Special Report

How School Backpacks Have Changed Over the Last Few Decades

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Backpacks mobility

Backpacks with wheels were first created in the late 1960s. They were well received by business and vacation travelers, and many students use them.

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Backpacks mobility – cont’d

But some schools look askance at backpacks with wheels because people can trip over them.

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Accommodating books

In California, a student helped advance the backpack evolution in the early 1970s. Gary Kirk was an outdoorsman who founded Caribou Mountaineering.

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Accommodating books – cont’d

When he was a student at Chico State, he could not find a bag to hold his books, so he asked a seamstress, Marcia Briggs, to make one for him. They used textbooks to measure the square shape to fit books in the backpack, which they called the Cricket.

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