The shopping cart was invented in the mid-1930s by Sylvan N. Goldman (1898-1984). Goldman ran a grocery store chain called Humpty Dumpty, and he observed that shoppers struggled with the “hand carry” shopping baskets.
“They had a tendency to stop shopping when the baskets became too full or too heavy,” said Goldman in a quote cited in his obituary in The New York Times (November 27, 1984).
Self-service grocery stores were created in the 1920s. The first to implement a self-service system was Clarence Saunders’s Piggly Wiggly chain in 1916. Other stores followed, including Humpty Dumpty stores in Oklahoma. Continue reading