By the 19th century, the modern suitcase was finally taking its familiar form. Rugged and well built, antique suitcases had to withstand years of use on unpaved roads, often exposed to inclement weather. The average suitcase of the age was made of thick, oil-treated cowhide stretched over a stout wooden frame.
Travel became an option, not a necessity, and exotic vacations became the new status symbol. Tourists plastered their suitcases with travel stickers - the more, the merrier! The multi-labeled suitcase became an icon of travel, tourism and the vacation industry by the mid-20th century.
Vintage luggage was built to last, making it ideal for other uses once its traveling days are over. These seatcases are a, umm, case in point. It’s not known whether the suitcases are sealed before being recycled as chairs - if not, they could do double-duty as extra storage.
Has the suitcase reached the limit of its evolutionary possibilities? Hardly. Take the Tank Suitcase above, an innovative design by conceptual thinker Woo Moonhyung. Called the Climbing UP Suitcase, the suitcase features tank-like treads that encircle the case on both sides, making it a cinch to pull up stairs and inclined surfaces. Moonhyung won the 2008 Red Dot Design concept award with the Climbing UP so there’s every chance it’ll be put into production someday.