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Take A Walk Through History With These 20 Vintage Photos Of Grocery Stores

If you’re over the age of 30, or close to it, you probably remember things that were staples of your childhood that are now obsolete. Things like corded telephones. Do you remember the rotary phones? When you got someone’s number, you basically prayed they didn’t have any 8’s or 9’s in it. You were so thankful when you’re parents finally gave in and bought a cordless phone because you didn’t have to stretch the cord anymore by trying to have a private conversation around the kitchen corner.

Obviously, the older you are, the more things have changed. It’s always fun to look back on these changes through the years, to give you some perspective on how easy we have it in the year 2018. It’s also just fun to take a walk through history. Nothing will be as eye-opening about how far we’ve really come than by looking at vintage photos of grocery stores. From the counter service of the late 1800s to the transition to self-service stores decades later, it is quite a collection of American history from a perspective you may never have considered. Check out 20 vintage photos of grocery stores that feel like you’re opening a time capsule…

Late 19th Century

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This vintage photo a great reminder of how stores used to be. In most cases, you would hand your grocer a list that he fulfilled and you picked up the following day. Eventually, these stores gave way to self-service stores like we have today.

1918

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The first self-service Piggly Wiggly opened in Memphis, Tennessee in 1916. This is that store, but the photo was taken two years later.

1938

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“The Home Grocery”…literally! This is a house that was turned into a grocery store. You definitely wouldn’t see that today.

1938

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This is such a neat photo that depicts a pretty progressive man doing the shopping at a Coop Store in Maryland with his infant! Now, if he’d only stop the baby from eating the bread bag…

1940

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A man and his dogs sit outside of a grocery in Robinson, Illinois around 1940. We cannot get over these prices! Beef was 9 cents per pound! It’s also really interesting to see how grocery stores modernized differently throughout the country. The photo above this one was two taken two years prior but feels much more modern.

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