40th Anniversary of Wheeled Luggage

by  Stephanie Pitts | Oct 1, 2010
Traveler with luggage
Traveler with luggage / champlifezy@gmail.com/iStock

Chances are you haven’t had to bear the entire weight of your suitcase since the early 1970s. Although we tend to take wheeled luggage for granted nowadays, Briggs and Riley (a division of US Luggage) fondly remembers a time 40 years ago when Bernard Sadow, former proprietor of US Luggage, designed the first wheeled suitcase. Sadow’s original prototype had four steel trunk casters set underneath the suitcase and a pull strap attached to the front end. The product premiered at Macy’s in October 1970, advertised with the phrase “The Luggage that Glides,” and its instant success soon spread the product to other department stores.

Improved designs, materials, and workmanship over the years have made wheeled luggage reliable and user-friendly. In the mid-1980s, Travel Pro introduced the telescoping handle and two-wheel design. More recently, Samsonite revamped the wheeled upright suitcase by placing it on four wheels that rotate 360 degrees for maneuverability down narrow airplane aisles. You've come a long way, our handy-dandy travel companion on wheels – happy 40th!!

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