Title:
Clothes-carrying assembly
United States Patent 3929224


Abstract:
A clothes-carrying assembly comprises a generally-rectangular back-panel having an upper edge attachable to the lower cross-bar of a standard male clothes-hanger, a plurality of seams providing a measure of stiffness but allowing the back panel to be folded or rolled into a small package for storage, and a plurality of pockets provided on the back-panel to carry accessories. Pants and suit coats suspended on the hanger over the back-panel are protected from wrinkling, and may be covered by a conventional light cloth or plastic outer garment bag.



Inventors:
SMITH JR CHARLES A
Application Number:
05/504300
Publication Date:
12/30/1975
Filing Date:
09/09/1974
Assignee:
SMITH, JR.; CHARLES A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
383/23, 383/39, D03/293
International Classes:
A47G25/54; (IPC1-7): B65D85/18; A45C7/00
Field of Search:
206/278,287,286 190
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3704778GARMENT BAG1972-12-05Raschdorf
3276601Travel tie rack1966-10-04Haggerty
3139133Travel vanity container or holder1964-06-30Spector
2974780Petticoat and slip cuddler1961-03-14O'Donovan
1651706Travel bag1927-12-06Holbrook



Primary Examiner:
Dixson Jr., William T.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stephens, Richard G.
Claims:
I claim

1. A clothes-carrying assembly for carrying a suitcoat and trousers in a wrinkle-free manner within a protective covering, comprising, in combination: a male clothes-hanger having an upper hook portion, sloping upper shoulder portions and a lower cross-bar portion; a generallyrectangular back-panel having attachment means adjacent an upper edge of said back-panel looped around said lower cross-bar portion of said hanger for removably suspending said back-panel from said cross-bar portion of said hanger and retaining said upper edge of said back-panel substantially parallel to said cross-bar portion if said hanger is tilted, said back-panel having a plurality of pockets attached thereto, said back panel having a width substantially equal to the width of said hanger and at least one seam extending laterally across said back-panel to stiffen said back-panel in a lateral sense and resist lateral crushing of said back-panel; said trousers being suspended over said cross-bar portion, said suitcoat being suspended over said shoulder portions of said hanger with an upper portion of said back-panel extending within said suitcoat to prevent lateral crushing of said suitcoat; and an outer substantially flexible garment bag surrounding said back-panel, trousers and suitcoat, with said hook portion of said hanger protruding from said garment bag.

2. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein said attachment means comprises a strip of self-adhesive material having a first edge fixedly attached to said upper edge of said back-panel and a second free edge loopable over said cross-bar portion of said hanger and removably adherable to said first edge.

3. An assembly according to claim 1 having stop means carried on said cross-bar portion of said hanger to limit lateral movement of said attachment means along said cross-bar portion.

4. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein said attachment means comprises a strip having a frictional upper surface across which said trousers are draped to prevent lateral movement of said trousers.

5. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein said back-panel comprises a pair of vertically extending seams extending along its sides, said seams being sufficiently flexible that said back-panel is readily foldable vertically.

6. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein at least one of said pockets comprises a plastic sheet having its lower edge and its side edges fixedly attached to said back-panel.

7. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein said attachment means comprises a plurality of laterally spaced apart straps, each of said straps having one end attached to said upper edge of said back-panel.

8. An assembly according to claim 1 in which said back-panel includes a seam extending laterally across said back-panel and said assembly includes a rigid rod means inserted within said seam.

9. An assembly according to claim 2 wherein said strip of selfadhesive material comprises "Velcro".

10. The assembly according to claim 7 wherein said straps comprise a pair of straps spaced laterally inwardly from the ends of said crossbar portion of said hanger.

11. The assembly according to claim 7 wherein each of said straps is looped around said cross-bar portion, thereby to retain said upper edge of said back-panel closely adjacent said cross-bar portion of said hanger if said hanger is tilted.

12. The assembly according to claim 1 wherein said trousers are draped atop said attachment means.

13. The assembly according to claim 1 wherein said attachment means comprises a pair of laterally spaced straps and said trousers are draped over said cross-bar portion in between said pair of straps.

Description:
My invention relates to luggage apparatus, and more particularly to an inexpensive lightweight assembly which will allow a traveler to travel without a suitcase, or with one less suitcase, and yet be equipped with a complete wardrobe carried in wrinkle-free fashion.

A large percentage of business travel involves overnight or two or three-day trips, frequently by airplane. A traveler on such a trip has usually required a suitcase to hold the clothing, shaving supplies, etc., needed or desired for such a trip, and the usual business trip also requires that the traveler use a briefcase, attache case or sample case to carry needed business papers or the like. One object of the present invention is to provide inexpensive means which will allow a traveler to carry his (or her) clothing without a need for the mentioned suitcase. Elimination of an unnecessary suitcase is desirable because it is inexpensive, because it represents added weight and can tire the traveler as he carries it from a parking lot to a terminal, airline handlers can damage it, and a traveler can save the time otherwise needed waiting for airline baggage handling if he can conveniently carry his clothes and use a carry-on rack aboard an airplane.

Either because they had no suitcase, or wished to avoid the aforementioned troubles attending use of one, a number of travelers have made trips without suitcases, carrying one or two suits or dresses in light cloth or plastic garment bags. While such a mode of travel has advantageously overcome many of the problems associated with use of a suitcase, it has caused different problems. While carrying one's suits in a conventional light cloth or plastic garment bag may markedly reduce weight, the suits are not protected against wrinkling nearly as well as when they are carried in any one of a large variety of suitcases. Pants suspended over a hanger bar may slip therefrom and become drastically wrinkled in the bottom of the garment bag, or become very wrinkled even without slipping from the hanger bar if pushed to one end of the hanger bar. Suit coats in a given garment bag are also sometimes seriously wrinkled as other garment bags are placed on or removed from a crowded carry-on clothes-rack pipe. Despite such disadvantages of light cloth or plastic garment bags in causing garment wrinkling, their advantages over the use of conventional rigid suitcases has given them substantial popularity and widespread usage. One object of the present invention is to provide an improved clothes-carrying garment bag assembly which provides less wrinkling of suits or dresses carried within the assembly.

The usual traveler needs or desires one or several changes of undergarments and accessories such as shirts and ties or blouses, hoisery, and a supply of shaving accessories or cosmetics, deodorant, etc., which an ordinary garment bag has not been able to accommodate without prohibitive wrinkling or damage, so that travelers with a garment bag instead of a suitcase often have resorted to the carrying of such articles in attache cases and the like. Such a mode of travel has been deemed disadvantageous for several reasons. The mixing of one's dirty laundry with one's business papers destroys the illusion of orderliness which most persons wish to convey, and the baring of one's laundry at a business meeting or sales call is deemed by many to be embarrassing. The disadvantages attending the carrying of such accessories in one's attache case can be and have been avoided by use of a flight bag or small suitcase, but with disadvantages resulting principally from the fact that the traveler only has two hands. On some occasions a traveler must carry a raincoat or topcoat, must carry and don or doff a hat, and must reach into a pocket for money, tickets or car keys, and if the traveler must also carry an attache case and a garment bag containing suits or dresses, the added burden of a flight bag or separate small suitcase may cause great inconvenience. Thus it is an important object of the present invention to provide an improved clothes-carrying assembly which will allow dressing accessories such as those heretofore sometimes carried in attache cases to instead be carried elsewhere, but without the need for an added suitcase or flight bag or the like. In accordance with the invention this object is accomplished by use of a modified garment bag assembly which allows dressing accessories to be conveniently carried inside the garment bag, inside the suits or dresses also carried in the garment bag. An important central concept of the invention involves the use of a single, simple means which overcomes the two main disadvantages of light-garment bags, not only serving to carry the mentioned accessories in a way so as to prevent their wrinkling, but which simultaneously also tends to hold suits or dresses in a manner so as to prevent or decrease their wrinkling, and the provision of such an improved garment bag assembly is an important feature of the invention.

Various known prior garment bags having rigid or semi-rigid frames or panels are capable of carrying some accessories without wrinkling, but have various disadvantages. Some are quite expensive to fabricate, and some are clumsy to carry. Another very important object of the invention is to provide an improved clothes-carrying assembly which is extremely inexpensive to fabricate. The limited height of most modern automobiles provides limited space below each garment hook in a car, so that a garment bag suspended from such a hook ordinarily must flex, so as to drape partly across a portion of the rear seat, so that the rigid character of some prior garment bags precludes their suspension in automobiles. Their rigidity also sometimes precludes convenient suspension from carry-on clothes rack pipes on airplanes. The rigidity of various prior garment bags also tends to render them somewhat susceptible to scuffing or to having holes or tears punched in them, and precludes easy cleaning of their exteriors, or removal of scuff marks and repair of holes or tears. A further object of the invention is to provide an improved clothes-carrying assembly which does not require a rigid frame or rigid panels, thereby allowing more convenient suspension of the assembly, less scuffing or damage to the bag, and easier cleaning of the exterior of the bag.

Various clothes-carrying assemblies known in the prior art consume appreciable closet space when they are not in use unless they are inconveniently stored in an attic or the like. A further important object of the invention is to provide an improved clothes-carrying assembly which may be folded or rolled into a very small package when not in use, so that it can consume very little closet or drawer space.

A variety of prior clothes-carrying assemblies disadvantageously require special clothes hangers having various mounting clips or brackets or special hardware, with such assemblies consequently becoming largely useless if the special hangers are lost or misplaced, which frequently happens. Another object of the invention is to provide an improved clothes-carrying assembly of the nature heretofore described which may utilize the most common and least expensive type of male clothes hanger, or, if desired, any one of a wide variety of other known forms of clothes hangers.

Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.

The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements, and arrangement of parts, which will be exemplified in the constructions hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a pocketed back-panel portion of the assembly of the present invention, with various articles of accessory clothing shown in phantom.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front view showing a pair of trousers installed over the assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a front view showing a suit coat installed over the assembly of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a front view showing a garment bag installed over the assembly of FIG. 4.

FIGS. 6a and 6b are diagrammatic views useful in understanding some advantages of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is one modified form of the device of FIG. 1.

In FIG. 1 a conventional male coat-hanger 10 having a lower crosbar portion 10a has suspended therefrom a large substantially flexible backsheet 11 which is preferably formed of cotton-bonded vinyl or similar reinforced plastic, but which may be formed of cloth, such as canvas or an impregnated somewhat-stiffened jute material. Back-sheet 11 may be formed of one or more layers of material to give it a desired degree of semi-rigidity, and its rigidity also may be controlled by the use of thickened edge seams, which may include stiffener rods, as will be further discussed below. In FIG. 1, wherein back-sheet 11 is assumed to comprise a vinyl sheet, each edge of sheet 11 is folded over and stitched, at 11a to 11d, and two added strips 12a and 12b which extend laterally across back-sheet 11 are similarly sewn to the back-sheet. Captured between the folded-over side edges 11b, 11d and the back-sheet and securely fastened thereto by the stitching therethrough are the side edges of flexible pocket-panel sheets 13,14 and 15. The lower edges of sheets 13 and 14 are stitched in place between the back panel and strips 12a and 12b, respectively, the lower edge of sheet 15 is stitched in place along lower edge 11c, and the upper edges of sheets 13-15 are free. The upper lateral dimension of sheets 13-15 is selected to exceed the width of the back-sheet, so that each sheet of sheets 13-15 forms a pocket against the back-plate having an open upper edge, with the sides and lower edges of sheets 13-15 permanently affixed to the back-panel. One (or more) buttonholes are provided along the upper edges of at least some of sheets 13-15, to cooperate with buttons 18-20 sewn to back-sheet 11. If desired, snap fasteners of many different varieties or zippers may be utilized in lieu of buttons and buttonholes. In some embodiments of the invention, buttons and snap-fasteners or the like may be completely dispensed with, and the upper edges of sheets 13-15 may have stitched there along respective lengths of elastic band (not shown) with the ends of each length of elastic band stitched to side edges 11b and 11d. Sheets 13-15 may comprise cloth sheets, but preferably comprise plastic (such as vinyl) sheet of a transparent or semitransparent type. In some embodiments of the invention, one or more strips may be stitched to a pocket panel and the back-sheet to extend vertically, thereby providing several side-by-side pockets.

Stitched to the upper edge 11a of back-sheet 11 is the lower edge of suspension means shown in exemplary form as comprising a single strip 22 of an adhesive sheet material widely sold under the trademark "Velcro", such material comprising hook-like fibers on one side which enable portions of such material on that side to tightly adhere to each other and withstand very substantial tension forces in the place of the Velcro sheet, but allowing the stuck portions to be readily separated by modest peeling forces. A side of strip 22 extends upwardly from edge 11a of back-panel 11 over the lower cross-bar portion 10a of coat hanger 10, and downwardly again to edge 11a, and with the two depending portions of strip 22 pressed together, the strip firmly suspends the back-panel assembly from hanger 10. The side of strip 22 opposite from that carrying the hook-like fibers preferably is provided with a frictional surface, such as a soft rubber surface, for reasons which will become clear below. A pair of split rubber (or other elastomeric) rings 23, 24 snugly grip portion 10a of the hanger near its ends, thereby centering strip 22 in a lateral sense, preventing strip 22 from riding around the bent ends 10b, 10c of the hanger even if the assembly is substantially tilted or subjected to lateral swinging moments.

It is important to note that in each instance above where stitching has been mentioned, a conventional heat-welding or bonding process may be used instead to provide equivalent seams, and in many applications such heat-bonding will be preferred for sake of production speed and economy.

In FIGS. 1 and 2 various arricles of clothing are shown in phantom contained within the pockets formed by sheets 13-15, several ties, socks and handkerchiefs being shown in the upper pocket, men's underwear being shown in the middle pocket, and two men's shirts being shown in the lower pocket.

As best seen in FIG. 3, after a traveler has inserted desired accessory articles in the pockets carried on back-sheet 11, he may suspend one (or several) pair of trousers over the cross-bar 10a of the hanger 10 and over strip 22. The use of a frictional surface on strip 22 opposite the adhesive side of the strip will be seen to prevent the trousers from moving laterally across the hanger or from sliding vertically off the hanger. Furthermore, the existence of back-panel 11 (now loaded with accessories) between the two trouser portions draped over the hanger cross-bar will be seen to stiffen the assembly to some degree, tending to hold each draped trouser portion spread out flat, and thereby eliminating wrinkling of the trousers in the absence of large sidewise forces which laterally crush the assembly.

Since wrinkling of trousers is ordinarily more noticeable in lower leg or cuff portions than in upper or belt portions, most persons will prefer to drape trousers over strip 22 so that lower or cuff portions lie against the substantially flat rear side of back-panel 11 where minimum wrinkling is likely to occur, with upper trouser portions lying adjacent the pockets on the front of the back-panel, which pockets may bulge slightly, depending upon the amount of accessories which have been loaded into the pockets and the care with which they have been loaded.

After installing the trousers on the hanger, one (or more) suit coats are mounted on the hanger over the trousers and around the loaded back-panel, as shown in FIG. 4. The length of back-panel 11, together with the vertical length of the suspension means, ordinarily will be arranged so that the lower edge of the back-panel extends slightly below the lower edges of the longest suit coat intended to be hung on the hanger, thereby insuring that any upward force on the garment bag if the latter is rested on a lower object will be imposed on lower seam 11c and not protrude upwardly into the bag so as to wrinkle the lower edges of a suit disposed inside the bag. With the loaded back-panel (and the trousers) situated inside the one or more suit coats carried on the hanger, it will be seen that lateral crushing of the suit coats is effectively deterred, thereby preventing wrinkling of the suit coats. A light cloth or plastic conventional garment bag 25 is then placed around the suit and back-panel assembly and zippered closed, to provide the final assembly shown in FIG. 5, wherein only the hook portion of the hanger protrudes from the garment bag.

Viewed merely from its exterior the assembly of FIG. 5 merely resembles an ordinary garment bag, but the provision of the back-panel assembly therein not only obviates the need for a flight bag or use of one's attache case for accessories, but also provides substantially less wrinkling of suits under a variety of conditions frequently encountered by many travelers.

FIG. 6a diagrammatically illustrates a condition frequently encountered if one suspends a garment bag from a hook 26 in the rear seat space of an automobile. The rear seat 27 in essence pushes into one side of the garment bag, sometimes seriously wrinkling both the suit coat and trousers carried within the garment bag. Use of the back-panel assembly within the suit or suits in the garment bag in accordance with the invention, however, provides a condition diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 6b. The back-panel assembly provides a measure of lateral stiffness, so that the rear seat does not protrude appreciably into the side of the garment bag, and instead the entire garment bag assembly may hang from the hook at a non-vertical angle, without any of the contents of the bag experiencing appreciable wrinkling. Problems similar to that of FIG. 6a also often occur in connection with suspension of garment bags from the pipes of airplane carry-on clothes racks, particularly when a large number of coats and garment bags are crammed into a small space. As well as preventing suit coat and trouser wrinkling as a result of adjacent structures or articles tending to protrude into the garment bag assembly, the present invention practically eliminates the serious problem of the extreme wrinkling which occurs if a suit coat or trousers slips from the hanger inside an ordinary garment bag. The pushing and pulling forces to which a suit coat and trousers in an ordinary garment bag may be subjected as adjacent bags are hung on or removed from a pipe or rod often pushes the trousers laterally to one side of the hanger cross-bar, substantially wrinkling them and sometimes causing them to slip from the cross-bar so that they may seriously wrinkle in the bottom of the garment bag. Similarly, such pushing and pulling forces also may cause the ends of the hanger not to protrude sufficiently into the armpit areas of a suit coat, so that the coat may be dislodged from the hanger, fall to bottom of the bag and be seriously wrinkled. It will be apparent at this point that the invention obviates such problems in a simple, efficient and inexpensive manner.

It is a feature of the invention that a completely conventional standard male hanger may be used, and different hangers may be readily substituted if one should become bent, broken, rusted, or otherwise unsuitable.

While the suspension means of FIGS. 1 and 2 is shown as comprising a single Velcro strip extending substantially across the entire cross-bar of the hanger, it will be apparent at this point that it may instead comprise plural laterally spaced apart strips. Furthermore, the suspension means need not comprise Velcro strip material in some embodiments of the invention, and instead may comprise a pair (or trio, or more) of cloth, leather, plastic or similar strips which are suspended around the hanger cross-bar and fastened by means of snaps, buttons, zippers, buckles or the like. Where spaced apart suspension means are utilized, such as the buttoned straps shown at 22a, 22b in FIG. 7, it will be apparent that various known accessories may be used on the hanger, such as the spring clips shown at 28, 28 in FIG. 7 which are frequently used to hold skirts or trouser cuffs. In FIG. 7 a rigid rod (not shown) is carried within the seam at the upper edge of the back-panel to provide lateral stiffness.

In some embodiments of the invention, wooden, metal or plastic stiffener rods may be incorporated in one or more of the seams at 11a, 11c, 12a and 12b.

A further feature of the invention is its extremely simple and inexpensive construction. Also because very many persons already possess light cloth or plastic garment bags, and conventional coat hangers are readily available, mere purchase of the pocketed back-panel portion of the assembly of the invention will enable such persons to obtain the marked advantages of the invention at a truly modest expense.

It will be apparent at this point that the back-panel assembly may be readily detached from the hanger when the device is not in use, and when detached, readily folded or rolled in a vertical direction so as to provide a very small package which will consume very little drawer or closet space.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained, and since certain changes may be made in the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows: