Telescope Shopping Cart Drawing On Letterhead (USA), November 1948
The shopping cart is used worldwide. Although Orla Watson did not invent it, his improvements to this versatile tool are significant and a standard in the industry today. He introduced permanently attached hinged baskets, which allow the carts to nest for compact storage (US Patent 2,479,530) thus conserving valuable floor space. His invention debuted at Floyd Day’s Super Market, in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1947. Watson’s pencil sketches represent his process of solving such details as the dimensions of the basket. Here, the inventor was thinking visually and spatially. Today’s cart is bigger, made of different materials, such as plastic, and has a cup holder and a child’s seat, but the concept has changed little since 1947.
It is credited
Telescoping Shopping Cart Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, 2000.3030.
Its dimensions are
H x W (drawing): 27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 in. x 8 1/2 in.)
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.