August 8, 2011Replica Of The First Piggly Wiggly At The Pink Palace
Even though this is a tiny bit out of our usual time period, I just couldn’t resist showing you all pictures of a replica of the first Piggly Wiggly self-serve grocery store! We saw this during our recent visit to The Pink Palace in Memphis. If you missed our post on the Pink Palace, you can see it here.
As I mentioned in my last post, The Pink Palace was originally built to be the home of Clarence Saunders, the founder of Piggly Wiggly, before he lost everything in the 1920’s. Because of the origin of the home, a replica of the first Piggly Wiggly store is part of the permanent displays in the museum.
As you can see, it is pretty adorable. All of the canned goods and products are stacked neatly away in aisles so people can easily walk up and down the aisles and choose what they wanted themselves. This was a revolutionary idea that was created by Mr. Saunders. Before this, the dry goods stores would look something like this:
…with all of the items behind a large counter, and the owner of the store would choose the items for you. Mr. Saunders gave customers the right to choose for themselves, causing a big change not only in the way we shopped, but in packaging and brand recognition of products. Of course, companies wanted you to choose their brand over the competitors!
Here you can see a great example of canned goods stacked in the Piggly Wiggly replica. The designs on the labels were so fascinating, it was hard to go quickly through the aisles!
Besides having excellent labels, all of the products were in GREAT shape. They looked so good on the shelves, I couldn’t decide if they were replicas themselves or if they were actual vintage groceries.
And, after the Uneeda Biscuits and Aunt Mary’s Eveready Cake (in vanilla, chocolate and lemon), it was time to queue up for the cash register. But we had a great time checking out the brands and products from 1916, and testing out Mr. Saunders revolutionary “new” store!