New Collection: The Grocery Stores of Clarence Saunders


Most Memphians, whether it be through Piggly Wiggly or the Pink Palace, are at least somewhat familiar with Clarence Saunders.  Famous in his own time for inventing the self-service grocery store in 1916, Saunders quite literally revolutionized grocery shopping.  Though he lost much of his fortune and was forced to sell the partially completed Pink Palace due to stock market woes, Saunders wasn’t done innovating by a long shot.

A large part of this new digital collection focus on Saunders’ second grocery store model: Keedoozle.  Perhaps the best way to describe Keedoozle is as a giant vending machine for all your grocery shopping needs.  Insufficient technology of the day prevented Saunders’ aotumation vision from achieving its true potential and the concept never took hold.

This collection was digitzed by Rhodes Alumnus and occasional Histroy Department volunteer Matthew Moore.

View the collection, including materials from both grocery store chains here.


1 Comment

Filed under Collections, Digital Archive, Memphis History

One response to “New Collection: The Grocery Stores of Clarence Saunders

  1. Mike Freeman

    Very good. Glad to see that Saunders is receiving more recognition. 2016 will mark the 1ooth anniversary of Saunders’ Piggly Wiggly. You didn’t mention the Clarence Saunders Sole Owner of My Name Stores, which he opened after he lost Piggly Wiggly. The “Sole Owner” Stores were also self service stores, only larger and offering more merchandise. There are a few photos of them around. I wrote the book, “Clarence Saunders and the Founding of Piggly Wiggly” History Press 2011. I did a lot of my research at the Memphis Room, and the MVC at University of Memphis.

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