US 3526921 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 8, 1970 A, A PK'E 3,526,921
SUITCQSE GASTOR MOUNTING Filed Oct. 16. 1968 JEAN A. AUP/(E v I INVENTOR femauwwaoum ATTORNEYS.
United States Patent 3,526,921 SUITCASE CASTOR MOUNTING Jean A. Aupke, 1328 Middle St., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15215 Filed Oct. 16, 1968, Ser. No. 767,960 Int. Cl. A47b 33/00 US. CI. 1643 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A hollow stud with a head has an externally threaded stem that will fit in and extend through a hole in the wall of a suitcase with the head outside. A cup-like nut is screwed onto the stem for holding the stud in place so that the mounting post of a castor can be inserted in it. A friction sleeve inside the stem grips the castor post to prevent it from accidently coming out of the stud.
There was a time when there were plenty of porters around bus and train stations and airplane terminals for helping people with their luggage. Nowadays porters are scarce or, in many locations nonexistent. This is no great loss to a traveller with light weight luggage, but when a person has a heavy suitcase to carry it is inconvenient, especially for a woman. To alleviate this situation many proposals have been made and patented for providing suitcases and the like with wheels of one form or another so that they can be pushed along a floor or platform, thereby relieving the owners of their weight. Some of these devices take the form of small carriages that are temporarily or permanently attached to luggage, but such carriages are generally bulky, unsightly and relatively expensive and add materially to the weight of the luggage. It has also been proposed to attach castor-like members to suitcases. Sometimes they are permanently secured in place and cannot be removed, thereby being highly objectionable when not being used. In other cases they have been removable, but for that purpose the suitcase has had to be manufactured in a special way to receive the castors, and the castors also had to be specially formed in order to be connected to the suitcase.
It is among the objects of this invention to provide a suitcase castor mounting which is inexpensive, which can be quickly and easily attached to a suitcase by almost anyone, which occupies but little space, which does not require a specially made suitcase, which adds very little weight to the suitcase, which leaves scarcely noticeable elements attached to the suitcase when the castors are removed, and which serves its purpose effectively.
The preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a suitcase provided with my castor mountings;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged side view of a castor, showing the castor support and bottom of the suitcase in vertical section; and
FIG. 3 is a cross section taken on the line III-III of FIG. 2.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, a suitcase 1 is shown which, when standing upright with its handle at the top, has a bottom wall that ordinarily would rest on the floor. In accordance with this invention, a wall of the suitcase, either an end wall or the bottom wall, but preferably the latter, is provided with three or four openings 2 therethrough which can be easily formed by drilling, cutting or punching. Two of these openings are near the opposite sides of the suitcases at one end of its bottom wall and the other opening or openings are at the opposite end. A total of three openings is all that is needed, in which case the third opening is located midway between the side walls.
Extending up through each of these openings is the externally threaded stem 3 of a hollow stud that has a head 4 beneath the bottom wall. This head will usually be provided with flats so that it can be gripped by a wrench while the stud is being installed. In some cases it may be desirable to mount a washer 5 on the stud between its head and the suitcase to avoid any possiblity of the head being pushed through the bottom wall. Inside the suitcase a nut 6 is screwed onto the threaded stem and tightened against the upper surface of the bottom wall. Here again a washer may be interposed if it is felt that the nut does not overlie a large enough area of the bottom wall. The nut is a deep cup-like member, by which is meant that one end, its upper end, is closed. By using such a nut, it closes the upper end of the hollow stud and thereby prevents any dirt or water from entering the suitcase through the stud, especially when the castor is not in place. The nut is deep or long because its upper wall must not engage the top of the stud before the nut has been screwed down as far as it should go. Since the bottom walls of suitcases vary in thickness, the nut will have to be screwed down farther in some cases than in others.
After the three studs have been mounted in the bottom wall of the suitcases as just described to form three downwardly opening sockets, castors are mounted in the sockets. Preferably, ball bearing swivel castors with hard rubber wheels 8 are used. Each castor is provided with an upwardly extending post 9 that is inserted in a socket. The post should have a uniform diameter, except for its rounded upper end. The castor post fits in the opening through the head 4 of a stud and extends up through its stem 3. The stud heads seat on top of the castors at the base of the posts.
Another feature of this invention is that when the suitcase is lifted the castors will not drop out of the sockets. Accordingly, the inner diameter of the stud stem is greater than the inner diameter of its head, or the major portion thereof, to provide an upwardly facing shoulder 11. Resting on this shoulder is the lower end of a friction sleeve 12 that is disposed inside the stem. The inner diameter of a sleeve is small enough to cause it to frictionally grip the post extending through it. Due to this gripping action, the castor will not drop out ofthe stud when the suitcase is lifted and will even offer some resistance to being pulled out.
The sleeve may be made of different materials that are slightly resilient or compressible, a short length of synthetic plastic flexible tubing being ideal for this purpose. To prevent any possibility of the sleeve being pushed upwardly when a castor post is inserted in the stud, means is provided at the upper end of the stud for holding the sleeve down in place. Such means may be simply inturned or peened-in portions 13 of the upper end of the stem, but preferably the sleeve is held down by a rigid ring 14 in the stern on top of the sleeve. The ring is locked in place by bending or peening the upper end of the stem over the ring.
The castor mountings disclosed herein can be sold as a kit and applied to a suitcase by its owner without any appreciable difficulty. While the suitcase is stored or being used in a room, the castors can be removed and kept in a bag in the suitcase. When travelling, the bag of castors can be carried separately without inconvenience, such as in a purse in the case of a woman, and then quickly inserted in the hollow studs whenever it is necessary to carry the suitcase any distance. When they are no longer needed, they can quickly be removed, but while in use there is no danger of their accidently separating from the suitcase and they are hardly noticeable.
1. A suitcase castor mounting compressing a hollow stud having a head and an externally threaded stem, the stem being adapted to fit in and extend through a hole in the wall of a suitcase with said head outside, a cuplike nut screwed onto the stem for clamping said wall between the head and nut and closing the free end of said stem, 21 castor provided with a mounting post fitting in said head and extending into the stem, the inner diameter of the stern being greater than the inner diameter of the head to provide an internal shoulder, and a friction sleeve inside the stem with one end engaging said shoulder, the sleeve frictionally gripping the castor to resist its removal from the stud.
2. A suitcase castor mounting according to claim 1, in which said friction sleeve is a flexible plastic sleeve.
3. A suitcase castor mounting according to claim 1, including means at the free end of said stem holding said sleeve therein.
4. A suitcase castor mounting according to claim 3,
in which said means include inwardly bent portions of said free end of the stem.
5. A suitcase castor mounting according to claim 3, in which said means include a rigid ring inside the stem engaging the end of the sleeve opposite said shoulder, and inwardly bent portions of said free end of the sleeve holding the ring in the stem.
6. A suitcase castor mounting according to claim 1, in which said friction sleeve is a flexible plastic sleeve spaced from the free end of said stem, said mounting including a rigid ring inside said stem engaging the end of the sleeve nearest said free end, and said free end being formed for engagement with the adjoining end of the ring to hold it in place.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,915,203 6/1933 Spayd l619 1,451,250 4/1923 Beebe l619 BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner D. L. TROUTMAN, Assistant Examiner