US 3841650 A
A luggage carrier comprising a lightweight, easily disassembled frame is designed to be strapped on to a piece of luggage, such as a suitcase. Thereafter, the frame travels with the luggage, as it is shipped in auto, bus, train, or the like. There is no need to detach it prior to the arrival of the luggage at the destination of the journey. According to options and modifications of the invention, various sizes and numbers of luggage may be accommodated, and alternative forms of pushing or pulling devices may be used. Special care is used to maintain a minimum silhouette for the carrier during shipment.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Oct. 15, 1974 LUGGAGE CARRIER  Inventor: Robert A. Miskelly, 10853 S.
Harlem, Worth, Ill. 60482  Filed: June 25, 1973  Appl. No.: 372,979
 11.8. C1. 280/37  Int. Cl 362d 21/18  Field of Search 280/35, 37, 38, 40, 41 R,
Primary ExaminerTrygve M. Blix Assistant Examiner-Jesus D. Sotelo Attorney, Agent, or FirmAlter, Weiss, Whitesel & Laff  ABSTRACT A luggage carrier comprising a lightweight. easily disassembled frame is designed to be strapped on to a piece of luggage, such as a suitcase. Thereafter, the frame travels with the luggage, as it is shipped in auto, bus, train, or the like. There is no need to detach it prior to the arrival of the luggage at the destination of the journey. According to options and modifications of the invention, various sizes and numbers of luggage may be accommodated, and alternative forms of pushing or pulling devices may be used. Special care is used to maintain a minimum silhouette for the carrier during shipment.
10 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures LUGGAGE CARRIER This invention relates to luggage carriers and more particularly to lightweight preferably collapsible frames which may be shipped in place on the luggage.
Luggage carriersof the described type may be temporarily attached to suitcases, bags, trunks, and the like (hereinafter generically called luggage.") Very often these carriers are used to transport the luggage through train or bus stations or through airport terminals. For example, a typical usage might be to attach the luggage to the carrier to move the luggage from a home or office to an auto, taxi, or bus. Then, detach the carrier, and at the airport, reattach the carrier to move from the auto, taxi, or bus to a baggage counter. The carrier is then once again detached and checked along with the luggage. At the termination of the flight, the process is reversed.
The foregoing process presents several problems. First, the luggage carrier usually has to be disassembled, folded, teles'coped, and bagged (or vice versa) each time that the carrier is attached or detached. Second, the carrier has to be strapped onto or unstrapped from the luggage for each usage. Third, after the carrier is removed and put into its own bag, the traveler may have to either carry it or pay freight on it if he has already used his quota of baggage pieces. All of these and similar problems cause a considerable bother, and the usual luggage carrier may not seem to be worth the effort.
Accordingly, an object of this invention is to provide new and improved luggage carriers. More particularly, an object is to provide luggage carriers which may be attached to luggage at the start of a journey and not thereafter removed until the end ofajourney. Thus, an object is to provide a carrier which is small enough and light enough to travel with the luggage throughout its journey. Here an object is to provide a carrier free of sharp corners, projections, or the like which might mar or injure other luggage stacked on or around it.
Another object of the'invention is to provide an easily assembled luggage carrier which may be assembled or disassembled. Here an object is to provide a carrier which may be placed in or removed from its own carrying bag and attached to or removed from luggage quickly and easily. In particular, an object is to provide a luggage carrier which is inherently a rigid frame without requiring excessive amounts of force for tightening or loosening fasteners.
Still another'object is to provide various operational means for pushing or pulling the luggage while it is being moved on the carrier. A further object is to provide a quick and easy way of disassembling such means and for shipping it, too, along with the luggage. Here an object is to provide a stable platform for so pushing or pulling it.
In keeping with an aspect of the invention, these and other objects are accomplished by a lightweight easily disassembled frame which may be strapped on to the luggage. Thereafter, the frame travels with the luggage when it is used, moved, or shipped. There is no need to detach it prior to the arrival of the luggage at the destination of the journey. According to options and modifications of the invention, various sizes and numbers of luggage may be accommodated, and alternative forms of pushing or pulling devices may be used.
A preferred embodiment of such an invention is hereinafter described and is seen in the attached drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the inventive luggage carrier;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of a suitcase having the luggage carrier strapped thereon for shipment;
FIG. 3 is a view of the same luggage carrier with several suitcases strapped thereon and adapted to be pushed;
FIGS. 4A-C are fragmentary views of the same luggage carrier showing (in FIG. 4A) how it is adapted to be pulled, (in FIG. 48) how casters may be lowered to a position for moving the luggage, and (in FIG. 4C) how the casters may be raised to a retracted position while the luggage carrier is being shipped in place on the suitcase;
FIGS. 5A-5C are fragmentary views of the luggage carrier respectively showing a strap attachment means and two embodiments of structures for making the strap attachments;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view showing how the frame is assembled or knocked down; and
FIGS. 7A-D are side and elevation views showing how the luggage carrier pushing mode adapter is folded between a shipping mode and an operational mode.
Briefly, the luggage carrier is made from four discrete structural members 20, 21, 22, 23.. Each member has an L-shaped cross-section and is of any suitable strong, lightweight material such as aluminum or magnesium, for example. Preferably, when assembled, these four members are made in the form of a symmetrical trapezoid or truncated triangle having a base 22, two sides 23, 21, and a top 20. With the trapezoid shape here shown, there is an inherent stability in the geometry of the carrier.
While the frame members 2023 may be welded together, if desired, a preferred embodiment uses bolts and wing nuts (such as 25, 26) at each corner to removably attach'ends of the structural members together. Thus, in the preferred embodiment, by removing four bolts, the entire carrier may be disassembled to form a knock down kit for easy packing; When assembled, the geometry of the frame makes for a dimensionally stable rigidity so that it is not necessary to severely tighten the wing nuts while the luggage carrier is in use.
Each of the structural members 20-23 includes an elongated aperture for receiving a strap 31. Then the strap is folded back upon itself and sewed or riveted together, as at 32. The strap may be of a simple ribbonlike form. However, preferably, each strap will have a long end 33-36 and a short end 37-40. This way, there are four possible combinations of lengths which may be used to attach the carrier to associated luggage. For example, straps 38, 40 may be used to attach the carrier to say, one thin suitcase. Or straps 34, 40 may be used for, say, one large or two small suitcases, etc. The unused straps may be buckled together across the luggage carrier frame before it is attached to the suitcase. This serves the three functions of adding strength to the frame, interposing a padding between the frame and suitcase, and storing the unused straps.
FIG. 5B shows the preferred aperture 30 location in the vertical edge 45 of the L-shaped. structural member cross-section. However, with some materials the member becomes weak owing to the thin section 46. In part, this is true since the vertical dimensional 48 determines how far outwardly the carrier will project away from the suitcase (see FIG. 2); and it is desirable to maintain a certain minimum silhouette. If this weakness is likely, the aperture is moved to position 50 in the horizontal arm 51 (FIG. B) of the L-shaped cross-section. This arm may be made as wide as necessary without producing any effect upon the silhouette. Also, the vertical bracing from arm 45 provides the support and the reduced thickness at 52 is not too relevant. This assumes, of course, that the strap passes through aperture 50 and around vertical arm 45. However, if desirable, the strap could be secured around member 53.
Any suitable number of swivel casters or wheels 55-57 may be attached to the bottom of the structural members. As here shown, there are three such casters since this provides stability when the luggage carrier is used in the pushing mode (FIG. 3) with the handle 59 centered between the two casters 56, 57. The one wheel 55 may then be lifted over a curb by pushing downwardly on the handle 59. The one caster 55 also provides stability when a leash 60 is attached for use in a pulling mode.
An inexpensive luggage carrier might have the casters 55-57 permanently attached in a rigid manner, as when the support 61 is welded to the structural member (FIG. 4A). However, the projecting casters adversely affect the silhouette, as is seen in FIG. 2. Therefore, to further reduce the silhouette, the casters may be attached to the luggage carrier by means of a hinge 63 (FIG. 43). Accordingly, during shipment the caster may pivot from an extended position inwardly to a retracted position inside the L-shaped cross-section FIG. 4C). In this position, the caster may swivel on its own bearing to lay down in a compact position. Any suitable latch means may be provided to hold the caster in either the extended or retracted position.
The handle 59is either a telescoping or sectionalized, nestingdevice which may be extended or collapsed. When collapsed, the handle 59 may be stowed in a suitable tube 63a. When extended, the handle 59 slips on to a support 55 which is welded or otherwise attached to structural member 22. The member 55 is bent at an angle which is a convenient pushing position. A latch means 66 secures or releases handle 5).
To reduce the silhouette and to prevent a projection which might damage adjacent suitcases, the support member 55 has a second member 67 pivotally attached thereto at a swivel point 68. When member 67 is swung to a collapsed position (FIGS. 6A, 6B), end member 67 lies close in near the vertical side of structural member 22. If desired, an added twist will further align member 67 in a non-marring position. When member 67 is swung to an extended position (FIGS. 7C and 7D), the handle 59 may be slipped into place.
Those whoare skilled in the art will readily perceive many modifications which may be made to the described structure. Therefore, the appended claims are to be construed in a manner which includes all equivalent structures falling within the spirit and the scope of the invention.
1. A luggage carrier comprising four elongated strutlike structural members, at least two of said members being of equal length and at least one of different length than said two equal length members, means for removably joining the ends of said equal length members with the other two of said members such that the other two of said members are in a spaced parallel relationship to either form a dimensionally stable symmetrical frame or a knock down kit for easy packing, means attached to each structural member for attaching said carrier to only one of the sides of a piece of luggage, at least two wheel means attached to at least one of said other structural members in positions for moving the luggage when the assembled frame is in position on the one side of the luggage, and means whereby the silhouette of said luggage carrier is reduced without removal from said side for shipment with the luggage.
2. The luggage carrier of claim 1 wherein said wheel means are extendable for moving said luggage and retractable to reduce said silhouette for shipment.
3. The luggage carrier of claim 1 and means for pushing said luggage carrier when used in a luggage moving mode.
4. The luggage carrier of claim I and means for pulling said luggage carrier when used in a luggage moving mode.
5. A luggage carrier comprising a plurality of elongated structural members, means for removably joining the ends of said members to either form a dimensionally stable frame or a knockdown kit for easy packing, said frame being a symmetrical trapezoidal or truncated isosceles triangular shape with major and minor bases in spaced parallel relationship, means attached to each structural member for attaching said carrier to a piece of luggage, wheel means attached to at least those of said structural members which form the major and minor bases for moving the luggage, and means whereby the silhouette of said luggage carrier is reduced for shipment with the luggage.
6. The luggage carrier of claim 5 wherein said removable joining means comprises bolts and winged head nuts.
7. The luggage carrier of claim 5 wherein there are three of said wheel means on said frame.
8. The luggage carrier of claim 5 wherein said attaching means comprises a plurality of straps with mating ends attached to oppositely disposed ones of said struc-- tural members.
9. The luggage carrier of claim 5 wherein said attaching means comprises a plurality of straps with mating end connectors attached to oppositely disposed ones of said structural members, there being three of said wheel means on said frame, and selective means for either pushing said luggage carrier or for pulling said luggage carrier when used in a luggage moving mode.
10. The luggage carrier of claim 9 wherein said wheel means are extendable for moving said luggage and retractable to reduce said silhouette for shipment.