Thursday, January 5, 2017

Gardening, hunting, and foraging weren't hobbies


Terry said...

No, it was much earlier than that. From their web site:

Piggly Wiggly®, America's first true self-service grocery store, was founded in Memphis, Tennessee in 1916 by Clarence Saunders. In grocery stores of that time, shoppers presented their orders to clerks who then gathered the goods from the store shelves. Saunders, a dynamic and innovative man, noticed that this method resulted in wasted time and expense, so he came up with an unheard-of solution that would revolutionize the entire grocery industry: he developed a way for shoppers to serve themselves.

Despite predictions that his novel idea would fail, Saunders’ first store opened on September 6, 1916 at 79 Jefferson Street in Memphis. Operating under the unusual name ‘Piggly Wiggly®’, it was unlike any other contemporary grocery store. There were shopping baskets, open shelves, and no clerks to shop for the customer – all of which were previously unheard of!

Terry said...

I should have written: "From there web site"
Then you could have gone FN all over me. :)

Anonymous said...

there is a bit of a movement to go back the way it was, and there is a strange mix of greenies and rednecks promoting it...

vaquero viejo

JeremyR said...

Terry, spot on. There were several others about the same time, but PW was the first to be successful. The other about that time was Astor Market in New York.
The original market was labor intense. It took a bit of labor to serve each person and there was socialization that took place which cost the business owner. He was either paying some one to yack, or yacking himself and not getting alot done.
Credit for the first true supermarket is given to King Kullen in 1930. The difference is that Piggly Wiggly did not offer fresh meat and produce when he started.
The simple fact of life though is that no person has ever been completely self sufficient. Even Adam had Eve. If we tried to go back to basic living, it would consume us. The time needed to raise hunt or forage would leave little time for development. We would revert to being cave men.
Prior to 1946 most farming was done with animals, or small tractors. The Farmall regular and John Deere A were the good stuff back then. They were the pinnacle in 1941 when agriculture machine production took a break to fight a war. When tractor production resumed in 1946, mechanics had revolutionized due to engineering efforts of the war. Farming was a major beneficiary of that. Bigger engines, hydraulics, advances in traction all revolutionized the farm. All that created a new problem, one man could do much more with a lot less effort. Farms went from a 160 acre spread to a mile and bigger.
Specialization also began as farmers went from a mix of hogs cattle and poultry to running one thing. in many cases the live stock went away completely as pasture was plowed to feed the world.

Anonymous said...

have met others whom believe supermarkets manufacture the various foods in the backroom

and incredibly found out they worked in the department of agriculture


Anonymous said...

notice that not long after there was a boom in diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer, and all other goodies? they're poisoning us with the food, and we line up weekly to get more. need to go back to raising our own livestock, growing our own vegetables and hunting our own game.

Granny said...

Di Sists store on the corner of the little village in Milltown. Pa. where I spent a few of my toddler years. It was hung with Italian Salami, cheeses, and sawdust on the floor, dark inside and all about business. Near the door was the candy counter with penny candy galore. To keep us noisy, pesky kids corralled near the front no doubt.
Once I found a 50 cent piece on the sidewalk; and in 1949, that was a fortune. I treated all my little friends to a candy pig out.
Papa De Sist loved to fly his kites in March, miles of wrapping twine on a hand made wooden reel, his kites were always flown over the horizon. I loved the look of pure joy on his face as the kite soared out of sight.
Thinking of it now, I probably wouldn't go past the door.

Anonymous said...

Food during the Great Depression era was serious business. My Grandfather had two jobs, running a large hardware store for the owner, his other job a 'hole in the wall' grocery store. Had shelving along walls and a single back to back shelf in middle - that was it. I would have loved to have visited it in person, but by the time I was born, it had been torn down for a larger store.

Mom's family was different. Migrant farm workers and a part of the meal was often part of the crop picked that day. Families often shared what they had with others, just for the varied diet. Meat was a once - twice a week treat. Rice and beans were staples, as well as home made tortillas. Maternal Grandma grew a garden in back of her house well into her 80's, the Three Sisters among them. I wish I had followed behind and listened to her wisdom on gardening.

Thanks Angel.

genericviews said...

Before supermarkets, there were still plenty of local markets. Places like Rome and London in antiquity had hundreds of thousands of people with no direct access to farms still managing to not starve to death. The difference between "market" and Supermarket" is in scale, not in moral superiority.