Samsonite : History

Brand: Samsonite:

What is Samsonite: Samsonite is a US Corporation known for its products ranging from large suitcases to small toiletries bags and briefcases.

Founder: Jesse Shwayder

Brands: Samsonite, American Tourister, Lark.

History: Samsonite was founded by Jesse Shwayder, as the Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company in Denver, Colorado, USA in 1910.

Brand Name Origin: Shwayder named one of his initial cases “Samson”, after the Biblical strongman, and began using the trademark Samsonite in 1941. The company changed its name to Samsonite in 1966.


  1. Jesse Shwayder worked as a luggage salesman, selling suitcases made by the Seward Trunk & Bag Company, until he used his life savings of $3,500 to establish his own Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company, on 10 March 1910.
  2. The business initially made folding card tables and furniture under the “Samson” brand
  3. Shwayder, who was devoutly religious, also named his son King David and required all company executives to carry the Golden Rule engraved on a golden band.
  4. In 1973, The Shwayder family sold the company to Beatrice Foods, which later sold it to PE firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1987.  Samsonite is currently owned jointly by Citi Venture Capital (CVC) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
  5. In 1993, Samsonite acquired ‘American Tourister’, whose most memorable ad campaign featured a gorilla (actually a man called Don McLeod in a costume).
  6. Samsonite’s early tagline was “Strong Enough to Stand On.“, which later changed to ‘Tough Luggage for a tough world’. Its current tagline is ‘Life is a journey’.
  7. The brand is endorsed by Kareena Kapoor in India.
  8. Samsonite also got world renowned businessmen including Richard Branson, to endorse their brand


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