For over eighty years American Tourister’s goal has been to create affordable yet exceedingly durable luggage that lets people explore new horizons. Their designs, such as the Bon Air and San Francisco below, are fun and colourful to ensure that they will always stand out from the crowd. However these cases also undergo numerous quality tests so you can be sure of their durability and toughness.
History of the brand
The Founder of American Tourister was introduced to the luggage industry in the 1920’s. A recent immigrant to America, Sol Koffeler worked in a plant that manufactured steamer trunks. He soon picked up the traditional methods of construction that were used, and decided that he could create a more durable product. In 1933, using all of his savings, he opened a shop in in Providence, Rhode Island and began to create his own luggage range. His goal was to provide his customers suffering through the Great Depression with a durable suitcase for just $1. He succeeded, and during the first year sold 5,000 suitcases.
Koffler soon established a reputation for quality products at an affordable price, but these products weren’t innovative, they were simply more durable versions of traditional designs. His major breakthrough came when he developed a way to bend plywood material. This enabled suitcase to be made from fewer parts, enabling more space for belongings but most importantly making them less likely to split and crack. This line was a huge success and the company went from strength to strength, but during the Second World War luggage production was put on a back burner as the factories were used to help the war effort.
After 1945, the company came back stronger than ever, and with a concerted effort to make the regional firm an American name. Continued innovation helped to propel the company forward. For instance, Koffler immediately saw the benefits of the moulded plastic that had been developed during the war, and was the first to introduce a mould plastic design to the market. It immediately propelled American Tourister to the forefront of the luggage market, and introduced a new standard of durability and affordability to the industry.
The manufacturing process for plastic suitcases was improved throughout the 1950’s to create a low cost and almost indestructible product. Indeed, the company began to receive reports of suitcases surviving incredible accidents, such as one case falling off a car travelling over 60mph, being run over by another car and only ending up with a few scuff marks.
The proceeding decades have seen the company continuing to develop exciting and fun products for the family, leisure and youth markets. It was bought out by another American luggage brand, Samsonite, in 1993 and they continue to create accessible, high quality luggage that helps people to explore new horizons.