“telescope” suitcase? 
Posted: 04 January 2018 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]
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From Sinclair Lewis’s “Main Street.” Bea Sorenson, a farm girl, arrives in Gopher Prairie:

“She contentedly lugged her pasteboard telescope from the station to her cousin, Tina Malmquist, maid of all work in the residence of Mrs. Luke Dawson.”

I infer from context that the “telescope” is an inexpensive suitcase, but can only speculate at the origin of this usage.  My guess is that the folds flat and expands, i.e. “telescopes” for use.  Can anyone confirm or deny this?

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Posted: 04 January 2018 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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OED

telescope bag n.  (a) a travelling bag or case made of two parts, one sliding down over the other when closed; (b) a bag used for carrying a small telescope.
1885 J. Short Diary 10 Apr. in Whig-Standard (Kingston, Ont.) (1973) 11 Apr. 29/3 Telescope bags packed, in case we have to start for Calgary in a hurry.
1949 W. Faulkner Knight’s Gambit 124 A tremendous old-fashioned telescope bag, strapped and bulging, sat on a chair.
2013 M. J. Hightower Banking in Oklahoma before Statehood vii. 171 The proprietor kept money in an old telescope bag.
2015 J. Ashley Astrophotogr. on Go xiii. 248 Short tube refractors are easily carried in a small soft sided telescope bag.

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Posted: 04 January 2018 01:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thank you.  I am trying to picture that.  Google Images is no help, being overwhelmed by cases for telescopes.

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Posted: 08 January 2018 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I believe this is the general idea:

https://www.roadcasesusa.com/extendable-tuffbox-telescoping-case-id-12x12x48-to-90-long/

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Posted: 08 January 2018 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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NotThatGuy - 08 January 2018 10:52 AM

I believe this is the general idea:

https://www.roadcasesusa.com/extendable-tuffbox-telescoping-case-id-12x12x48-to-90-long/

That seems plausible.  Thanks.

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Posted: 08 January 2018 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Here’s a 1902 patent for a lock mechanism to improve the telescoping valise. Note that it telescopes vertically. I was expecting something more like the modern case in NotThatGuy’s link.

It was easy to find once I started using my grandparents’ vocabulary and called it a valise instead of a suitcase!

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Posted: 10 January 2018 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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My parents had some suitcases that may have been described as telescopic.

Looked just like regular “hard sided” cases, but the hinges and catches were mounted on a sliding rail/ratchet so they could slide up and down, but locked into position when the case was closed.

Idea was to have all at maximum length, close the case and then push down to compress the contents and save space.
When you opend the case, the hasps popped forward releasing the ratchet/slider, and as you opened the lid the rear ratchets also released.

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Posted: 10 January 2018 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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NotThatGuy - 08 January 2018 10:52 AM

I believe this is the general idea:

https://www.roadcasesusa.com/extendable-tuffbox-telescoping-case-id-12x12x48-to-90-long/

Well found! I conceded defeat after scrolling through dozens of telescope cases and wheeled luggage!

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