When you go shopping and expect to buy a lot of items at the same store, you will most likely grab a SHOPPING CART from the entrance before heading down the aisles. We use shopping carts at grocery stores, hardware stores, variety stores, and even some clothing stores at the mall provide shopping carts. As long as it appears clean, we usually grab the first cart we come to. Unless the wheels are noisy or roll in different directions, we don't usually give much thought to this modern convenience. We certainly notice when there are no carts, and most of us cannot imagine buying groceries without
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When you go shopping and expect to buy a lot of items at the same store, you will most likely grab a SHOPPING CART from the entrance before heading down the aisles. We use shopping carts at grocery stores, hardware stores, variety stores, and even some clothing stores at the mall provide shopping carts. As long as it appears clean, we usually grab the first cart we come to. Unless the wheels are noisy or roll in different directions, we don't usually give much thought to this modern convenience. We certainly notice when there are no carts, and most of us cannot imagine buying groceries without one.
It is difficult to imagine buying a lot of items without a SHOPPING CART to help carry our purchases to the checkout stand. These convenient pushcarts did not appear out of nowhere; they had a beginning. Therefore, the next logical question is where did this basket on wheels begin. Who decided to make shopping easier by designing this invention? Would you be surprised to know the first shopping cart was invented in Oklahoma?
Back when your great-grandparents were children, everyone shopped for groceries in a grocery store. The store was exactly what its name implied, a store that sold groceries. SHOPPERS would go to several different stores to get the things they needed, such as a drug store for medicinal items, a butcher shop for meat, a florist for flowers, and originally, shoppers brought their own baskets to the store. The early mercantile, or general store, didn't provide paper or plastic bags for carrying purchases. Patrons carried their purchases home in woven baskets they had brought with them from home. Then some stores began bagging purchases, and the store provided woven or wire baskets to carry through the store while shopping. However, the baskets held only a few items, and it didn't take very many canned goods to weigh down a hand-carried shopping basket.
In the 1930s, Sylvan Goldman owned the Piggly Wiggly grocery stores in Oklahoma City. He realized his customers could buy more things if they could carry more things in the shopping basket he provided. Some customers made several trips to the checkout counter to stack their items while they shopped. Employees would have to keep the piles of purchases separate while the customers finished shopping. Goldman knew a bigger basket was not the solution; even small baskets soon became too heavy. Some customers resorted to filling the baskets and scooting them on the floor.
As he watched his customers shop, he realized a scooting basket would move more easily if it had wheels, and if the customers could move the baskets with their hands instead of their feet, it would be even better. Goldman's idea began to take shape with a stack of folding chairs leaned against the wall. He put a basket on the seat of the folding chair and visualized wheels on the legs of the chair while the back of the chair was the right height to serve as the handle for the cart.
Based on this primitive beginning, Goldman and Fred Young, a local mechanic, designed the first shopping cart, very similar to the carts we use today. Together they formed the Folding Carrier Company in 1937. As practical as it was, it took a while for this NEW INVENTION to catch on. Mr. Goldman had to hire fake shoppers to push the carts around his stores. He also hired a friendly face to encourage each shopper to take a cart as they entered the store. When shoppers saw how easy it was to use them and the time it saved by only having to make one trip to the checkout counter, they were sold on the idea. The shopping cart became a staple in Goldman's Piggly Wiggly and soon made its appearance across the United States.
One year later, Goldman made a significant modification to the shopping cart for two reasons. Mothers, now enjoying the hands-free shopping the baskets provided, also put their children in the basket. Goldman saw children taking up the space he had intended for groceries, and he saw how easily children sitting or standing in the basket could tip it over. He addressed both concerns by putting the toddler seat up front and efficiently making room for a child and for groceries. Today there are wheelchair SHOPPING CARTS, motorized shopping carts, and miniature carts for children. Shopping carts come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, but all of them got their start in 1936 at the Piggly Wiggly in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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