US 3708045 A
A soft, flexible bag for carrying clothing and personal accessories or the like includes a top, a bottom, first and second end walls, a pair of side walls, and a novel continuous zipper-type slide fastener which is arranged in an unusual manner whereby it follows a curved path down substantially the length of said first end wall, diagonally upwardly across one of said side walls, and in a curved path down said second end wall, the opening of said uniquely-arranged zipper permitting said flexible bag walls to hang downwardly and outwardly in a widespread condition facilitating the packing and unpacking of the bag.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Katz  LUGGAGE BAGS  lnventor: Ira R. Katz, Nashville, Tenn.  Assignee: Hlrtmann Luggage Company,
 Filed: July 19, 1971  Appl. No.: 163,923
[ 51 Jan. 2, 1973 Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton Attorney-Arthur L. Morsell, Jr. et al.
57 ABSTRACT A soft, flexible bag for carrying clothing and personal accessories or the like includes a top, a bottom, first and second end walls, a pair of side walls, and a novel continuous zipper-type slide fastener which is arranged in an unusual manner whereby it follows a curved path down substantially the length of said first end wall, diagonally upwardly across one of said side walls, and in a curved path down said second end wall, the opening of said uniquely-arranged zipper permitting said flexible bag walls to hang downwardly and outwardly in a widespread condition facilitating the packing and unpacking of the bag.
8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAK 2 I913 3. 708,045
INVENTOR IRA R. KATZ MvM ATTORNEYS LUGGAGE BAGS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates to so-called carry-on bags, which are relatively small, lightweight luggage pieces, usually formed of a soft, flexible material, designed for carrying clothing and other articles, which small, lightweight bags can be carried onto an airplane by a passenger and placed in the overhead compartment or under the passengers seat. More particularly the invention relates to a unique and attractive carry-on bag having a novel slide fastener arrangement adapted to promote the packing and unpacking of said bag.
2. Description of the Prior Art Conventional tote bags, duffel bags, and luggage pieces intended for the same general purposes are ordinarily provided with a zipper which extends along the top thereof, or along the top and down the end walls, which zipper arrangement is not entirely satisfactory because it does not permit the entire upper portion of the bag to be folded back and opened to a widespread condition providing ready access to the complete interior thereof. The result is that the user must feel" around the bag interior and dark corner portions when packing and unpacking his clothes and other articles. This is not only time-consuming and an inconvenience, but it prevents the most efficient use of the packing space in said bag.
Examples of prior, conventional luggage pieces of the general type described are disclosed in the following U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,717,671; 3,110,376; 2,254,578; 2,325,806; 2,495,391; 2,734,584; and 1,914,087.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a novel luggage piece of the so-called carry-on type, having a completely new and advantageous zipper-type slide fastener arrangement. Said bag is formed of a soft, flexible and attractive material such as canvas or colored nylon or other suitable waterproofed material, and is generally rectangular in shape when in its closed, carrying condition, including a top and bottom, a pair of side walls, and opposed first and second end walls. In accordance with the preferred embodiment thereof, the novel continuous zipper featured in the intention starts at the top portion of said first end wall, intermediate the sides thereof, and continues downwardly therealong in a line including a curved lower portion which extends to a point on one side edge of said wall spaced a short distance above the bottom of the bag, said zipper then continuing upwardly in a generally diagonal direction across one of the bag side walls to a point on the opposite side edge thereof spaced a short distance below the top of said bag, said zipper then continuing downwardly on the second end wall to a point immediately adjacent the bottom thereof intermediate the width of said' wall. As mentioned, due to the unique arrangement thereof, when said zipper is opened the flexible top and side wall portions of the bag are permitted to hang outwardly and downwardly in a widespread condition which exposes the complete interior of said bag and greatly facilitates the packing and/or removal 1 of the bag contents.
Another novel feature of the present bag is that while it is formed primarily of a soft, flexible material, as
described, in the preferred form of the invention protective reinforcing strips of flexible plastic or similar heavy-duty material are provided on the end edge portions thereof, as well as along the top and bottom surfaces, to add support and to ensure protection against rough handling, said strips being covered with leather or vinyl to provide contrasting ornamentation which further enhances the uniqueness and attractiveness of the bag.
Another important feature of the novel carry-on bag comprising the present invention is the provision of specially-designed handle strap members of leather or the like which preferably extend the entire height of the side walls to which they are attached, said handle straps being so designed that they do not interfere with the manipulation of the zipper when it: is desired to open or close the bag.
A further advantage of the present invention is that the novel zipper arrangement incorporated therein is so designed that when the bag is in its packed, transporting condition said zipper can be readily secured in its closed position by means of a key-actuated lock member conveniently located on the top surface of said bag.
Still further advantages of the novel bag comprising the present invention are that it is simple in design and construction, relatively inexpensive to manufacture, and is otherwise particularly well suited for its intended purposes.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now more particularly to the drawings, it will be seen that the improved luggage bag comprising the present invention includes a top 10, bottom 11, a pair of side walls 12, 13, and a pair of end walls l4, 15. As mentioned, said walls are preferably formed of a soft, flexible material, such as nylon or similar synthetic, or canvas, said material not only being tough, durable, and waterproof, but attractive in appearance.
As will beseen in FIGS. 1-3, when said bag is in its closed, transporting condition it is generally rectangular in shape with the wall members relatively flat,
although the flexibility of said bag material permits said wall members to bow outwardly when the case is fully packed and to assume a semi-collapsed condition when it is desired to store the bag in a small area. In the preferred embodiment of the invention reinforcing strips 17 of leather or vinyl-covered flexible plastic or comparable tough material are stitched or otherwise secured to and aroundthe edge portions at the ends of the bag, and similar, longitudinal reinforcing strips 17' (FIG. 4) are secured to the bag top and bottom surfaces to stiffen and strengthen said bag and minimize the possibility of damage during use. In addition, and as hereinabove mentioned, said contrasting leather or vinyl-covered strips further enchance the attractive appearance of the bag.
With reference now to the unique zipper arrangement characterizing the present invention, it will be observed in FIG. 3 that the upper terminal of said zipper 18 is located at the top of the end wall 14 of the bag, the illustrated zipper assembly being of conventional construction with a slideable head 19, and a gripping tab 20 with a hingedly-attachedlocking element 21. Fabric strips 22, 22 are attached to the adjacent free edges of the bag material, said strips having separable, complementary intermeshing projecting studs or teeth formed of nylon or other material, as is well known in the art. With such a conventional zipper-type slide fastener when the head 19 is manually pulled in one direction it functions to join said interfitting teeth in interlocking relationship, while when said zipper head is urged in the opposite direction it functions to disengage said teeth and permits the separation of the adjacent bag edges. It is to be understood, incidentally, that while a conventional zipper has been illustrated and described herein other slide fasteners or comparable closure elements could be utilized, and the invention is by no means to be limited in this respect.
The critical feature of the present invention, as will now be described, is not the construction of the particular slide fastener employed, but, rather, the unusual arrangement of said closure member on the bag.
As will be seen in FIG. 3, the upper end, or beginning of the zipper 18 in the present invention commences at the top of the end wall 14, intermediate the sides thereof, from which point said zipper 18 extends downwardly to a point A on the edge of said end wall spaced above the bottom thereof. From said point the zipper is formed around the edge of the bag and continues upwardly on the side wall 12 (FIG. 1) diagonally to a point B located on the opposite end of said side wall adjacent the top thereof. Said zipper is then extended around the edge of the bag to the end wall 15 (FIG. 2) and extends downwardly thereon, terminating at the bottom of said bag intermediate the width of said end wall.
To permit the zipper 18 or other slide fastener utilized in the present invention to extend around the end edges of the bag walls the aforementioned reinforcing strips 17 surrounding the end edges of said bag are not continuous but, rather, are provided with end portions terminating immediately adjacent said zipper to provide slotways therefor, said strip ends being stitched or otherwise securely affixed to the bag material to ensure a strong and durable construction.
As illustrated in FIG. 4, when said zipper 18 is opened the entire top portion of said flexible bag, as well as a substantial portion of the side walls, are allowed to flop or fold over and hang down freely, thus exposing the complete interior of the bag. The result is that during packing the entire interior of the bag can be thoroughly and efiiciently filled with a minimum of effort, and when unpacking said open, widespread bag the entire contents are readily visible and it is unnecessary to grope or feel around for the items placed therein.
In accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention, looped handle straps 25, 26 formed of leather or comparable flexible, strong and durable material, are secured to the opposite side walls of the bag. As will be noted, each of said handles comprises a single strap including a pair of spaced strap portions which extend upwardly from the bottom of the bag on the side walls and form a loop projecting substantially above the bag. A flexible piece 27 of leather or the like having coacting snap fasteners 28 (FIG. 4) is secured to the top of the handle loop 26 and when the bag is in its carrying condition the top portions of said handle loops are arranged in aligned, overlying relation with said piece 27 wrapped therearound and the coacting snaps 28 engaged to securely retain said upwardly-projecting loops together. The result is a unitary grip which can be readily manually grasped and the bag conveniently carried with one hand.
As will be seen in FIG. 1, in order to permit the opening and closing of the portion of the zipper 18 on the bag side wall 12, the strap portion 25' of the handle 25 is secured to said bag wall by means of a permanent fastener 30 positioned immediately beneath said zipper, the portion of said flexible handle strap thereabove being free of the bag wall. Similarly, the opposite strap element 25" is secured to a lower portion of the bag wall 12 by a fastener 31 positioned immediately beneath said diagonally-disposed zipper 18, with the strap portion thereabove being free of said bag wall. The result is that when it is desired to open or close the bag it is merely necessary to swing the upper portion of said flexible handle loop downwardly to an out-of-the-way position where it will not impede the action of said zipper. With respect to the illustrated handle assembly, incidentally, it is to be understood that other types of handles or grips could be employed, and the exact design of said handle is not a critical feature of the invention.
With respect now to the means for locking the present bag in its closed condition, a rigid inverted U- shaped metal loop member 32 is permanently secured on the top surface of the bag adjacent the end wall 14 thereof, said loop being fastened to the end reinforcing strip 17, and attached to the zipper tab 20 is a metal locking element 21, as hereinabove described, having a key-actuated depressible top portion 21' (FIG. 1). To lock the bag said locking element 21 is manually urged under said rigid loop 32, the portion 21' thereof being temporarily depressed to permit said action, and when the key is inserted therein and turned said element 21 is locked in the illustrated elevated position projecting above said loop member, thereby preventing the withdrawal of said member 21 from beneath the loop 32 and avoiding the unauthorized opening of the zipper. To unlock the zipper the key is merely re-inserted in said lock member and turned to permit the depression of said element 21', thereby allowing said member 21 to be urged outwardly beneath the loop 32 and freeing the zipper.
In the use of the present invention, in order to open the bag the zipper head 19 is merely pulled downwardly by means of the tab 20 from the position of FIGS. 1 and 3 along the path delineated on the end wall 14, said zipper head functioning to disengage the zipper teeth or lugs and causing the separation of the adjacent wall portions of the bag on the opposite sides of said zipper. When the zipper head reaches the point A" adjacent the bottom of said end wall 14 it is pulled around the corner portion of the bag and diagonally upwardly across the side wall 12 (FIG. 1). After reaching the point B the zipper head is pulled downwardly on the end wall 15, along the illustrated path, until it reaches the bottom of said end wall, at which point the entire bag is open.
As mentioned, and as is illustrated in FIG. 4, due to the unique arrangement of the zipper 18, when said bag has been opened as described the entire flexible top of said bag, as well as a substantial portion of the side walls, may be readily folded outwardly and downwardly to completely expose the bag interior. The result is that the user can easily pack his clothes or other items therein. Moreover, when unpacking the present bag when it is in its open, widespread condition there is no necessity for groping around in the bag interior, particularly in the corners or recesses, in order to find the items packed therein. With the present invention the user has a big, open drawer-like container in which he can readily see the location of every item.
When the bag is packed, and it is desired to close the same, the zipper 18 is merely pulled in a reverse direction, first up the end wall 15, then diagonally downwardly across the side wall 12, and finally upwardly on the end wall 14 to its starting position, at which point the bag can be locked in its closed condition, as described.
From the foregoing detailed description it will be seen that the present invention provides a new and improved carry-on type bag featuring a completely novel zipper-type slide fastener arrangement which permits said bag to be readily opened to a widespread condition which greatly facilitates the packing and unpacking of the bag in comparison to conventional carry-on bags and comparable luggage pieces. Moreover, the present bag is provided with novel handle members which are especially designed to accommodate said uniquezipper arrangement, and while said bag is preferably formed primarily of a soft, flexible, and attractivematerial it is provided with reinforcing strips of flexible plastic covered with leather or vinyl mounted along its edge and corner portions which not only function to protect said bag and ensure its long life, but which contrasting reinforcing members further promote the distinctive appearance and attractiveness of the bag. Additional advantages of the new bag are that it is lightweight and easy to handle, it is simple in design and construction, and it is relatively inexpensive to manufacture.
It is to be understood that while one preferred embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described herein, it is contemplated that various changes or modifications thereof may occur to those skilled in this art. What is intended to be covered herein, therefore, is not only the illustrated form of the invention but also any and all variations or modifications thereof as may'come within the spirit of said invention.
WhatI claim is:
l. A carry-on type luggage bag comprising: a bottom; a flexible top; first and second flexible side walls; first and second flexible end walls; and a continuous slide fastener extending from the top of said first end wall downwardly to a point on one side edge thereof above the bottom of said bag, said slide fastener extending around the corner edge and upwardly across said first side wall in a diagonal path to a point on the upper portion of the opposite side edge of said wall, said slide fastener extending around the adjacent corner edge and down said second end wall, the opening of said slide fastener permitting said flexible top and side wall members to hang downwardly and outwardly in a widespread condition to expose the interior of said bag.
2. The bag recited in claim 1 wherein said slide fastener extends down said first end wall from a point adjacent the top thereof, intermediate the width of said wall, and includes a curved portion extending to said point on the side edge of said end wall, and wherein said slide fastener portion on said second end wall includes a curved portion whereby said slide fastener terminates at a point adjacent the bottom of said bag intermediate the width of said second end wall.
3. The bag recited in claim 1 wherein a lock element is mounted on said bag top surface adjacent said first end wall, and wherein said slide fastener is provided with a coacting, key-actuated lock element adapted to be releasably engaged with said first lock element to lock said bag in its closed condition.
4. The bag recited in claim 1 and including handle means projecting upwardly from the top of said bag.
5. The bag recited in claim 4 wherein said handle means comprises: a strap loop attached to each of said side walls, the strap elements on the bag first side wall being attached to the bag beneath said diagonallydisposed slide fastener with the strap portions thereabove being free of the bag to permit the manipulation of said slide fastener without said handle interfering therewith.
6. The bag recited in claim 5 and including a flexible connecting piece adapted to be wrapped around the upper portions of said handle loop members when the latter are inaligned, overlying relation, said connecting piece having coacting means adapted to releasably secure said loop top portions together;
7. The bag recited in claim 1 and including reinforcing strips surrounding and covering the end edge portions of said bag.
8. The bag recited in claim 1 wherein a first lock element is mounted on said bag top adjacent said first end wall; wherein said slide fastener is provided with a second, key-actuated coacting lock element adapted to be releasably engaged with said first lock element to lock said bag in its closed condition; wherein a handle strap loop is attached to each of said side walls, the strap elements on the bag first sidewall being attached to the bag beneath said diagonally-disposed slide fastener with the strap portions thereabove being free of the bag to permit the manipulation of said slide' fastener; wherein a flexible connecting piece associated with said handle loops is adapted to be wrapped around the upper portions of said handle lioop members when the latter are in aligned, overlying relation, said con- ,necting piece having coacting means adapted to releasably secure said loop top portions together; and
wherein protective reinforcing strips, formed of a different, more rigid material than the bag walls, are secured to and surrounding the end edge portions of said bag.
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