|Publication number||USRE29036 E|
|Application number||US 05/606,371|
|Publication date||Nov 16, 1976|
|Filing date||Aug 20, 1975|
|Priority date||Jul 14, 1972|
|Publication number||05606371, 606371, US RE29036 E, US RE29036E, US-E-RE29036, USRE29036 E, USRE29036E|
|Inventors||Robert G. Hager|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (10), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The field of art to which the invention pertains includes the field of luggage transports, particularly with respect to a wheel equipped suitcase having a handle which is retractable and extendable out of the suitcase for transporting the suitcase.
2. Description of the Prior Art
The best prior art is found in the U.S. Pat. Nos. 362,868; 2,439,660; 2,613,950; 2,817,538; 3,163,268; and 3,653,474.
The use of large molded plastic luggage when fully loaded normally requires the aid of a dolly truck or the like to pick up or move such luggage. In those areas throughout the world where bell-hops, sky-caps and the like are not readily available it becomes impractical for a traveler to use such luggage although the capacity thereof is normally needed. One suggestion to overcome the difficulty of moving such luggage has been the incorporation of wheels formed flush with the suitcase or mounted temporarily on the exterior of the suitcase. A gripping mechanism is normally provided which enables the traveler to roll the luggage to a desired location. However, such gripping mechanisms have been found to protrude from the luggage and when loaded onto an airplane or some other form of transportation the gripping mechanism can be damaged. In addition, such a gripping mechanism is normally esthetically unpleasing. Moreover, prior art types of gripping mechanisms have been normally fixedly positioned adjacent the luggage so that the traveler has difficulty gripping the luggage when attempting to roll the luggage on the floor.
The present invention provides a handle which is used in transporting a suitcase having wheels mounted thereon. The handle is extendable out of a housing formed in the suitcase when the suitcase is rolled. When the handle is not being used to roll the suitcase, the handle is retracted into the housing and the gripping portion of the handle is flush with the outer surface of a channel formed on the suitcase outer surface. The handle thus conforms to the exterior appearance of the luggage and therefore may not be damaged during tranportation of the luggage. In addition, the handle is esthetically pleasing. The handle is adjustably extendable to various positions so as to enable different height people to utilize the suitcase.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the luggage structure having the handle shown in an extended position in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view, partly in section, of a portion of the luggage structure showing the handle in a retracted position;
FIG. 3 is a partial sectional side view of the luggage structure of FIG. 2 with the handle shown in an extended position;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the luggage structure of FIG. 2 taken about the lines 4--4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the luggage structure of FIG. 2 taken about the lines 5--5 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is an end view of the luggage structure taken along the lines 6--6 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternative arrangement of the luggage structure of FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the luggage structure. The luggage structure comprises a conventional suitcase 12 which has been modified to include a pair of wheels 14 at one corner thereof. The wheels are provided in a recess which may be formed during the molding operation in each of the corners of the luggage. Alternatively, the suitcase could be a conventional suitcase which has been modified after manufacture to include the wheels 14 therein. Such a structure is typically shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,163,268 and forms no part of this invention.
Positioned along the entire periphery of the suitcase are a pair of metal members 16 and 18 which are normally made of magnesium and are spaced apart to define a generally U-shaped channel 22 therebetween which is recessed into the luggage. Normally each of the members 16 and 18 are formed on hinged halves of the suitcase. Positioned in the channel 22 on the top of the suitcase is a metal support 24 whose top surface is normally flush with the outer edges of the metal members 16 and 18. As can be seen in greater detail in FIG. 2 the metal support 24 is normally utilized to form a support for a carrying handle 26. In addition, conventional latches 28 and 32 are positioned on either end of the support 24. The latches which normally contain a locking mechanism, are utilized to open and close the suitcase.
A handle structure 34 which is extendable and retractable into the suitcase is formed of a rod portion 36 and a gripping portion 38. An enclosed housing member 42 having a generally rectangular opening 44 therein is positioned within the suitcase with the top surface thereof abutting the bottom surface of the support 24. Normally the member 42 may be formed of extruded plastic so as to minimize the total weight of the suitcase. The handle structure is extendable from the suitcase at a point diagonally opposite the wheels 14 so as to enable the suitcase to be held at the portion 38 and pivoted so that the suitcase rests entirely on the wheels 14.
To limit outward movement of the handle structure from the suitcase a stop 46 extends into the opening 44 at a point near the handle 26. The rod portion 36 of the handle structure contains a generally U-shaped slot 48 which enables the handle structure to extend outwardly from the suitcase until an end wall 52 of the rod portion 36 is reached. The end wall 52, which is formed on the end of the rod portion opposite the gripping portion 38 abuts the stop 46 preventing further extension of the handle from the suitcase.
The rod portion 36 top surface contains spaced depressions 54. These depressions interact with a detent mechanism formed of a spring member 56 and a ball 58 positoned in the support 24 which protrudes through the top of the housing member 42 into the opening 44. The ball 58 will rest in the depressions 54 enabling the handle structure to be positioned in a predetermined extendable position. Normally, the position of the handle is chosen by weight of the suitcase as well as the height of the person transporting the suitcase. Thus, it is normally necessary to provide a plurality of depressions 54 so as to enable the desired position of the handle structure to be chosen. When the handle structure is in the fully retracted position as shown in FIG. 2 the gripping portion 38 of the handle is positioned between the adjacent metal members 16 and 18 and is positioned in the channel 22. It should be noted that the outer surface of the gripping portion 38 is flush with the outer surface of the member 16 and 18. In addition, the bottom of the gripping surface 38 contains a tapered portion 62 into which a finger may be inserted when the handle structure is in the fully retracted position so as to enable the handle structure to be extended when desired.
Referring to FIG. 7 there is shown an alternative embodiment of the invention. For unusually large suitcases it may be found necessary, especially when extremely heavy loads are carried in the suitcase or when the individual using the suitcase does not have sufficient strength, to provide wheels at all four bottom corners of the suitcase as shown in FIG. 7. The suitcase 72 of FIG. 7 contains a handle structure 74 which is constructed of a similar structure as that shown in FIG. 1. In addition, however, a hinge 76 is formed on the rod portion enabling the handle to be swiveled 90°. Thus, when the suitcase is rolled on all four wheels as shown in FIG. 7 the rod portion is pivoted upwardly 90° enabling a person to grip the handle and move it along the floor. When it is desired to retract the handle into the suitcase, the hinge 76 is released and the handle is then retracted into the suitcase in a similar manner as that shown in FIG. 2.
Alternatively, a locking pin could be provided to lock the handle in the retracted position, or in one of the plurality of extended positions. It should be noted the locking pin mechanism could also be made flush with the channel 22 to provide a smooth exterior surface.
It should be noted that if the handle structure is allowed to extend a large distance from the suitcase, with heavy loads and a weak handle structure, failure of the rod portion could occur. The handle structure could be made of a lightweight metal such as magnesium which will provide maximum strength with a minimum of additional weight being added to the suitcase. However, the metal chosen together with the maximum weight to be carried by the suitcase, will be a determining factor in designing the maximum distance that the handle can be extended.
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|US1028178 *||Jul 6, 1909||Jun 4, 1912||Baggage-carrying attachment.|
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US5207440 *||Oct 5, 1992||May 4, 1993||Joseph Liang||Article of wheeled, steerable luggage|
|US5253739 *||Mar 19, 1992||Oct 19, 1993||Samsonite Corporation||Wheeled flight bag with retractable pull handle|
|US5295565 *||Dec 15, 1992||Mar 22, 1994||Purdy Neat Things Company||Wheeled luggage|
|US5339934 *||Jan 25, 1993||Aug 23, 1994||Joseph Liang||Luggage steering device|
|US5396974 *||Feb 25, 1993||Mar 14, 1995||Samsonite Corporation||Luggage case|
|US5407038 *||May 28, 1993||Apr 18, 1995||Samsonite Corporation||Luggage case|
|US5547052 *||Dec 9, 1994||Aug 20, 1996||Purdy Neat Things Company, Inc.||Modular wheeled luggage system, wheeled luggage, garment bag and connector for same|
|US5568848 *||Jul 1, 1994||Oct 29, 1996||Liang; Joseph||Laterally movable suitcase with wheeled, pivotable leg|
|US5758752 *||Mar 7, 1997||Jun 2, 1998||Samsonite Corporation||Automatically extendable and retractable wheel assembly for luggage|
|EP0517803A1 *||Feb 20, 1991||Dec 16, 1992||American Tourister Inc||Luggage with pull handle.|
|U.S. Classification||280/37, 190/18.00A|
|International Classification||A45C13/38, A45C13/26|
|Cooperative Classification||B62B2202/24, A45C13/38, A45C13/262|
|European Classification||A45C13/38, A45C13/26W|