History and Evolution of Suitcases
– Suitcases first appeared in the late 19th century, initially made of leather or steel.
– Lightweight materials like plastic and cardboard became popular in the 1930s.
– Luggage before suitcases consisted of wood and leather trunks, which were heavy and inconvenient.
– The word “luggage” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 1596.
– The Grand Tour in the 18th century was exclusive to the wealthy.

Invention and Early Models of Suitcases
– Suitcases were invented in the late 19th century by British businessmen.
– Early suitcases were modeled after trunks and had compartments for shirts and hat boxes.
– Initially, suitcases were considered a lesser alternative to trunks.
– The first wheeled trunks and suitcases were patented in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
– Lightweight plastic and cardboard suitcases gained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s.

Introduction and Popularity of Wheeled Suitcases
– Bernard D. Sadow invented the first wheeled suitcase in 1970.
– Wheeled luggage was initially seen as a niche invention for women.
– Sadow faced resistance from department stores due to gender stereotypes.
– Macy’s began selling Sadow’s wheeled suitcases in 1970, and they gained popularity.
– The Rollaboard, an upright wheeled suitcase, was invented in 1987 by Robert Plath.

Innovations in Suitcase Design
– The Rollaboard design marked a shift from Sadow’s flat-rolling suitcase.
– The Rollaboard had two wheels on the bottom and a telescoping handle.
– Smart suitcases with enhanced capabilities became popular in the 2010s, including internal tracking, geolocation, fingerprint scanners, device charging, and scales.
– Companies such as Bluesmart, Away, Arlo Skye, and Ovis sold smart luggage.
– Bans on smart suitcases with non-removable batteries were implemented by major airlines, leading to the shutdown of companies like Bluesmart.

Symbolism and Pop Culture
– Suitcases became culturally significant in the 1920s, symbolizing mobility and mystery.
– Mexican laborers used suitcases as a status symbol to show cosmopolitanism.
– Hotels placed luggage labels on suitcases for promotional purposes.
– The wheeled suitcase was mocked in the film “Romancing the Stone.”
– The wheeled suitcase is considered one of the best travel inventions and has made travel easier.Sources: