Telescoping Shopping Cart

Telescoping Shopping Cart

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
The convenience and carrying capacity of shopping carts play an important role in the sales of a self-service supermarket. Inventor of the earliest model of the shopping cart, Sylvan Goldman of Oklahoma City, described his idea in 1939 as a "combination of basket and carriage." The frame he devised held two baskets and was like a folding chair with wheels. In 1946, Orla E. Watson of Kansas City, developed these telescoping shopping carts that were "always ready" and required no assembly or disassembly of components before or after use.
Watson's telescoping feature allowed carts to nestle into other carts for compact storage. Each additional parked cart, claimed the brochure, required "only one-fifth as much space as an ordinary cart," which meant more carts for shoppers as well as more retail space for store owners.
Object Name
shopping cart
date made
ca 1949
maker
Telescope Carts, Inc.
place made
United States: Missouri, Kansas City
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 94 cm x 39.5 cm x 60 cm; 37 in x 15 9/16 in x 23 5/8 in
overall: 49 in x 89 in x 28 in; 124.46 cm x 226.06 cm x 71.12 cm
ID Number
2000.0166.01
accession number
2000.0166
patent number
2479530
catalog number
2000.0166.01
Credit Line
Gift of Edith Watson
See more items in
Work and Industry: Retail and Marketing
Food
Family & Social Life
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Watson's invention also became the basis of an important tax law case (having to do with when a transfer is a sale or a license). Tax lawyers and law students read the case every year! The case is Watson v. Commissioner, 222 F.2d 689 (10th Cir. 1955).

Add a comment about this object