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Rogers Historical Museum  

Donation of the Month

Kroger Grocery Co. shelves
Donor: Randy Shofner

We take going to the grocery store for granted. We stop by on the way home to pick up essentials like bread, milk and eggs or we stop to get dinner from the frozen food cooler or from the deli. It wasn’t always so easy. Making a meal used to take all day from catching the chicken and de-feathering to finally placing it in the oven to cook. Some items did come from the local general store such as canned beans or wheat flour, but your choices were limited and you relied on the clerk to bag and price what you purchased. The first self-service grocery store was Piggly Wiggly which opened in Memphis, TN in 1916.

Until the introduction of the self-service store, early grocery stores worked like the general store. One brought in a list and the clerk gathered, bagged and priced your purchases for you. This was time consuming and expensive, so the owner of Piggly Wiggly introduced the concept of self-service shopping. Food sitting on open shelves, baskets to hold your purchases and not a clerk in sight allowed shoppers to move through the store and pick out their own purchases.

Based on the Piggly Wiggly format grocery stores were revolutionized. And in most cases are not looking back; however, some higher end stores do offer car side pick-up. The use of open shelves like these used in the local Kroger store allowed the new grocery store model to work. A Kroger Grocery store could be found in Rogers from late 1930 through the 1950s. These shelves were salvaged out of a building on West Walnut, where Kroger’s operated before moving to North 2nd Street in the 1950s.

Kroger Grocery Co. started in 1883 in Cincinnati, OH. Kroger’s revolutionized the grocery shopping experience as well by introducing meat and groceries under one roof. Prior to this idea most groceries only sold canned or bakery items preferring to leave the meat selling to the local butcher. He also introduced the concept of “corporate brands”. He would over buy a product and turn it into another product to sell in the store. While it was started as a way to boost profits; today, it has become a staple with modern grocery stores.

These are only two of the early grocery stores to make an impact on the modern grocery shopping experience. Without the entrepreneurs behind these companies our weekly shopping experience could be vastly different. Grocery stores haven’t stopped evolving as consumer tastes, needs and wants change constantly.

More Donations of the Month

Arts & Crafts
Charles Summey Painting
Elsie Sterling Drawings & Photo
Erwin A. Doege pastel
M.E. Oliver’s Strange Scenes in the Ozarks
Roy Harris Carved Wagon
Seed Art

War Eagle Store

Household Goods
Andersons Grade A Egg Scale
Applegate Apothecary Bottle
Benton County Wine Bottles
Circa 1923 Eureka Vacuum Cleaner
First M.E. Church, North souvenir plate, circa 1910
Gasoline powered iron
Grape Press
John Edwards china
Open Salts
Red Wing Crock, 1910s
Rogers Fairgrounds Souvenir
Cut Glass Dresser Box
Marshmallow Toaster
Fairy Lamps
Bubble Up Soda Bottles
Farmers Produce Co. Feed Sack
Butter Molds
Hand Painted China
Flow Blue China
Ritz Christmas Lites
Stove Top Steamer
Sunbeam Dairy Milk Bottle & Photo

Paper Ephemera, Books, & Photos
Advertising Folding Table
Camp Joyzelle Booklet
Callison-Lough Funeral Home Sketch
1943 Benton County Nursery Company Catalog
Apple Blossom Festival Postcard Booklet, April 1927
B.P.O.E. photo, 1960
Christmas Carols Songbook
Civil War Clothing Ledger
“Coin” Harvey family letters
Edsel Ford Poetry Books
Frisco Railroad Pass
Gold mine photos
Lime Works Stock Certificate
Louise Thaden Note
Menu from the Orchard Room
Cumberland Presbyterian Ladies Cook Book
Rogers Public School catalog, 1892-3
Elizabeth Miller Autograph Books
Discharge Papers
New Year Postcard
Political Campaign Buttons
Women's Study Club Program
Howard Fowler Photographs
Railroad Automatic Car Identification
1933 World's Fair Objects
Tobacco Tax Receipts
Valentines cards
Vandover & Sons Livery Stable Photograph
Printing Blocks
World War II Photos

Billiken Doll
Russ Troll Doll
Schoenhut Circus Toys
Steiff Teddy Bear
Horse Drawn Wagon
Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring
J.D. Kestner Doll
Winter Sled

Textiles, Clothing, & Clothing Accessories
Confederate Officer’s Artillery Frock Coat?
Apple Blossom Festival Crown
Bicorn Hat
Blackburn Preaching Shirt
Christmas Stocking
Friendship Quilt
Garrett family coverlet, 1860s
Help One Another Club Quilt
Mary Van Winkle Steele’s Traveling Dress
McClain Family Crazy Quilt
Norman Tailor System dress pattern
Pillbox Hat
Hannah Lumm Dress
Whig Rose Quilt
Celluloid Items
Hair Work Jewelry
Evening Gown
Mesh Hand Bags
World War I Uniform
1906 Wedding Gown
Majorette Uniform & Spirit Ribbons


1860s Green & Sager Bedstead
Henry Tribble’s Speaker Cabinet
Tom Morgan’s Desk & Chair
W.H. Jewett Piano
Adding Machine Stand
Apple Cider Press
Colonial Revival Dining Room Chair
B.F. Gleason Cooling Table
Grundig Majestic radio

Kroger Shelves

Barbed Wire Samples
Betty Blake’s Composition Stick
Carry A. Nation Hatchet Brooch
Cash Register
Harris Baking Co. Souvenir
“Coin” Harvey Death Mask
KAMO Shovel
Erwin Funk’s Newspaper Convention Badges
Diamond Jubilee Badges
Tracy Lockhart’s Peddler Basket
Van Winkle Lumber
Surveyor's Compass
Remington Revolver
John Deere Corn Sheller
Rogers High School Dedication Stone
Permanent Wave Machine
City of Rogers License Plate
Chaplain's Field Kit
WWI Army helmet & print

Civil War Re-enactor Items
Lever Action Winchester Model 1892
Silica mining bucket






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