American Tourister - a suitcase, known throughout the world: the history of the brand
One of the oldest and most famous manufacturers of luggage products in the world is the American Tourister. The suitcase, which the company produces, is recognized as the most reliable. It undergoes a thorough check for compliance with the strictest standards. An important role is played by the affordable price of the product. It is not surprising that tourists of many countries choose this brand for their travels.
Undoubtedly, hardly anyone today does not know the stylish, convenient and functional suitcase-cart American Tourister. But how did it all start? The man who founded the famous company in the early 1930s was Sol Koffler. Having immigrated to the United States, he first worked at a factory that manufactured traveling trunks, then at a handbag factory. The methods of manufacturing luggage products, about which he learned, were typical for that time. Thin strips of wood or plywood were glued together, then they were covered with paper (cloth) for inexpensive luggage or leather for expensive models. Over time, Koffler decided to start his own business with the firm intention of making a more durable product. The company was founded in 1933 with the opening of the first grocery store in the state capital of Rhode Island, Providence.
Although the first sample did not revolutionize the design, Koffler was convinced that for the product's longevity in the same price range, hardly any other company could compete with American Tourister. The suitcase was sold for one dollar. In the first year of work, 5,000 copies were sold. Within two years, Koffler hired several employees, but he himself continued to work on product design and sales. The production line has expanded somewhat, two models of different sizes (worth two and three dollars) have started to be produced, each in a black and brown color scheme. The products were sold everywhere in the area from Providence to Boston.
A little later Koffler adapted equipment for the production of panels (from plywood) for radio receivers, capable of bending materials. This led to the main breakthrough of American Tourister. Suitcase due to this innovation has significantly simplified in the design sense, but its strength has increased. Typical baggage samples of that time were collected from many parts, which made them low and cumbersome, moreover, they tended to crack and creak. The Koffler model had a simple yet elegant design with rounded corners, features such as a lining and zippered pockets, which certainly increased its practicality. To distinguish this line from other samples, the founder called it American Tourister. The suitcase was a resounding success, setting a new standard in the luggage industry. The company's ruler was expanded in the early 1940s to four styles, four colors and eight sizes. During the Second World War, the company suspended production of baggage products, working for the military economy. Despite the rapid recovery since 1945, it still remained a regional firm. And Koffler sought sales throughout America, and not only in it. He came to understand that it is necessary to promote the brand through an advertising company.
Over the next two years, the introduction of innovative technologies in production has significantly advanced the company forward in the national market. It was the first to use pressed plywood (veneer) in production, and also recognized vinyl as a revolutionary material developed in the war years. After the introduction of the next line, which guaranteed a new standard of strength, in 1954 the chemical composition of American Tourister products was further improved. Suitcase, the reviews of which were carefully collected, was able to pass real tests and prove its incredible strength. There was a case when he fell out of the car, traveling at a speed of almost 100 kilometers per hour, and then got under the wheels of another car. With the exception of a few scratches on the outside, it remained intact.
In the 1970s, the company offered an unforgettable commercial with a gorilla (in fact, it was a disguised artist), which was popular all fifteen years while it was being shown. An animal, being in a cage, throws the suitcase on the wall with all its might, jumps on it. This was to demonstrate the strength of the product.