7-Eleven Display of a Rooster

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These cut-out characters, the “early bird” rooster and the night owl, were used inside 7-Eleven stores to announce extended hours.
7-Eleven began in 1927 as the Southland Ice Company in Dallas, Texas. In addition to selling blocks of ice, an enterprising ice dock employee began offering milk, bread, and eggs on Sundays and evenings when grocery stores were closed. Sales increased as customers took advantage of the extended hours and additional products.
The company's first convenience outlets were known as Tote'm stores since customers "toted" away their purchases. In 1946, Tote'm became 7-Eleven to reflect new, extended hours: 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., seven days a week. Competition from convenience stores prompted other food stores to stay open longer hours too. 7-Eleven claims to be the first chain to keep stores open 24 hours a day.
In 2010, nearly one-third of the 6 million people who stopped by a 7-Eleven each day purchased food to consume immediately, such as hot dogs, doughnuts, and cups of coffee. Besides being a convenience store and a de facto fast food carryout, stores like 7-Eleven are sometimes a primary source of food for people living in neighborhoods without supermarkets.
overall: 10 1/2 in x 9 1/2 in x 1/2 in; 26.67 cm x 24.13 cm x 1.27 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
The Southland Corporation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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