects in between the spaced ends 84a, 85a of the tracks. The engaged end of the zipper tracks projects into the concave side of the V seam. Thus it is possible to sew the zipper onto the collar and sew the collar into a closed loop as a sub-assembly preparatory to the rest of the assembly operation. The zipper has only a short gap where the edges of the expansion joint are not directly secured together. And at the same time, in case the collar assembly does not quite fit the body portions of the bag, it is possible to open the seam and resew it, adjusting the length of the collar to fit.
FIGURES 44-47 show a carrying case of the type commonly called a tote. This is somewhat like a bag with openable top and a limited thickness dimension. Since this type of carrying case is most suited to miscellaneous contents, it is particularly apt to need variable capacity.
This invention provides variable capacity to the tote 90 by providing an expansion joint around the great periphery of the body of the tote. Two or even more such expansion joints may be provided, and two are shown here.
In this instance, the collar 91, 92 might desirably be of non-uniform Width, wider in the lower middle region, to allow the tote to assume a more rounded out contour. Zipper tracks 93a, 93b and 94a, 94b are secured along the edges of these expansion collars. As seen in top view at FIGURE 47 these tracks have spaced ends 95a, 95h and 96a, 96b, which have stops to prevent the sliders going off at that end. The opposite ends of the track pairs converge and tenminate in permanent engaged end portions 97, 98 which have sliders on them and beyon'd the sliders have their ends stopped to prevent the sliders from coming lolf.
The respective ends terminate short of each other to allow the joint in the collar to be located there and be adjustable without affecting the sewing of the zippers in place. In this figure, I have shown relatively stiff stays 98a, 98b and 99a, 9917 running close to the zippers at both edges of the expansionl collar and bridging the gap across that edge between the zipper portions. This stay may be of metal, plastic, or otherwise, and may if desired be sewed in a pocket provided for it. This feature for bridging a gap in the zipper fastening may be used with other embodiments of my invention.
Beadaaud-channel slide fastener The need for protection of the slide fastener when open across the bottom of the case can be obviated by the use of an extruded elastomeric bead-and-channel slide fastener. Sheet 5 of the drawings shows such a slide fastener and its use.
In FIGURES 48 and 49 which are to-p views, two such slide fasteners have been incorporated into a suitcase, one to each side of the plane of the handle. The two tracks 100a, 100b of the one slide fastener, and similarly, tracks 101a, 101b of the other, are secured to expansion collar 102, 103. They start with free ends 103a, 103]) and 104a, 104b that are spaced apart by about the width of the collar, as are the rest of the tracks running all the way around the periphery of the case until they have almost come back to their starting point. There, the tracks briefly converge, come into engagement, and have slider 105, 106 on the tracks there and holding them in engagement. Stop means at the very ends of the tracks, just outside this terminal position of the slider, hold the slider from ever coming off at that end, as do the stop means at the other end.
The collar is a long strip bent around upon itself. Its ends are overlapped and sewed together as indicated at 107, 108. One way of making the collar ends is illustrated here, to wit, a circular arc concave lat one and convex at the other end. This allows the slide fastener ends to approach each other rather closely, leaving but a short gap not immediately fastened in together, yet allowing adjustability of the collar length in assembling. At the same time, the sewing of the joint is a single continuous curved pass. The ends may be glued together.
FIGURE 50 shows an example iof a type of extruded bead-and-channel slide fastener that can be used here. It will be noted that the bead-and-channel tracks 10111, 1011) inter-engage securely to hold the parts of the bag securely together 'when the expansion joint is contracted. They provide suitable outer side surfaces 110, for the slider to press them together to force them into this engaged relationship. They have overhangs 111, 112 and 121, 122 above and below those side surfaces, so the slider is restrained to a fixed track. Their principal region of resistance to being pulled apart approximates the plane where they are fastened to the side portions of the suitcase. They also have internal tracks 113, 114 suitable for the parts of the slider to ride in which wedge the channel member apart transverse to the pull plane, and tracks 115, 125 for those which wedge the two members out of engagement across the pull plane.
An example of a slider suitable to perform the opening operation when traveled in one direction, and the closing together operation when traveled in the other, is indicated in FIGURES 56 and 57 and is seen on the track in FIGURES 52-55. We can visualize the slider as moving in the direction to close together the previously opened up tracks of the slide fastener. Picture the slider as moving out of the paper toward you. We rst see the sliders advancing end as shown in FIGURE 52. Here the outer anges 131, 132 of the slider ride in the outer grooves 110, 120 of the tracks and the inner horizontal plate 133 rides in the inner grooves 115, 125 of the track members.
The flanges 131, 132 are the edges of a top plate 134. That top plate has a vertical connector 133 extending down and carrying a horizontal spreader plate 135 and a vertical spreader plate 136 that has tail fins 136a an'd 136b. As seen in FIGURE 53 the vertical spreader plate 136 rides in grooves 113, 114 and forces the jaws of track member 101a apart. The vertical spreader plate 136 terminates in top and bottom tail fins 136a, 136b, seen in FIGURE 54, which still hold the jaws of the channel apart. The open space between these tins norw allows the bead portion of track member 1011) to enter the jaws; the narrowing together outer anges 131, 132 of the slider 130 force it in as next seen in FIGURE 55. FIGURE 55 shows the trailing end of the slider. Here the interior parts have terminated, the bead is locked within the channel, and the outer anges of the slider are applying pressure in from the sides to ensure that the 'bead and the channel are consolidated.
Integral extrusion The collar 102, the slide fastener tracks 100a, 100b, and edge bindings 109a, 10919 for the edges of the suitcase may if desired all be made integrally .as a single continuous extrusion of suitable elastomeric material. This is illustrated in FIGURE 58. The Iportions can initially be spaced in a configuration suitable for the extrusion die. Thereafter they can be brought into a configuration such as that of FIGURE 50 and be cured to make this their memory configuration, as for example by passing the extruded strip under tension over a hot drum. For some applications of the invention this makes a particularly economical construction.
Fabric could, if desired, be laminated to the underside. A suitable length of the endless strip would be cut off. The track members at one end of that length would be snipped off for a short distance. The track members at the other end of the length would be sliced from the collar member for a short distance and then be pulled into converged configuration and be re-secured there to the collar member by cement or otherwise.
The joint in the expansion collar web preferably occurs at top center of the suitcase and comes in the small lengthwise space between the spaced ends of the fastener tracks and the always-engaged ends. A seam concave toward the engaged track ends enables me to bring the fastener track ends closer in together while still providing adjustability in the web collar length.
Guard stri ps Sheet 6 of the drawings shows guard strips to protect the zippers, especially when zippers with metal teeth are used for the enlargement joints. These guard strips may be used all the way around the case, or just across the bottom.
The guard strip 140 is a continuously extruded length of rubber or other suitable elastomer, that is extruded from a die that gives it a cross-sectional shape of the plain capital letter J, having in section a straight run 140:1. for about a half or more of its length, followed by an arcuate run 140b that just about doubles back onto the near part of the straight run.
FIGURE 61 shows the end of the guard strip projecting farther beyond the zipper end, and showing its rest shape, to which its memory tries to return it.
FIGURE 59 looks down upon the guard strips where the slider is undergoing transition between the engaged portion of the zipper and the un-engaged portion of the zipper. At the engaged end of the slider the two guard strips 140 overlie the closed zipper and each other as seen in the sectional view, FIGURE 60. At the region where the zipper is opened up, the individual guard strips wrap around the two zipper tracks individually as seen in their sections shown at FIGURE 61.
In between at 141 the guard strips rise up, as the earth rises to a plow, when the zipper passes, and then due to their elastic shape-retention fall back upon each other, as seen happening in FIGURE 59.
FIGURE 62 is a cross-section of an expansion joint in accordance with my invention incorporating the abovedescribed pair of elastomeric guard strips 140, showing them in the position they assume when the expansion joint is contracted. FIGURE 63 shows them when the expansion joint is open. They now can and do return closer to their memory shape, thus curling around the zipper teeth 24a, 24h and protecting them.
FIGURE 64 shows a pair of such guard strips 142 extruded integrally with channel-shaped binding strips. Here in the closed position they lie over each other. FIGURE 65 shows these same composite strips curled around the zipper tracks 24a, 24b when the expansion joint is open. FIGURE 66 shows an alternative form of elastomeric guard strips 144, in the closed configuration of the expansion joint. FIGURE 67 shows these guard strips curled down around the zipper tracks when the expansion joint is open.
Reversed zippers At FIGURES 68 and 69 I have shown another expedient for protecting the zipper tracks, which are exposedparticularly along their bottom run-when the expansion joint is opened up. Here are shown nylon coil zippers arranged with the coils on that face of the tape which faces toward the interior of the suitcase. The slider 152 is shown with its narrow end seen in FIGURE 68 where the tracks are engaged, and its wide end seen in FIGURE 69 where the tracks are disengaged. This slider is conventional except that it has the pull tab 153 attached to the opposite face, to wit, the shallow face 152a rather than the face 15212 with relatively deep flanges.
T eachng and scope While a number of variations and different embodiments of my invention have been shown here, its teachings may be modified and utilized in many different embodiments within the teaching of my invention and the scope of my patent.
1. Carrying case having an expansible-contractible joint about its entire periphery, and having a slide fastener with two tracks secured along said joint with one end having the two tracks converging and always engaged.
2. Carrying case having an expansion-contraction joint about its entire periphery, an extensible collar bridging the joint about its entire periphery and capable of assuming wide or narrow bridging condition, and a slide fastener having a pair of tracks, that in the expanded condition of the joint are spaced apart, that run long the joint edges and that at one end converge across the surface of the collar, the converging end portions being at least in part secured to the collar, the converging end portions being there engaged, a slider over the engaged tracks, and end stop means that keep the slider always on the tracks and the tracks thereby always engaged in at least the slider location.
3. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the converging end portions of the tracks are continuously secured to the extensible collar.
4. Carrying case of claim 3 in which one pair of ends of the slide fastener curve toward each other and then reverse their curves and end as two S curves meeting at their tangent.
5. Carrying case of claim 3 in which the converging end Iportions are continuously secured along the central width region of the extensible collar and are wrapped up in a collar enclave formed when the case is contracted.
6. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the carrying case is parallelepiped with its largest faces in parallel vertical planes and has a handle lying in a plane parallel to those planes and the expression joint runs entirely around the carrying case in a plane Substantially parallel to those planes.
7. Carrying case of claim 6v in which the opposed edges at the expansion joint are substantially parallel to each other both when the case is contracted and when it is expanded.
8. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the carrying case has a handle, and two expansion joints are provided, one lying to each side of the handle.
9. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the slide fastener tracks extend from their convergence and once around substantially the entire peripheral length of the collar parallel to each other and then diverge in a relatively short length and then run parallel to each other and spaced farther apart for again substantially the entire peripheral length of the collar.
10. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the collar is a fabric web with its threads parallel to the length of the collar, and an anti-sag reinforcement of material that is non-stretch along its length is applied to the end portions of the collar with its length running from upper-inner corner of the end portion of the collar to its lowenouter corner.
11. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the collar runs completely about the periphery and its ends overlap and are seamed together and the slide fastener runs almost but not quite completely about the collar and its converging end portions terminate on one side of the collar seam and its spaced-apart ends terminate on the other side of the collar saam forming a slide fastener gap.
12. Carrying case of claim 11 in which the ends of the collar are cut on a non-straight line which is concave toward the converging end portions of the slide fastener tracks and convex toward the spaced-apart ends of the slide fastener tracks.
13. Carrying case of claim 11 in which the collar seam lies at the top of a case adjacent the handle.
14. Carrying case of claim 11 in which a semi-stiff flap, of width to cover the gap from where the tracks are attached along the edges of the expansion joint at one end over to where they are so attached near the converging end portions, and of length greater than the width of the expansion joint, is hinged to one side of the expansion joint and has its end detachably secured on the other side of the expansion joint selectively at either of at least two locations.
15. Carrying case of claim 13 in which a semi-stiif ap is hinged outboard of the slide fastener gap and covers said gap and lies in a space under the handle and is detachably secured at its tip.
16. Carrying case of claim 15 in which there are two such expansion seams at the two sides of the handle and there are two such flaps overlapping each other and the tip of the upper one is selectively secured to near the base, near the middle, or near the tip of the under one.
17. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the slide fastener is a zipper.
18. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the slide fastener is an intertting longitudinal bead track and longitudinal channel track.
19. Carrying case of claim 18 in which the bead and channel members are of continuously extruded elastomer.
20. Carrying case of claim 19 in which the tracks and the collar are one integral extrusion.
21. Carrying case of claim 19 in which the bead and channel tracks each have a U-shape binding for the joint edge integrally extruded with it.
22. Carrying case of claim 19 in which the tracks and the collar and a pair of bindings for the joint edges are all one integral extrusion.
23. Carrying case of claim 20 in which a length of the extrusion is cut off, long enough to go around the periphery of the case, and the tracks are sliced free from the collar at one end for a distance to allow them to converge and be engaged and secured together and to the collar again.
24. Carrying case of claim 19 in which a slider is provided over the tracks and holding them engaged in at least the region where the slider is, the slide fastener having opposed outer side grooves, one in each track, for the slider to run in and, when moving in the engaging direction, to exert force and which pushes the tracks together into engagement.
25. Carrying case of claim 19 in which the channel track serves as a jaw member and has opposed grooves in it for a part of the slider to push oppositely against to spread the jaw.
26. Carrying case of claim 19 in which the slider has a portion which, when the slider is moving in disengaging direction, exerts a separating push between the channel track and the bead track.
27. Carrying case of claim 19 in which the expansion joint lies at a corner between the side face of the carrying case and the four top bottom and end walls.
28. Carrying case of claim 27 in which two such expansion joints are provided, one at each of the two case sides.
29. Carrying case of claim 28 in which each of the expansion joints is two-stage, providing selectively a first degree of expansion about the entire periphery or a further second degree of expansion about the entire periphery.
30. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the carrying case is of flexible material such as fabric and the expansion joint runs around the great periphery and a relatively stiff floor is provided with fold-down edges that widen it when the case is expanded and fold back up when the case is re-contracted.
31. Carrying case of claim 2 in which two separable individually expansible carrying cases are detachably secured together for unitary carrying.
32. Carrying case of claim 31 in which one case is twice as high as the other and the same length and is folded over the second case, the iirst case having an expansion joint that runs about its top and bottom walls and its bent-over side walls.
33. Carrying case of claim 32 in which the inner edges of the end Walls of the first case carry means for selectively attaching them either to each other or to the adjacent end wall edges of the second case.
34. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the expansion joint lies between two handle members and is of nonuniform collar width, being wider in the mid-to-lower regions.
35. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the expansion joint is horizontal and the tracks run substantially all the way about the horizontal periphery.
36. Carrying case of claim 35 in which a plurality of horizontal expansion joints are provided, spaced one below the other.
37. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the slide fastener runs across the bottom of the case and feet are provided near the expansion joint and to both sides of it.
38. Carrying case of claim 2 in which the expansion joint runs across the bottom of the case and an elongated bar is provided attached to the extensible collar lengthwise of same and feet are provided on the under face of the bottom portion of the extensible collar, said feet being secured in place by said bar and being exposed When the joint is expanded and enclaved Within the collar when the joint is contracted.
39. Carrying case of claim 38 in which the bar lies along the under face of the collar and constitutes the feet.
40. Carrying case of claim 39 in which the bar is of relatively thin mid-section and has side portions that project down, thus providing elongated feet relatively close to the slide fastener tracks and a recessed portion for riveting therebetween.
41. Carrying case of claim 40 in which the side portions are hollow lengthwise and pinched together and sealed closed at their ends.
42. Carrying case of claim 2 in which guard strips are provided for at least a portion of the length of the slide fasteners, each such guard strip being of elastomer extruded in the shape of the letter .T and secured to the slide fastener with its curled edge adjacent to and overlying a gripping edge member of the slide fastener.
43. Carrying case of claim 42 in which two such guard strips are provided, one being secured to each of the tracks of the slide fastener, both lapping across gripping edges of the tracks when they are engaged, and each curling about its one of the gripping edges when the tracks are disengaged.
44. Carrying case of claim 43 in which each of the guard strips is extruded integral with a U-shape edge binding.
45. Carrying case of claim 17 in which the zipper has a tape and teeth members that lie at least predominantly 17 at one face of the tape and the expansion joint is made with the teeth members on the inner side and the slider has a shallow side and a recessed side and is mounted with its shallow side out and its recessed side in and the sliders pull tab is attached to the shallow outer side of the slider.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,691,401 10/1954 Kontoif et al. 190-44X 18 FOREIGN PATENTS 4/1954 France. 4/ 1951 Great Britain.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,443,671 May 13, 1969 Herbert Gordon Dyke It is certified that error appears n the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2, line 42, "2,729,247" should read 2,729,257
Signed and sealed this 24th day of November 1970.
Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.
Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.