Luggage during the mid-1800’s century was tantamount with some kind of trunk, cumbersome metal or wooden boxes that could weigh over fifty kilos. Bellboys and porters stood the burden of carrying the heavy cases and trunks of anyone affluent enough to travel.
Steamships and horse-drawn carriages were the preferred method of transportation at the time, and trunks had to be especially durable and weighty to withstand their travels. Trunks were made of wood and leather with heavy iron bases, strong enough to withstand being crushed while sliding around among other heavy cases. Some were even covered in jute or canvas to offer additional protection.
The 20th century marked a major shift in the history of luggage and transportation, as more people began traveling for business and pleasure, most trunks and luggage manufacturers began making suitcases in addition to their tried-and-true wood and metal trunks.
The word suitcase came about the need to have a bag that could hold suits. The first suitcases to appear in the market were made out of heavy leather with metal or wood frames and handles. Later versions included hanging straps.
With the popularization of airline travel during the1960’s, more people were flying, and travelers grew weary of carting weighty suitcases. Soon after, metal trolleys with rubber wheels began popping up in luggage and airport stores. Passengers strapped these trolleys to their suitcases and rolled them in and out of airplanes. Soon after wheeled luggage became the norm.
In 2008, Swissbrand, a manufacturer of back packs and travel bags, introduced a lighter weight bag by combining new resistant polymers welded to the interior aluminum luggage frames. Soon after, Swissbrand began manufacturing cases made of polycarbonate, a highly durable material lighter than aluminum, thus increasing comfort and ease while traveling. At first, two wheeled bags began to pop out. Soon, four wheeled bags that could be pushed, pulled and literally spun in any direction, were being adopted by most luggage manufacturers worldwide.
Swissbrand is currently developing new products that include ergonomically designed backpacks and luggage with GPS-enabled technology.
As travelers become more discriminating about what they buy, these new technological advances shall become the norm.