US 3757911 A
A piece of luggage or like article incorporates a rigid handle having three straight segments. The middle segment is horizontal, i.e., parallel to the top of the piece of luggage, and each of the two end segments are depressed approximately 30 DEG from horizontal so that they make an angle of 150 DEG with the middle segment. The end segments should be at least 4 inches long so that the user may grip the handle segment. The center segment will generally be longer than 4 inches. The exact length of the handle will depend on the size and shape of the piece of luggage utilizing this new handle.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Potter [451 Sept. 11, 1973 LUGGAGE HANDLES  Inventor: Huntington Potter, 5234 42nd St.
N.W., Washington, DC. 20015  Filed: Dec. 18, 1970  Appl. N0.: 99,463
 US. Cl. 190/57  Int. Cl. A45c 13/26  Field of Search 190/57, 58 R, 58 C, 190/39; 224/45 P  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,315,574 4/1967 Field et al. 224/45 P 772,616 10/1904 Isidor 190/57 D188,582 8/1960 Koffler.. 190/57 2,600,708 6/1952 Ulrich 190/57 3,128,855 4/1964 Hoffman et al. v. 190/58 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 213,819 6/1967 Sweden 190/57 Primary Examiner-Herbert F. Ross Assistant ExaminerStephen Marcus Att0r'neyWilliam Lloyd  ABSTRACT A piece of luggage or like article incorporates a rigid handle having three straight segments. The middle segment is horizontal, i.e., parallel to the top of the piece of luggage, and each of the two end segments are depressed approximately 30 from horizontal so that they make an angle of 150 with the middle segment. The end segments should be at least 4 inches long so that the user may grip the handle segment. The center segment will generally be longer than 4 inches. The exact length of the handle will depend on the size and shape of the piece of luggage utilizing this new handle.
6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Ili- Patented Sept. 11,1973 3,757,911
.\-, mm. "M...
' 25 v l'Hihlm FIG. 2
- 3 l In LUGGAGE HANDLES This invention relates to a piece of luggage or other bulky, hand-carried article. incorporating a new and useful handle. The object of this handle is to allow the person carrying the piece to tilt said piece of luggage so that its bottom edge is no longer horizontal but is tilted at an angle of about 30. This allows the carrier to ascend and descend flights of stairs without bumping the comers of the piece of luggage against the steps as so often happens with present handles. The only way to. avoid this bumping with present handles is to lift the entire piece of luggage rather than hold it at arms length. This lifting is excessively difficult especially if the article is heavy. My new handle eliminates the bumping without extra exertion on the part of the user.
FIG. 1 is a side view of a suitcase incorporating the preferred form of my new handle;
FIG. 2 is a side view of a suitcase incorporating an alternate form of my new handle in the form of an arc of a circle, the center of said circle being at the center of gravity of the suitcase; I
FIG. 3 diagrammatically illustrates a suitcase with an alternate form of handle.
The orientation, or tilt, of a suitcase depends on the position of the center of gravity of the suitcase and the point of support of the suitcase. For the purposes of designing the handle, it is convenient to assume that the center of gravity of the suitcase is the same whether empty or loaded. For purposes of describing the present invention, only one point of support for the suitcase at any one time will be considered. This point may be taken as the middle of whatever 4 inch section of handle is gripped by the carriers hand at any particular time. In terms of the present invention, this 4 inch section of handle may be at any point on the extra long handle herein provided. As long as the center of gravity of the suitcase is directly below the point of support, the suitcase is in a stable equilibrium position and the carrier need only support the weight of the suitcase. No other forces such as twisting need to be exerted on the handle. If permitted to do so, a suitcase will orient itself so that its center of gravity is directly below its point of support when carried.
By changing its pointof support, the orientation of the suitcase may be changed, or the suitcase may be tilted. If the carrier shifts his hand forward of the conventional position in the center of the handle for holding a suitcase, the suitcase will tilt itself with the forward end higher than the back and tore-establish an equilibrium with the center of gravity directly below the point of support. It therefore follows'that a longer handle will allow the suitcase to be tilted. The amount of tilt acquired is determined by how far away from the center the carrier shifts his hand, and exactly where the center of gravity is. The angle of tilt is geometrically equal to the angle between the line joining the center of gravity to the usual position of support for carrying the suitcase in a'horizontal position, and the line joining the center of gravity to the true position of the carriers hand. According to this invention, the length of the handle should be enough to tilt the bottom of the suitcase parallel to a flight of stairs. An angle of about 30 is sufficient for most stair cases. Since, depending on the height of the suitcase, the bottom need not be exactly parallel to the stairs to avoid bumping, the maximum angle of tilt may be less than 30 in many cases. The exact length of the handle required depends on the position of the center of gravity (i.e., the geometrical center) of the suitcase and on the shape of the handle. The dimensions of the handle relative to the dimensions of the suitcase will be explained further after the shape of the handle is described.
The extra length is not the only characteristic of my new handle. To make carrying the suitcase as easy as possible, the part of the handle which the carrier is grasping should be horizontal so that the carrying hand need not be tilted with the suitcase, but may be in a natural horizontal carrying orientation. To achieve this result with various tilted orientations of the suitcase, the extended handle must be curved or bent. One shape for such a handle 20 is an arc of a circle with the center 25 at the center of gravity of the suitcase 30 as illustrated in FIG. 2. Thus the carriers hand will always describe a chord of the circle, and will always be perpendicular to the line from the center of gravity of the suitcase to the carriers hand. To maintain equilibrium, said line will always be vertical and the carriers hand will always be horizontal. A perfect circular arc is really unnecessary for two reasons. The carrier's hand need not be perfectly horizontal, approximately horizontal suffices.
A 5 difference from horizontal will usually be acceptable. More important, only three positions-normally will be used by the carrier; standard or center for carrying on the flat, front of handle from ascending stairs and back of handle for descending stairs. Thus, only three parts of the handle need to conform to the requirement that they be approximately horizontal when used to support the suitcase. Thus, a handle of the form shown in FIG. 1, which contains three straight segments 6, 7, 8, each conforming to the above stated requirement, is a preferred mode of my handle. Also, if the carrier is willing to turn the suitcase around for descending stairs, the back portion of the handle in FIG. 1 can be dispensed with and the handle take the form shown in FIG. 3. A curved handle approximating the design in FIG. 3 is also possible and is contemplated within the scope of my invention.
I-Iavingpointed out a requirement for the length of handle based on a desired tilt of 30, and for its shape based on the need for handle segments to be horizontal when used as a point of support, I will now relate these two requirements to give the true size and shape of the handle as related to the dimensions of a suitcase 40 with FIG. 1 the preferred handle.
The handle consists of end segments 7 and 8, the middle segment 6, and the brackets 9,10 for attaching the handle to the suitcase. By the requirement of a possible 30 tilt, angles 2 and 3 must be equal to 30. This allows the line from the middle of an end segment 7, 8 to the center of gravity 1 to be vertical when either of the end segments is vused as a point of support. The brackets 9, 10 holding the handle to the suitcase should be at least 1 inch long so that a users hand is not cramped when grasping either of the end segments 7, 8. These brackets may, or may not, be an integral part of the handle. For the preferred embodiment, the end segments 7, 8 should be at least 4 inches long (seems to be the minimum length that a handle segment can be to be comfortably grasped). For the sake of clarity and definition, in the following description, I will assume that the end segments are 4 inches long and the brackets are 1 inch long. These dimensions may be changed and the new dimensions substituted in the same formulas about to be presented, to give many variations of the handle, each conforming to the same, already stated, requirements of shape and length.
Since the lines from the middle of the end segments 7,8 to the center of gravity 1 must be vertical and the end segments must be horizontal when the respective end segment is used as a point of support, the end segments must be perpendicular to the line between their respective centers and the center of gravity 1. Therefore, by applying simple geometry, the ends of end segments 7 and 8 lie on a circle whose center is the center of gravity, and thus by definition, end segments 7 and 8 are chords of the circle so defined. This implies that the end segments must be at an angle of 30 from the horizontal when the suitcase is in its conventional horizontal orientation. The distance from the center of an end segment to the top of the suitcase is equal to l in. (2 in. X Sin 30) counting on an end segment being 4 inches long and the brackets being 1 inch long. This distance is equal to 2 inches. Considering the height of the suitcase to be H inches, the vertical distance from the center of gravity 1 to the line joining the centers of the end segments 7, 8 is equal to H in. 2 in. if the center of gravity is at the geometrical center of the suitcase as we have assumed. This new handle is not applicable for suitcases in which the bottom edge of the suitcase when carried is higher than the second step above the step upon which the carrier is standing. This second step is the step which present suitcases bump against when carried up or down stairs. The horizontally carried suitcase will clear this second step without bumping if the bottom is greater than the height of two steps above the ground the carrier is standing on. In this case, the suitcase will not need an extended handle. Most peoples hands are about 29 inches above the ground when held at their side. Most steps are about 7% inches high. The carriers hand is 2 inches above the top of the suitcase because of the handle. Therefore, the maximum height in a suitcase may have in order to do without an extended handle is 29 in. 2 in. 7% in. 7% in. 12 in. That is, any suitcase with a height greater than 12 inches will benefit from an extended handle. Articles which are long enough to bump against the third step are limited to a height of 12 in. 7% in. 4% in. For use as an example, I will use 20 inches as a typical height for a suitcase. Therefore, the vertical distance from the center of gravity 1 to the line joining the centers of the end segments, 7, 8 is equal to H in. 2 in. 12 in. Using the angles 2 and 3, we
find that the distgce between the centers of th e end segments is eq ual to 2 [tah 30 /2 H in. 2 in.)]--- 1.547 H in. 2 in.) 0.5774 H in. 2.3094 in. 13.8560 inches. Thus, the preferred form of the handle for a typical suitcase consists of three segments: a center segment, and two end segments about 4 inches long and about 14 inches, more exactly 13.8560 inches apart center to center. The handle is joined to the suitcase by brackets at least 1 inch long. This satisfies our original requirements that any handle segment be horizontal when used as a point of support, and the handle be long enough so that the bottom of the suitcase does not bump against the steps when carried up or down stairs.
Suitcases come in many sizes. The following table gives the sizes of several typical suitcases and the approximate size of the handle needed to allow the suitcase to be tilted 30.
Size of suitcase Total Length Length Angle length length of of between X of End middle middle height handle segments segment and end (inches) (inches) (inches) (inches) segments 30 X 23 I9 4 l2 30 X 19 l7 l0 29 X l8 l6 9 27 X 2] l8 l l 27 X 19 I7 l0 26 X 21 18 l l 26 X 2O 17 l0 26 X l7 l6 9 25 X l9 l7 I0 24 X 24 2O l3 24 X 20 17 l0 24 X l9 l7 l0 24 X l8 l6 9 22 X 24 2O l3 21 X l6 l5 8 21 X l5 l4 7 All values are to the nearest inch The alternate form of the handle illustrated in FIG. 2 is found by joining the ends of the 3 segments of the preferred handle by an arc of a circle with center at 25. The 3 segments of the handle in the alternate form are arcs whose end points correspond to the end points of the straight sections of FIG. 1. The total length of the alternate form of handle will be the same as the total length of preferred form.
The alternate form of the handle illustrated in FIG. 3 is found by cutting off one end segment and a convenient length of the middle segment of the preferred form and adding one longer bracket.
If the suitcase is too short to accommodate the handle described by the preceding formulae, the length of the handle may be reduced by allowing a maximum tilt of less than 30 and using the new angle in all the same calculations above to give a handle short enough to be incorporated in the length of the suitcase. A smaller handle may indeed be sufficient to avoid bumping the comers against the stairs if the angle of elevation of the stairs is less than 30. Also, if the height of the suitcase is small enough so that it is unnecessary for the bottom of the suitcase to be parallel to the stairs to avoid bumping, the angle of maximum tilt can be reduced and a shorter handle used. For example, a suitcase 24 inches long and 20 inches high was found to require a handle only 12 inches long as opposed to a handle 17 inches long as dictated by an angle of tilt of 30. The angle of 30 is the maximum angle that will normally be necessary, but the invention is not limited to that angle. The invention gives a size and shape of a handle based on any desired angle of tilt. The relationship of the desired angle to the size and shape of the suitcase to give the size and shape of the handle, not the actual size of the angle or size and shape of the handle is the heart of the invention.
It is important to realize that the construction and means of attachment of my new handle is irrelevant as regards my invention which pertains only to the extra length and slightly curved or angular shape of the handle. Any construction may be used for the handle, and the handle may be attached to thesuitcase in any way. It would be more useful for the handle to be relatively rigid and hinged so as to fold flat as with present handles, but this is not essential.
It is to be understood that, although the preceding description of my new handle is related to its use on suitcases, any piece of luggage, any container, or any article which has a straight bottom and which therefore may bump against the steps when carried up or down stairs may utilize my handle. The handle description is a handle attached to said piece which may be grasped in at least first and second contiguous regions, said first region having two ends, one of which is connected to said piece, being substantially parallel to the ground when said piece is carried in the normal carrying position, being substantially straight, and being at least four inches long, and said second region having two ends, being substantially straight, at least four inches long, attached to said piece at one end thereof and to the second end of said first region at the other end thereof, said second region being the chord of a circle, the center of which is the center of gravity of the piece, and being at an angle to said first region, said angle being chosen to facilitate carrying said luggage in an angular orientation whereby said luggage can be easily carried up and down steps without contacting said steps.
2. The piece of luggage or other article of claim 1,
wherein said angle is about 150.
3. The piece of luggage or other article of claim 1 wherein there are three regions, and said third region is the connection between the first region and said piece, and is disposed at an angle to said first region substantially the same as the angle between said first region and said second region, straight and forming the chord of a circle whose center isthe center of gravity of said piece.
4. The piece of luggage or other article of claim 1 wherein both of the angles between said first and second regions and said first and third regions are about 5. A piece of luggage or other article incorporating a handle attached to said piece which may be grasped in first, second and third contiguous regions, said first region having two ends, being substantially parallel to the ground when said piece is carried in the normal carrying position, being arcuate, and being at least four inches long, said second and third regions each having two ends, being arcuate, at least four inches long, and one end of each being attached to said piece while the second end of each of said second and third regions is attached to said first region at opposite ends thereof, a line joining the ends of said second region being the chord of a circle, the center of which is the center of gravity of the piece, and being at an angle to a line drawn between the ends of said first region, and a line drawn between the ends of said third region being the chord of a circle the center of which is the center of gravity of the piece and being at an angle to a line drawn between theends of said first region, said angles being chosen to facilitate carrying said luggage in an angular orientation whereby said luggage can be easily carried up and down steps without contacting said steps.
6. The piece of luggage or other article of claim 5,
wherein said angles are about 150.