American Tourister

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American Tourister is a brand of suitcase.

Immigrant Sol Koffler founded American Luggage Works in Providence, Rhode Island in either 1932[1] or 1933[2] with his life savings. He was determined to produce luggage priced at $1 in the midst of the Great Depression.[2] The company's breakthrough came soon after when Koffler devised a new line that was significantly better[peacock term] than that of the competition; he named it American Tourister.[2]

In 1970, American Tourister launched a memorable ad campaign, highlighting the durability of its product by unleashing a "gorilla" (actually a man in a costume)[3] on it. The commercial ran for fifteen years.[3] It was also shown briefly in the 1995 film, Apollo 13.[citation needed]

In 1993, American Tourister was acquired by Astrum International, which also made Samsonite luggage.[4] Astrum was renamed the Samsonite Corporation two years later.[5]


  1. ^ Goodwin, George; Ellen Smith; Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association (2004). The Jews of Rhode Island. p. 268. ISBN 1-58465-424-4. , p. 81
  2. ^ a b c "American Tourister, Inc. - Company History". Archived from the original on 17 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Advertising Mascots - Animals - American Tourister Gorilla". TV Acres. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  4. ^ Stephanie Strom. "Wall Street; New Name, New Life, for Astrum. New York Times. September 26, 1993. Retrieved on November 2, 2008.
  5. ^ "Astrum International to Divide Its Samsonite and Culligan Units". New York Times. April 25, 1995. Retrieved on November 2, 2008.

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