The birth of the shopping trolley

If there is a discovery that shows how far technology has come in the last 80 years, it may be the humble shopping trolley.

It seems so simple, and certainly something we all take for granted when it’s time to load up on groceries every week, but it was not always so easy.

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Once upon a time the buyer had to contend with loading their goods into a small basket of either wicker or wire and carry that around the shop. That all changed in 1937 when the owner of a supermarket chain in Oklahoma had a eureka moment. The revolutionary invention? Putting wheels on a larger basket to allow people to keep shopping with their arms free.

An idea that resulted in Sylvan Goldman, the supermarket owner, making a fortune. The shopping trolley has since been called the most significant development in the history of merchandising and American capitalism. For your Supermarket Trolley stock, visit a site like SHE-Ltd, a supplier of the humble Supermarket Trolley.

However, it certainly wasn’t an overnight success story. Male shoppers thought they were effeminate, and women said they reminded them of prams. Growing the popularity of the trolley was going to be quite a big task!

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To try to sway public opinion, the trolley inventor took out a number of newspaper ads to promote the new product’s features.

Once they were finally considered quite fashionable and forward-thinking, the trolley took off! Goldman’s business went from strength to strength and he began selling his product to other supermarket chains. By 1940 the trolleys had a waiting list of seven-years!