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Publication numberUS3692155 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 19, 1972
Filing dateOct 22, 1970
Priority dateOct 22, 1970
Publication numberUS 3692155 A, US 3692155A, US-A-3692155, US3692155 A, US3692155A
InventorsLaurita Joseph N
Original AssigneeLark Luggage Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Handle assembly
US 3692155 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Laurita I 154] HANDLE ASSEMBLY [72] Inventor: Joseph N. Laurita, Maspeth, NY. [73] Assignee: Lark Luggage Corporation [22] Filed: Oct. 22, 1970 [21] App]. No.: 82,887

Primary Examiner-Joseph R. Leclair Assistant Examiner-Stephen Marcus Att0rneyBlum, Moscovitz, Friedman & Kaplan 51 Sept. 19,1972

[ 5 7] ABSTRACT A handle assembly adapted to be connected with articles such as luggage and the like for carrying the same. The handle assembly includes substantially rigid and substantially U-shaped frame having a pair of 0pposed legs respectively terminating in inner ends to be connected with the article which is to be carried. An elongated cross member extends between and is fixed with said legs, this cross member having an outer edge region at the region of outer ends of the legs which are respectively distant from the inner ends thereof. The

I elongated cross member has an inner edge region spaced from but directed toward the innerends of the legs. An elongated yieldable covering extends along thecross member at least at the inner edge region thereof and from the latter at least partly along opposed side surfaces of the cross member, while a suitable fastening means fixes this covering to the cross member. In this way the handle assembly is provided with a relatively soft, yieldable construction at least along the inner edge region of the cross member. The outer edge region of the cross member can retain its rigidity. This outer edge region can be covered by a relatively rigid channel which also serves to cover fasteners which fasten the yieldable covering to the cross member 8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures HANDLE ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to handles.

In particular, the present invention relates to handle assemblies adapted to be connected with articles such as luggage and the like for carrying the articles.

At the present time conventional handle assemblies of this type may be considered as belonging to two categories. One type of handle is relatively rigid, the rigidity being provided for reasons of strength. However, while such handles are relatively strong they are hard and uncomfortable to the hand so that considerable discomfort is created during carrying of an article to which such a handle is connected.

On the other hand, the other category of handles may be considered as relatively soft and somewhat flexible. Such handles are more comfortable but of course are somewhat weaker and in addition because they do not retain their configuration tend to compress the hand which engages the handle, so that considerable discomfort results even from such construction.

SUMMARY or THE INVENTION It is accordingly a primary object of the present invention to provide a handle assembly which on the one hand will retain the strength of relatively rigid handles and which on the other hand will provide the comfort of softer handles without, however, the disadvantage of undesirably squeezing the hand which engages the handle due to any deformation of the handle.

Also, it is an object of the present invention to provide a handle assembly which can be manufactured quite. inexpensively from a relatively small number of componentswhich are readily assembled.

Thus, the object of the present invention include the provision of a handle assembly which is exceedingly strong due to its rigidity but which at the same time provides the hand which engages the handle assembly with a soft yieldable construction which is far more comfortable than a rigid member.

According to the invention the handle assembly includes a substantially rigid frame of substantially U- shaped configuration having a pair of opposed legs which respectively terminate in inner ends adapted to be connected with the article which is to be carried. This frame has an elongated cross member extending between and fixed with the legs, this cross member having an outer edge region at the region of outerends of the legs which are respectively distant from the inner end regions thereof. The cross member has an inner edge region spaced from and directed toward the inner end regions of the legs. An elongated yieldable means covers the cross member at least at the inner edge region thereof andalong part of the opposed side surfaces thereof extending from the inner edge region at least partly toward the outer edge region of the cross member. In this way the cross member has along its inner edge region a soft yieldable covering which will be very comfortable to the hand while at the same time the rigidity of the frame can be preserved along the outer edge region of the cross member for esthetic reasons as well as for reasons of economy and strength.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS The invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings which form part of this application and in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective illustration of the several components which are assembled to form a handle according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the assembled handle of the invention attached to an article of luggage or the like which is to be carried by the handle;

FIG. 3 is a transverse cross section of the handle assembly of FIG. 2, taken along line 33 of FIG. 2 in the direction of the arrow; and

FIG. 4 is an end view of a covering channel of the handle assembly shown in the condition which this channel has prior to assembly with the remaining components of the handle assembly.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawing, the handle assembly 10 of the invention is shown in FIG. 2 connected with an article of luggage 12 which is only fragmentarily il- 16b. This cross member 22 has an elongated outer edge region 24 at the region of the outer ends 20a and 20b of the legs and inner edge region 26 spaced from and directed toward the inner end regions 18a and 18b of the legs 16a and 16b. This cross member 22 has opposed side surfaces 28a and 28b and is formed in these side surfaces, at the outer edge region 24, with a pair of opposed parallel grooves 30a and 30b. This frame 14 of the invention is preferably molded in one piece from a suitable plastic which is strong and possesses a high degree of rigidity.

The legs 16a and 16b are respectively formed at their inner end regions 18a and 18b with through-bores 32a and 32b for receiving pivot pins which are also received in ears 34a and 34b fixed to and extending from the article 12, so that in this way. the handle assembly 10 is connected swingably with the article 12 to be carried thereby.

Also, the cross member 22 is formed with a pair of openings 36 extending therethrough partly at outer regions of the grooves 30a and 30b and partly beyond these grooves. These openings 36 are adapted to receive rivets 38, respectively, which form a fastening means for a purpose described below.

In accordance with one of the features of the invention, a yieldable means 40 is fixed to the cross member 24 and covers the latter at least along the inner edge region 26 thereof and along at least part of the opposed side surfaces 28a and 28b extending from the inner edge region 26. In this way the yieldable means 40 will provide the hand which engages the handle assembly with a soft yieldable construction which is more comfortable than a bare rigid member.

This yieldable means 40 includes an inner elongated body 42 of substantially U-shaped cross section which receives the inner edge region 26 of the cross member 22. This body 42 may take the form of a suitable foam plastic, for example, which is relatively soft and yieldable while at the same time being resilient. It is preferred to form the body 42 from an elongated extrusion which I after it is extruded can be cut to the required length corresponding to the distance between the legs 16a and 16b.

The yieldable means 40 includes, in addition to the body 42, a flexible sheet material 44 which covers the body 42. This flexible sheet material 44 can be made of any suitable plastic.

As is apparent from FIGS. 1 and 3, the body 42 has its maximum thickness at the inner edge region 26 of the cross member 22 and gradually tapers in thickness from this inner edge region 26 toward the outer edge region 24. The sheet material 44 covers the body 42 and extends beyond the latter into the opposed grooves 30a and 30b.

The fastening means formed by the rivets 38 serves to fasten the yieldable means 40 to the frame 14. Thus, the rivets 38 are extended through the sheet material and the openings 36, respectively, and serve to fix the sheet material to the frame 14 in the manner indicated most clearly in FIG. 3. Thus the yieldable body 42 is retained between the flexible sheet material 44 and the cross member 22.

An elongated channel 46 is provided for covering the outer edge region 24 of the cross member and the fastening means 38. This channel 46 may be made of a substantially rigid metal which may add to the decorative appearance of the entire handle assembly 10. The channel 46 initially has the configuration shown in FIG. 4. With the channel 46 in the condition shown in FIG. 4 it is placed on the outer edge region 24, and then the opposed side walls of the channel 46 are pressed inwardly toward each other, in the direction of the arrows 48, so that inner edges 50 of the channel will engage and press the sheet material 44 into the grooves 30a and 30b while these edges 50 become situated beneath the upset heads of the rivets 38 in the manner most clearly apparent from FIG. 3. As a result the fastening means 38 is covered by the channel 46 which at the same time is retained connected with the assembly by its pressure against the sheet material 44 in the grooves 30a and 30b. Moreover, the heads of the rivets 38 prevent the channel 46 from being removed from the remainder of the assembly.

As is particularly apparent from FIG. 1, the handle assembly of the invention is composed of a relatively small number of components which are inexpensive and which are readily assembled. Moreover, in the finished handle the rigidity of the frame is retained along the outer edge region 24 of the cross member 22 thereof. At the same time beneath the channel 46 and in particular along the inner edge region 26 of the cross member 22 the handle assembly has the yieldable means 40 which provides the handle assembly with a soft yieldable construction at the part of the handle assembly which is engaged by the hand of the individual who is to carry the article 12. In this way the comfort of the individual is maintained without any sacrifice in the strength or rigidity of the handle assembly. The metallic outer channel member 46 protects the handle assembly if it should happen to strike against foreign objects. The sheet material 44 may be made of leather, vinyl, or the like. The channel 46 may be made of aluminum, brass, or the like. The body 42 may be made of any foam plastic such as polyurethane, polyvinylchloride, or the like. The frame 14 may be made of any plastic which can be molded into a substantially rigid body such as, for example, a linear polyethylene, polystyrene, or any other well known plastics. Thus, the entire handle assembly may be manufactured from well known materials which are readily available and which are relatively inexpensive.

What is claimed is:

1. In a handle assembly, a substantially rigid frame of substantially U-shaped configuration having a pair of opposed legs respectively terminating in inner end regions adapted to be connected with an article to be carried by the handle assembly and respectively terminating in outer end regions respectively distant from said inner end regions, said frame including an elongated cross member extending between and fixed to said legs, having an outer elongated edge region terminating at the outer end regions of said legs and an elongated inner edge region terminating at said legs between said end regions thereof and spaced from said inner end regions of said legs, and elongated yieldable means fixed to said cross member, extending along and covering said inner edge region respectively along opposed side surfaces of said cross member at least part of the way toward said outer edge region thereof, to render said cross member relatively soft and yieldable at least along said inner edge region thereof, said yieldable means extending from said inner edge region of said cross member only along the opposed side surfaces thereof, while leaving said outer edge region of said cross member uncovered by said yieldable means to preserve the rigidity of said frame at said outer edge region of said cross member, a fastening means fastening said yieldable means to said cross member in the vicinity of said outer edge region thereof, and a substantially rigid elongated channel covering said outer edge region of said cross member and extending therefrom partly along said opposed side surfaces and covering said fastening means, said yieldable means including an inner body of a soft resilient material and an outer flexible sheet covering and engaging said body and extending beyond the latter toward said outer edge region of said cross member, only said outer cover sheet being fixed with said cross member by said fastening means, said flexible sheet holding said yieldable means in position between said flexible sheet and said cross member.

2. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said inner body is in the form of an extrusion of substantially U- shaped cross section receiving said inner edge region of said cross member.

3. The combination of claim 2 and wherein said extrusion has a maximum thickness at said inner edge region of said cross member and gradually tapers along said opposed side surfaces of said cross member toward said outer edge region of said cross member.

4. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said fastening means includes rivets fixing said yieldable means to said cross member, and said channel covering said rivets.

5. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said frame is in the form of a one-piece molded body.

' 6. In a handle assembly, a substantially rigid frame of substantially U-shaped configuration having a pair of opposed legs respectively terminating in inner end regions adapted to be connected with an article to be carried by the handle assembly and respectively terminating in outer end regions respectively distant from said inner end regions, said frame including an elongated cross member extending between and fixed to said legs, having an outer elongated edge region terminating at the outer end regions of said legs and an elongated inner edge region terminating at said legs between said end regions thereof and spaced from said inner end regions of said legs, and elongated yieldable means fixed to said cross member, extending along and covering said inner edge region thereof, and extending from said inner edge region respectively along opposes side surfaces of said cross member at least part of the way toward said outer edge region thereof, to render said cross member relatively soft and yieldable at least along said inner edge region thereof, said yieldable means extending from said inner edge region of said cross member only along the opposed side surfaces thereof, while leaving said outer edge region of said cross member uncovered by said yieldable means to preserve the rigidity of said frame at said outer edge region of said cross member, a fastening means fastening said yieldable means to said cross member in the vicinity of said outer edge region thereof, and a substantially rigid elongated channel covering said outer edge region of said cross member and extending therefrom partly along said opposed side surfaces and covering said fastening means, said yieldable means including an inner body of soft resilient material and an outer flexible sheet covering and engaging said body, at least said outer sheet being fixed with said cross member by said fastening means, said inner body being in the form of an extrusion of substantially Ushaped cross section,

receiving said inner edge region of said cross member, said extrusion having a maximum thickness at said inner edge region of said cross member and gradually tapering along said opposed side surfaces of said cross member toward said outer edge region of said cross member, said flexible sheet extending beyond said extrusion toward said outer edge region of said cross member, said cross member being formed adjacent said outer edge region thereof with a pair of elongated grooves situated in said opposed side surfaces of said cross member, said sheet member extending into said grooves and being retained therein by said fastening means.

7. The combination of claim 6 and wherein said fastening means is in the form of rivets extending through the sheet material and said cross member at the region of said grooves thereof.

8. The combination of claim 7 and wherein said channel has inner edges directed] toward each other and pressing said sheet material into said grooves.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3959855 *Oct 29, 1975Jun 1, 1976Fisher Robert CShoulder strap bracket
US4087141 *Sep 3, 1976May 2, 1978General Electric CompanyDoor pull handle assembly
US4261078 *Jan 21, 1980Apr 14, 1981Samsonite CorporationCarrying handle
US4364150 *Aug 6, 1980Dec 21, 1982Kidde, Inc. (Presto Lock Company Division)Handle for luggage and the like
US4745656 *Dec 10, 1986May 24, 1988Whirlpool CorporationRefrigerator cabinet door handle
US4837892 *Mar 4, 1988Jun 13, 1989Conair CorporationCushioned handle structure for personal care appliances
US5321868 *Feb 18, 1993Jun 21, 1994Cathy CoulsonErgonomic squeegee for silk screening
US5475896 *Aug 9, 1994Dec 19, 1995Hua Peng Limited Co.Furniture handle
US6119309 *Feb 5, 1999Sep 19, 2000Ting Cheng Co., Ltd.Handle structure of a suitcase
US6167592 *Jul 8, 1999Jan 2, 2001James TsaiHandle having a covering
US6237766Jan 28, 2000May 29, 2001Targus Group InternationalCarrying case for portable computer
US6390297Oct 27, 2000May 21, 2002Targus Group InternationalCarrying case for portable computer
US6499187Aug 17, 2001Dec 31, 2002W. Dale HollingsworthComposite handle for carrying case
US6658698 *Sep 24, 2001Dec 9, 2003Wei-Chih ChenHandle structure for suitcase or the like
US6687955Aug 17, 2001Feb 10, 2004Targus Group InternationalHandle for carrying case
US7048103Dec 24, 2003May 23, 2006Targus Group InternationalHandle for carrying case
US7174605 *Oct 18, 2005Feb 13, 2007Clairson, Inc.Handles for attachment to wired products
US7278182 *Feb 25, 2005Oct 9, 2007Chen-Chuan WuHandle structure
US7305738Dec 27, 2006Dec 11, 2007Clairson, Inc.Handles for attachment to wired products
US8763795Jan 23, 2013Jul 1, 2014Targus Group International, Inc.Dual support flap case
DE3047198A1 *Dec 15, 1980Jul 29, 1982Bald GebBuegelfoermiger griff fuer koffer o.dgl.
EP0022378A1 *Jul 10, 1980Jan 14, 1981Samsonite CorporationLuggage case handle assembly
EP0032845A1 *Jan 21, 1981Jul 29, 1981Samsonite CorporationCarrying handle
WO2001008528A1 *Jul 6, 2000Feb 8, 2001Proot BartLuggage handle assembly
WO2010028010A1 *Sep 2, 2009Mar 11, 2010Custom-Pak, Inc.Handle for a carrying case
Classifications
U.S. Classification16/114.1, 16/430
International ClassificationA45C13/00, A45C13/26
Cooperative ClassificationA45C13/26
European ClassificationA45C13/26
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 1, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: SAMSONITE CORPORATION
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:SAMSONITE CORPORATION, A CORP. OF CO (MERGED INTO);BCI SAMSONITE CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE. (CHANGED INTO);REEL/FRAME:004748/0354
Effective date: 19870521
Dec 23, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: SAMSONITE CORPORATION, 11200 EAST 45TH AVENUE, DEN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CPG PRODUCTS CORP. A CORP OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004499/0699
Effective date: 19850815
Apr 23, 1985PSPatent suit(s) filed