Food - Drink
The High-Tech 1940s Grocery Cart Innovation That Never Took Off
BY RYAN CASHMAN
The shopping cart is a relatively recent creation, invented in the 1930s by entrepreneur and supermarket chain owner Sylvan Goldman. Shopping carts are not without their own evolution, and at one time, Missouri engineer Orla E. Watson set out to perfect Goldman’s invention, though one of his own innovations wouldn't last.
Watson saw that Goldman’s shopping carts were bulky, difficult to store, and required assembly, so he created the Nesting Cart in 1946, adding child seating and the swinging panel to the back of the cart which allows them to nest inside one another in a long row. He also invented the "power lift" cart, which didn't take off quite as well.
The power lift cart was a two-basket cart and could lift the lower basket to counter height while simultaneously lifting the upper basket out of the cashier's way, making it easier to unload groceries at checkout. Sadly, the high-tech idea was discontinued in 1947, though we now have conveyor belts at the cashier's that also make things speedier.