Metal Luggage: An Historical Sketch

As non-recorded history has it Erle P. Halliburton, Sr., an enterprising gentleman having extensive business interests in practically every corner of the globe, became rather annoyed not only at the general condition of his luggage, after only a few trips, but more so at the condition of the articles of clothing and personal belongings that had been packed for protection and use at journey’s end.

This annoyance centered mostly around inversion of dust and sand together with mildew formation on suits, shirts, shoes, etc. Drawing on his engineering knowledge, and with the help of an aircraft sheet metal worker, the original Halliburton aluminum travel case was made for Mr. Halliburton’s personal use.

Surely these rough, hand-made, travel cases suited their need. However, many requests from friends and business associates for copies stimulated Mr. Halliburton to the point of his opening a small factory in Glendale, Calif., to produce an aluminum travel case for the retail market.

The case that evolved from this early development (Circa ’37 – ’38) was truly unique. A one-piece, die-drawn, set of aluminum shells, mirror buffed and chemically treated against corrosion, which also eliminated marking on contact with clothing. In the pullman case lid were four metal compartments, each fully zippered and double-face lined with maroon velvet. The bottom section contained a three-quarter width zippered cover, three spring-loaded, open pockets and again all maroon velvet lined.

After an evolutionary process of several decades, in 1968 enter ZERO Corporation of Burbank, Calif., with its experience, facilities and capabilities in the design and manufacturing of cases, containers, enclosures, computer cabinets, etc., for both military and industrial applications. The first showing of the new ZERO Halliburton was made at the Luggage show held in New York in 1970 and included not only the re-introduction of the upgraded silver line but also the introduction of a gold series.

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