Before the invention of the shopping cart, shoppers carried groceries around a store in small baskets, bags, or in their hands. Carrying groceries in this manner could become quite cumbersome. Not only that, it limited the amount of groceries a shopper could purchase in one trip.
Fortunately, Sylvan Goldman of Oklahoma saw the difficulty these methods of carrying items caused. After hours of tinkering, he developed the first shopping cart.
A Brief History
In 1937, Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Humpty Dumpty supermarket chain, invented the shopping cart. The first cart consisted of two baskets held in a wire frame pushed about the store on shopping cart wheels. Over time, the shopping cart evolved into what you see when you go to the grocery store today.
A standard shopping cart consists of a basket, a folding door, a handle, and, usually, a seat where a child can sit. Most also have a flat surface underneath that can hold oversized items. This surface is where the wheels attach.
More recent versions of shopping carts have cupholders or small ledges to rest a cell phone on.
In addition to the standard cart, there are a few different shopping cart types offered in stores.
Shoppers are generally discouraged from resting their infant car seats on the cart because the seat doesn’t actually attach to the cart. To remedy this, many grocery stores offer carts with infant carriers attached, which makes it easier for a parent to take their infant shopping.
Many grocery stores have shopping carts designed to look like race cars or with a small car attached that a small child can sit in. These provide children with a sense of fun that will ideally last the length of the shopping trip.
Many grocery stores offer handicap-accessible carts such as Caroline’s Cart, which is designed to seat individuals with special needs or who cannot walk well. In addition, this cart is beneficial for parents who take older children who can no longer fit in a standard cart shopping with them.
Motorized Shopping Carts
Most stores also have motorized shopping carts for shoppers who can shop for themselves but cannot push a cart or walk for extended periods. These carts permit a person to remain seated while they move about the store.
When shopping carts were invented, they revolutionized the grocery industry. As time went on and new designs became available, grocery shopping became accessible for many more people.