In 1946 Watson devised a plan for a telescoping shopping cart, which, unlike carts developed by Sylvan Goldman in the 1930s, did not require assembly or extensive storage space. The hinged sides of the baskets on Watson's carts allowed the telescoping so that one cart could be fitted into another. Goldman filed a competing patent to Watson's, but in 1949 they came to a compromise: Goldman relinquished rights to the patent in favor of Watson; in return Goldman obtained licensing rights (in addition to three licensing rights already granted). Watson and his partner also received royalties on each cart produced.
Provides information relating to the development of the telescoping shopping cart and the legal challenges encountered by its creator, Orla E. Watson, in the patenting, licensing, and manufacturing processes.
Business Records: contain deals of finances and operation of Telescope Carts, Inc.
Legal Records: show licensing and manufacturing agreements and challenges to the patent process.
Images from collection published in Catherine Grandclément and Franck Cochoy, "Histoires du chariot de supermarché," Vingtième Siecle: Revue d'Histoire, Numero 91, juillet-septembre 2006, pp. 78, 84, 88. Image filenames not located
Three reproductions from collection in Warren Belasco and Roger Horowitz, eds., Food Chains: From Farmyard to Shopping Cart (Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), pp. 236, 243, 247
Telescoping Shopping Cart Collection, 1946-1983, 2000, Archives Center, National Museum of American History