While most of us grew up with supermarkets and shopping malls already existing; some of us remember the family-run grocery stores where your options were often limited. Others might even have had the chance to grow their own food, but once general stores grew bigger and became more convenient, there was no way back. Still, the consumerist lifestyle as we know it didn't happen overnight, and we got where we are now gradually.

Bored Panda has collected a series of vintage photos that take you through different grocery stores across America in the olden days. It’s safe to say we came a long way from grocery shopping in our Sunday best to browsing the aisles in our PJs. But of course, it is only one of many ways shopping malls have changed. From wider aisles and more elegant stores to small homegrown businesses, these cool photos reflect a very vintage life. Take a look at all the interesting photos from a long time ago below and don’t forget to upvote for your favs!

#1

Country Store On Dirt Road. Note The Kerosene Pump On The Right And The Gasoline Pump On The Left. Brother Of Store Owner Stands In Doorway. Gordonton, North Carolina, 1939

Country Store On Dirt Road. Note The Kerosene Pump On The Right And The Gasoline Pump On The Left. Brother Of Store Owner Stands In Doorway. Gordonton, North Carolina, 1939

Dorothea Lange Report

Chris Pitch
Community Member
2 years ago

I think the best thing about this picture is the fact that different races are getting on fine.

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#2

The Grocery Store Of The Late 19th Century, USA

The Grocery Store Of The Late 19th Century, USA

skipperbob Report

Vicky Zar
Community Member
2 years ago

Those people would get a heart attack if they were transported into our time

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#3

1980, When Every Soft Drink Bottle On The Shelf Was Still Glass

1980, When Every Soft Drink Bottle On The Shelf Was Still Glass

Dave Aldrich Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago

And kids could be trusted with handling those bottles....

Blue Cicada
Community Member
2 years ago

Yesterday an adult knocked wine bottle off the shelf at Walgreens. Clerk said it was third time this week!

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Moo Moo Futch
Community Member
2 years ago

Glass!! Everything in glass! Heaven!! Easy go recycle. Please bring this back!!

DaBoiestBoi
Community Member
2 years ago

In Finland you get like ten cents per bottle when you return drink bottles so most are recycled and reused by companies

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Efia
Community Member
2 years ago

apart from the recycling thing, every drink tastes so much better out of a glass bottle!

Moo Moo Futch
Community Member
2 years ago

Oh absolutely. Cannot beat a cold fat coke in a glass bottle. Mmm Mmmm Mmmmm

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nanashi
Community Member
2 years ago

maybe we should go back to using glass, now that's plastic is slowly destroying the planet. of couse, I don't know if recyling glass harder than plastic...

Morgan
Community Member
2 years ago

Not as toxic

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Laily F. Noor
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember in 90s, when I bought coke/soda, I had to return the glass bottle back to shop

LOttawa
Community Member
2 years ago

I miss those bottles. Pop wasn't flat after 1 day.

Efia
Community Member
2 years ago

apart from the recycling thing, every drink tastes so much better out of a glass bottle!

Jace
Community Member
2 years ago

This should never have changed

Carol Williams
Community Member
2 years ago

Nothing like soda in an ice cold bottle...

Kevin Donegan
Community Member
2 years ago

Let's go back to glass and dump plastic!

Amazon QT
Community Member
2 years ago

Glass is more expensive to produce and more people )back then) didn’t recycle it like they should have.

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Katinka Min
Community Member
2 years ago

And so much less BPA in our bloodstreams.

Amazon QT
Community Member
2 years ago

Just don’t put plastic bottles in the freezer with liquid in them, that’s when it gives off its TOXINS!!!

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Calypso poet
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember helping grandma returning all the bottles on grocery trips! You would plop them in a specific area and tell them how many you had. The honor system just doesn’t work anymore.

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

I used to pick them up from the road of the road for spending $ (mid- sixties)

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Artur Niedzielski
Community Member
2 years ago

And Coke was really better at this time. Trust me...

Lyone Fein
Community Member
2 years ago

They used to make it with sugar. Now they make it with corn syrup.

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Peter Anka
Community Member
2 years ago

soft drinks in hard bottles then, soft people in hard times now...

Bored Fox
Community Member
2 years ago

Nowadays also hard drinks are in soft bottles...

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Tor Rolf Strøm
Community Member
2 years ago

Ok, someone build a time machine please.

Tor Rolf Strøm
Community Member
2 years ago

So how's that time machine coming u guys?

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Abby Stein
Community Member
2 years ago

When I worked a cash register in the early seventies and the larger size bottle came out, I got carpal tunnel from lifting a six pack of those heavy bottles over the scale onto the counter. You also had to wear shoes at the beach because of all the broken glass.

Shari H
Community Member
2 years ago

I miss glass bottles!

Richard
Community Member
2 years ago

I'm counting about 14 different beverages. Today, in the same expanse, it'd be 73. To me it's incomprehensible who needs this or 217 varieties of yogurts (replacable by whatever you want).

Elizabeth Butler
Community Member
2 years ago

Adding new varieties is the competition for store shelf space mostly--some stores require payment to expand shelf space.

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Sian
Community Member
2 years ago

so much better than plastic

Darryl Kerrigan
Community Member
2 years ago

Take them back to the shop, get some money back. Better than chucking it into landfill....

Basil
Community Member
2 years ago

That blue Dr, Pepper label is freaking me out.

Crouching_Penn_Hidden_Teller@yahoo.com
Community Member
2 years ago

that was for sugar free Dr.Pepper

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Bored Fox
Community Member
2 years ago

Here in Finland most bottles are now very thin plastic and that makes drinking from the bottle sometimes very difficult (risk of spilling if you grip the bottle too tight). It is also very noisy because the bottle is bending when you are drinking. I remember the glass bottles from my childhood (1980's and 1990's) -those were really heavy and broke easily. But at least the glass bottles are easier to recycle than any plastic.

Ben Raines
Community Member
2 years ago

Ha ha, Coke bottle were notorious for brealing at the slightest touch but not if you wanted to break them ,leading to the amusing situation of some rioting blacks trying to make molotov cocktails in the 1960's but them not breaking when thrown. 😀

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Camilla Koutsos
Community Member
2 years ago

Much more ecologically sound :)

Chuck Jessop
Community Member
2 years ago

I was working in a store at that time, and I remember that once in a while a bottle would just explode for no apparent reason. Talk about a mess

Bored Fox
Community Member
2 years ago

The physics behind exploding glass is very weird. I used to work as a dishwasher at a restaurant and sometimes drinking glasses exploded without any good reason. It was awful to clean because there were sharp pieces of glass (and often blood) everywhere. Worst part was if a glass exploded in the customer area because then the customers had a risk to injure themselves.

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Pattie Kelly
Community Member
2 years ago

"Mom just think of how much money we'll make when we return these bottles".

MustGoFishin
Community Member
2 years ago

With the Ban Plastics Revolution on it's way, we will start seeing glass bottles again! My 1st money making scheme was collecting bottles from back porches for the deposit $$, at the time deposit was 2 cents a bottle or 12 cents a six pack. lol

furrybumkins
Community Member
2 years ago

Clean up in Aisle 6!

PeachPossum
Community Member
2 years ago

Hey, metal caps on the PLASTIC bottles. I remember those.

Flavia Slag
Community Member
2 years ago

Tasted better out of glass.

Elizabeth Butler
Community Member
2 years ago

Also tasted better because sugar instead of corn syrup--it does affect the taste

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Richard Rosales
Community Member
2 years ago

Should've never switched to plastic. Back then it was called refund not recycle.

Bill Kratz
Community Member
2 years ago

And still should be!

Margot Piasecka
Community Member
2 years ago

It's coming again 😀

Dorie Dahlberg
Community Member
10 months ago

This is incorrect. Plastic bottles were introduced in 1970 but not widely used then.

Dorie Dahlberg
Community Member
10 months ago

Incorrect. Plastic bottles were introduced in 1970. Maybe they weren't common everywhere but by 1980, some soft drinks were in plastic.

Shane Jones
Community Member
1 year ago

Those were the glass bottles that you could return for credit keeping all the plastic bottles out of the equation. Since people are too lazy THen and especially too lazy now to recycle them. But you see the lady is still wasting plastic wrapping tomatoes and everything else in it. Nothing has changed. I go into the market today with my own shopping bags yet I still see people put vegetables in a plastic bag, only to go up to the front to put it in another plastic bag. Lazy lazy lazy. All these electronics apps to turn your air conditioner down. It’s a wonder every person in the world doesn’t weigh 400 pounds because no one does shit anymore

Lira Mai
Community Member
2 years ago

I still think that the soda coming from the bottle tastes better.

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
2 years ago

Yes, glass bottles, now the plastic NIGHTMARE !!!

Shane Chang
Community Member
2 years ago

This makes me miss Pinwheel on Nickelodeon.

Neal Evans
Community Member
2 years ago

That's the way Timmy , reach for the sugary stars

Mare Freed
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember being allowed to drink soda (we called it "pop") with lunch and dinner. I wonder what today's mom groups would say about that?

David Manhart
Community Member
2 years ago

Those bottles were recyclable. You got paid for them.

Lyone Fein
Community Member
2 years ago

This is an ad for Pepsi.

Charlie
Community Member
2 years ago

The glass is recyclable too, most plastics are not. Perhaps the old way was better?

Fred Burrows
Community Member
2 years ago

I always lugged around a one liter bottle of RC cola

Mishte Tine
Community Member
2 years ago

Anyone else remember Grand Union?

Crouching_Penn_Hidden_Teller@yahoo.com
Community Member
2 years ago

yeah

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Christina Sersif
Community Member
2 years ago

I'm guessing enough "clean up on aisle 5" is the reason why they switched to plastic. Not really, plastic is cheaper, but I'd like to think my guess is better lol

okpkpkp
Community Member
2 years ago

When we needed cash in the 60s, we'd travel up and down this one particular road and would find $5-$10 in bottles folks tossed out of their cars windows for our partying needs later on. Remember that gasoline was about $0.35 cents a gallon then.

Pnutt Butter
Community Member
2 years ago

and the ocean isn't drowning in them

Donald Holder
Community Member
2 years ago

And being a dyockman was s challange

Ed Zaleski
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember this well. People did not routinely drop them. We were careful.

Mike Mischak
Community Member
2 years ago

Hopefully, they were the refillable type and not throw away.

Paul Longenecker
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember the day .

Mary Hurst
Community Member
2 years ago

Yes, and we returned them to the store and got our glass deposit back.

Aprilmarie Ladora
Community Member
2 years ago

children dressed good in the time peroid

Patti Warren
Community Member
2 years ago

Kids in the 70's had style!

Crouching_Penn_Hidden_Teller@yahoo.com
Community Member
2 years ago

that was 1980

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Ranee Anderson
Community Member
2 years ago

And the bottles were reusable...

Mike Childers
Community Member
2 years ago

I stocked drink boxes in a convenience store in the early 80s. I hated pulling the bottles from the plastic holder as on the second shelf.

rhyan lumilay
Community Member
2 years ago

I'm waiting for that kid in the back to smash all those bottles

Rob Chapman
Community Member
2 years ago

I miss those bottles.

Molly Block
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember!! AND soft drinks taste better and so much more amazing out of a cold glass bottle!!

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

And re- sealable tops. Very handy. I remember the kind you had to open with a "church key" can opener, and couldn't re- seal.

SandaPanda
Community Member
2 years ago

Are those the boys from Zack and Cody on Disney Channel...?

Last Hurrah
Community Member
2 years ago

Clean up on aisle 18!

Alusair Alustriel
Community Member
2 years ago

And the weight of the groceries afterwards xD

Jen
Community Member
2 years ago

Except those plastic 2 litres in the cart!

Robin Gillmore
Community Member
2 years ago

Careful tommy..if it breaks it could sever a major artery

Community Member
2 years ago

I foresee something bad happening...

Caroline Espenschied
Community Member
2 years ago

Nope. Kids in these times were used to safely do things that seem "dangerous" today, like handling a glass bottle or even (gasp !) sharp knives !! And just like anything you don't do every day you easily forget how to do, well, kids of today aren't used to be careful. Thus, parents can't have nice things because they don't teach their kids how to NOT BREAK nice things !

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#4

Cashiers At The Piggly Wiggly Continental, Encino, California, 1962

Cashiers At The Piggly Wiggly Continental, Encino, California, 1962

notbob1959 Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
2 years ago

The Stepford Wives .... need I say more?! LOL

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#5

Grocery Shopping, 1960s

Grocery Shopping, 1960s

skipperbob Report

Tricia F- S
Community Member
2 years ago

This was when we had to be PERFECTLY groomed for the lord and master to get home

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#6

Publix Supermarkets Showcased Their Wide Aisles And A Self-Service Dairy Case By Driving A Shopper Around A New Store In A Tiny Car, Circa 1957

Publix Supermarkets Showcased Their Wide Aisles And A Self-Service Dairy Case By Driving A Shopper Around A New Store In A Tiny Car, Circa 1957

Publix Supermarkets Report

Víctor Alfonso García Olmo
Community Member
2 years ago

In Spain, it was a SEAT 600. It was a small car, to the spanish people was like the Ford-T to de US-citizens, our first car!!. My mom had got one. We went to the beach, two moms and 4 kids inside, with all the beach materials!. It´s true! I swear

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#7

A Large Sign Reading "I Am An American" Placed In The Window Of A Store, On December 8, The Day After Pearl Harbor. The Business Was Owned By The Matsuda Family. The Store Was Closed Following Orders To Persons Of Japanese Descent To Evacuate From Certain West Coast Areas

A Large Sign Reading "I Am An American" Placed In The Window Of A Store, On December 8, The Day After Pearl Harbor. The Business Was Owned By The Matsuda Family. The Store Was Closed Following Orders To Persons Of Japanese Descent To Evacuate From Certain West Coast Areas

Dorothea Lange Report

Caroline Espenschied
Community Member
2 years ago

A dark page of american History.

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#8

Interior Of The Original Piggly Wiggly Self-Service Grocery Store, Memphis, Tennessee. The First Self Service Grocery Store, Opened 1916. Picture From 1918

Interior Of The Original Piggly Wiggly Self-Service Grocery Store, Memphis, Tennessee. The First Self Service Grocery Store, Opened 1916. Picture From 1918

Clarence H. Saunders Report

Randomcthulu
Community Member
2 years ago

I've shopped there, it's still open in the same location, but modernized of course

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#9

Publix Market In Sarasota, Florida, 1961

Publix Market In Sarasota, Florida, 1961

State Archives of Florida/Steinmetz Report

Casey Smith
Community Member
2 years ago

Slug bug! 👊

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#10

Two Women Shopping In An American Supermarket, Circa 1970

Two Women Shopping In An American Supermarket, Circa 1970

H. Armstrong Roberts Report

Community Member
2 years ago

Damn, those hair!

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#11

Shopping In Coop Store, Greenbelt, Maryland, 1938

Shopping In Coop Store, Greenbelt, Maryland, 1938

Marion Post Wolcott Report

Cpt Quirk
Community Member
2 years ago

Wow progressive male did the grocery shopping and pushed the pram around....

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#12

My Great Great Grandparents At The Counter Of Their Grocery Store In Bremerton, Washington (1925)

My Great Great Grandparents At The Counter Of Their Grocery Store In Bremerton, Washington (1925)

PavementBlues Report

Pudingovina
Community Member
2 years ago

Ooh I would love to go there. So nice!

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#13

James Dean Shopping For Groceries In Marfa, TX, 1955

James Dean Shopping For Groceries In Marfa, TX, 1955

Richard C. Miller Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago

While all these people were watching him from outside...

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#14

Jitney Jungle Checkout Clerk Billy Barineau In Tallahassee, 1962

Jitney Jungle Checkout Clerk Billy Barineau In Tallahassee, 1962

Tallahassee Democrat collection Report

Mimi
Community Member
2 years ago

Dang! That guy is handsome :)

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#15

My Great Grandfather Standing In His Grocery Store, Evansville, IN, 1960

My Great Grandfather Standing In His Grocery Store, Evansville, IN, 1960

CincyNat Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago

Veggies first!

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#16

Man And Dogs In Front Of Grocery Store, Robinson, Illinois, 1940

Man And Dogs In Front Of Grocery Store, Robinson, Illinois, 1940

John Vachon Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
2 years ago

9¢ a lb. for ground beef? That was cheap, even for the 1940's

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#17

Children In Front Of Grocery Store, Chicago, Illinois, 1941

Children In Front Of Grocery Store, Chicago, Illinois, 1941

Russell Lee Report

Cpt Quirk
Community Member
2 years ago

It's great u could leave a kid outside. They were disciplined enough to not run away. And at least they wouldn't get kidnapped.

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#18

Jayne Mansfield Grocery Shopping In Las Vegas, 1959

Jayne Mansfield Grocery Shopping In Las Vegas, 1959

Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago

Where to start here? Traumatized Chihuahuas, girl in bathing suit and... what did Jayne buy?

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#19

Supermarket In 1960s

Supermarket In 1960s

the60sbazaar Report

Troux
Community Member
2 years ago

As a frequent Publix shopper, I know they kept those floors for at least 40 years. Must be durable!

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#20

Working Mother Jennie Magill Shopping With Her Children At The Super Market, 1956

Working Mother Jennie Magill Shopping With Her Children At The Super Market, 1956

Grey Villet Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago

Some things never change...

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#21

My 2nd Great Grandmother Opening Her Store In Cincinnati, Ohio

My 2nd Great Grandmother Opening Her Store In Cincinnati, Ohio

Edonlin2004 Report

Chyppa Homer
Community Member
2 years ago

Oh, look, Tide ! No one knew about it`s nutritional value back then :D

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#22

Home Turned Into Grocery Store, Omaha, Nebraska, 1938

Home Turned Into Grocery Store, Omaha, Nebraska, 1938

John Vachon Report

Iván Galarraga
Community Member
2 years ago

Home is where your Grocery is

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#23

The Super Giant Supermarket In Rockville, Maryland, 1964

The Super Giant Supermarket In Rockville, Maryland, 1964

John Dominis Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago

Not so giant now..

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#24

Shopping In Coop Store, Greenbelt, Maryland, 1938

Shopping In Coop Store, Greenbelt, Maryland, 1938

Marion Post Wolcott Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago

Love the curls!

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#25

Working At A General Store, 1973

Working At A General Store, 1973

Meunderwears Report

Iván Galarraga
Community Member
2 years ago

Man, those cans where tough stuff

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#26

Tulip Town Market, Grove Center By James Edward Westcott, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, July 4, 1945

Tulip Town Market, Grove Center By James Edward Westcott, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, July 4, 1945

National Archives, General Records of the Department of Energy Report

Brigitta Swart
Community Member
2 years ago

I love the wooden crates

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#27

Buying Groceries In Store At Blankenship, Indiana, 1938

Buying Groceries In Store At Blankenship, Indiana, 1938

Arthur Rothstein Report

diane a
Community Member
2 years ago

Quaker Oats - been around forever

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#28

Food Shopping And Mini-Skirts, 1970

Food Shopping And Mini-Skirts, 1970

Brett Streutker Report

Victor Vakaras
Community Member
2 years ago

Looks like a shirt and tights.

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#29

Three Women Talking In Frozen Food Aisle Of Supermarket, 1950s

Three Women Talking In Frozen Food Aisle Of Supermarket, 1950s

Camerique/ClassicStock Report

Alusair Alustriel
Community Member
2 years ago

This one looks so staged....

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#30

Mayfair Supermarket Cookie Display, 1950s

Mayfair Supermarket Cookie Display, 1950s

Roadsidepictures Report

Emma B
Community Member
2 years ago

"COOKIE PARADE"!!!! That is what I'm calling dessert from now on, no matter what!

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#31

Proprietor Of Small Grocery Store, Jeanerette, Louisiana, 1938

Proprietor Of Small Grocery Store, Jeanerette, Louisiana, 1938

Russell Lee Report

Dark Half
Community Member
2 years ago

those feather dusters are genuine.

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#32

Kroger Grocery Store, Lexington Kentucky, 1947, By Lafayette Studio

Kroger Grocery Store, Lexington Kentucky, 1947, By Lafayette Studio

michaelconfoy Report

Janet Allison
Community Member
2 years ago

Is a wedding happening back left?

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#33

1920 Interior View Of A Chicago Grocery

1920 Interior View Of A Chicago Grocery

twixonurface Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago

OCD employees only

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#34

Shopping In The Cooperative Grocery Store, Greenbelt, Maryland, 1942 (Colorized)

Shopping In The Cooperative Grocery Store, Greenbelt, Maryland, 1942 (Colorized)

shorpy.com Report

birdhouse
Community Member
2 years ago

I can't believe our parents dressed us like that.

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#35

Kings Supermarket, 1950s

Kings Supermarket, 1950s

Report

Emma B
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember round conveyors!

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#36

Interior Of A Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store, 1959

Interior Of A Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store, 1959

14thCenturyHood Report

Tiffany Sanders
Community Member
2 years ago

When's the last time anyone bought Pyrex for 79¢

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#37

Box-Boy In A Small Rural Grocery Store In Southeast Idaho, 1972

Box-Boy In A Small Rural Grocery Store In Southeast Idaho, 1972

Report

Kevin Donegan
Community Member
2 years ago

I was a box boy! He looks much cooler than I was though.

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#38

Dairy Counter At Clark's, A Grocery, Drug, Sundries, And Department Store And Lunch Counter, Charlotte, NC, 1962 Or 1963

Dairy Counter At Clark's, A Grocery, Drug, Sundries, And Department Store And Lunch Counter, Charlotte, NC, 1962 Or 1963

General Negative Collection, North Carolina State Archives Report

Emma B
Community Member
2 years ago

Wow! That's a mouthful to say!

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#39

Scene In The Cooperative Store At Irwinville Farms, Georgia, 1938

Scene In The Cooperative Store At Irwinville Farms, Georgia, 1938

John Vachon Report

Debra Lewis
Community Member
2 years ago

Man looks like he’s saying “How dare you people charge 28 cents for this box of aspirin?!” ..... “Well, sir I just work here”

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#40

Grocery Store Parking Lot, West Covina, CA, 1959

Grocery Store Parking Lot, West Covina, CA, 1959

KubrickIsMyCopilot Report

Cat on a bike
Community Member
2 years ago

the cars are so beautiful!

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See Also on Bored Panda
#41

At Nixon, Wife Of VP, Grocery Shopping With Her Daughters Julie And Tricia, 1958

At Nixon, Wife Of VP, Grocery Shopping With Her Daughters Julie And Tricia, 1958

Hank Walker Report

Sally Appleton
Community Member
2 years ago

Her name is At?

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#42

Grocery Cart, 1974

Grocery Cart, 1974

14thCenturyHood Report

Patrick McKenna
Community Member
2 years ago

that glass bottle schwepps looks good.

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#43

Vintage Trade Ad With Ruffles Potato Chips, Flings, Etc. At A Checkout

Vintage Trade Ad With Ruffles Potato Chips, Flings, Etc. At A Checkout

Jon Anderson Report

Troux
Community Member
2 years ago

Screaming Yellow Zonkers! That's a throwback! I don't know what Cheddar Taters are, but I need them in my life even if I don't need them in my bloodstream.

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#44

Delivery Vans, 1942 Style, Line Up Outside A Greenbelt, Maryland, Grocery Store Awaiting Customers

Delivery Vans, 1942 Style, Line Up Outside A Greenbelt, Maryland, Grocery Store Awaiting Customers

Ann Rosener Report

spirit wolf
Community Member
2 years ago

They had something to do, they learned to work and have fun with friends... unlike your spoiled rotten kids who are glued to thier phones and video games 24/7... so to hell with your child labor BS

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#45

Interior Of Northland Foods, Thief River Falls, MN, In The 70's

Interior Of Northland Foods, Thief River Falls, MN, In The 70's

Pennington County Historical Society Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago

Before the arrival of plastic bags...

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#46

Grand Grocery Company, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1942

Grand Grocery Company, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1942

John Vachon Report

Dark Half
Community Member
2 years ago

1 cent, the prices though

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#47

Ralph's Supermarket, Lo