TBone Luggage Extension Handle
1-2-3 Go! Stand more erect when pulling carry on luggage!
I was between flights at a major airport in the fall of 2005 sitting at a cafe'with a drink- with an aching back. I thought about how upsetting it was to pay good money for a flight, but not have the comfort in the seat for such a long flight. My lower back was killing me.
I stand 6'2" tall. As I sat at the small table, watching the 'parade' of people walking by....I noticed a man in his late 30's with a carry-on bag similar to mine. It had wheels, and he stood about six foot tall. Instead of pulling his bag, he carried it like a briefcase.
I thought- He has the same problem I do: those telescoping handles in the bag are too short and I have to bend to the side to pull my bag so I don't scuff my shoes. Then I glanced to my left, and in the line waiting for her lunch was a woman in her mid 50's I'd say- again with a carry-on bag similar to mine, with the handle extended. She was rubbing her forearm from the fatigue of twisting her arm around to pull her bag.
I thought- Well, this is just stupid....all someone has to do is.....and the idea came to me. I got out a pen and drew the TBone on a napkin.
I thought- This can't be this simple! So I put the napkin in my pocket and drew it again. Sure enough, this could work. When I finally got home, I made my first 'mockup' of the TBone using a pair of pliers and a coat hanger, a couple of plastic bags, and some tin foil. I bent the wire into a T shape, tucked the bags into the handle area for volume, and wrapped the entire thing in foil. My first prototype was complete. From there on it was an adventure in the patenting process (completed April 23, 2013) and a lot of dead ends.
The timing for a new travel accessory during an era of economic downturn was applauded by many, but no one would take my project on without some sort of track record. Movement with the TBone dream had stalled. In December of 2011, I was in line in Orange County for an audition and struck up a conversation with a guy about my age but a little taller. I asked him what he did when he wasn't standing in line- he said he was a mold maker. That was the beginning of a fast-track to making an injection mold and the product available today.
Thanks for reading!