Suitcases without wheels by
(303 Stories)

Prompted By Good Riddance

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Why did it take so long for someone to come up with the idea of putting wheels on suitcases? I can remember so many trips, not only in my childhood but in my young adulthood as well, that involved lugging heavy suitcases that I could barely pick up. You might think this would have encouraged packing less, but there is a certain amount of stuff one needs to have. Plus the suitcases themselves were heavy, even when empty.

Now when I am running from one gate to another in an airport, or pretty much anywhere when I am traveling, I am so grateful for the wheels on my suitcase.

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Characterizations: been there, funny, right on!


  1. John Zussman says:

    Good one! I can still remember the nightmare of dragging suitcases around Europe one summer.

  2. Susan says:

    My husband and I had some of the first “wheeled” suitcases – in the 80s maybe. Two back wheels, and a ribbed, hard plastic retractable handle on the other end to tip them up. When we got back from 2 weeks in Europe we had matching calluses on the palms of our hands from dragging those tipsy things over cobblestones, onto and off trains, and up steep staircases in cheap hotels. Good riddance.

  3. gfaules44 says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh as I remembered the gift my older sister gave me for high school graduation….. A suitcase. She never was subtle.

  4. I can’t recall traveling with a suitcase. I know I did, but I don’t remember much about the motorcycle wipe-outs I survived either.

  5. You’ve jogged my memory, Suzy. I did have a wheel-less suitcase during college, but any time after that, not a backpack unless camping. I was a classy boho, so instead, I traveled w/various explorer bags, glorified duffels. Even today, when I can travel light, I migrate with a Coach leather explorer bag. But old wheel-less suitcases? Only good to hide body parts in.

  6. Yep, a Coach bag. And not Hollywood, New York. And the character in Winter Sun wouldn’t approve or disapprove. He would not judge, altho he might declare that life is full of contradictions, chaos, ragged edges, laughter, poverty and luxury. He would enjoy how good the leather feels. He hates kale and is not an ascetic.

  7. John Shutkin says:

    A great one, Suzy! After all, we have had those round, rolly things — wheels, I believe they are called — for some time now. I also really like your approach to the prompt: “good riddance” as a way of expressing gratitude for an innovation.

    And, if you’re like me, you have a certain amount of regret for not having thought of the idea. Preferably before going to law school.

  8. Risa Nye says:

    I never traveled much when I was younger, but I was still glad when those wheels rolled around! How did we ever get by without them?

    • Suzy says:

      I still vividly remember struggling with those darn things! On one memorable trip to Europe with my college boyfriend, I managed to talk him into carrying both our suitcases while I just carried the tent.

  9. Betsy Pfau says:

    Right you are, Suzy. I got a nice set of Hartmann luggage as a high school graduation present, but boy was that stuff heavy! Even now, I think I need to replace an old “small” wheeled suitcase that used to fit overhead with a better, light weight one because the overhead compartments have shrunk!

    • Suzy says:

      And they have improved the wheels now, so they roll in all directions. And wheels on all 4 corners instead of just 2, for greater stability. Suitcases just keep getting better and better, so it’s good to get new ones.

  10. Yes Suzy, the wheel is certainly among the greatest, if not the greatest, example of human ingenuity, so why indeed did it take so long to attach a few to a suitcase!!!

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