Best Shop Clerks of 1965

Obsessive Consumption points us to a fantastic vid by Reader’s Digest presenting the very best check out gals of 1965. Note the intelligence in their eyes far greater than their menial task. Note the copies of Reader’s Digest in the background. A classy effort.


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  1. mrscolex says:

    Is it bad that I watched that video and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what sort of technology they were using to scan their items? ;)

    Must be a sign of my age.

    I was like, “Well they didn’t have the laser scanners back then… what on EARTH could they be using? Magnets? Thats pretty slick stuff whatever it is, because it seems to be working pretty fast. I wonder why we don’t have that kind of a scanner nowadays.”

    imagine my duh moment when I realized she was just reading the price off of the merchandise. Wow I felt dumb.

  2. Paul D says:


    The “Super Market Institute”.


  3. airship says:

    I began working at a grocery store in 1967. It actually didn’t take you long to learn the prices of the top 200-300 items, which made checking go a lot faster. At my store, we also had a lot of “2 for $1” or other combo prices, which meant one key-in for multiple items. For most checkers, the old system was twice as fast as the new one. Of course, with scanners you can hire illiterate, inconsiderate jerkoffs. Which seems to be the direction customer service is heading.

  4. airship says:

    The Super Market Institute was formed in 1937. In 1977 it became the Food Markting Institute:

  5. Anabelle says:

    Amazing video in all its pre-feminist glory, and it brought back memories of tagging along with Mom in the grocery stores of that era. The veteran cashiers were so good, their fingers flew over those bulky keys. (Did they ever get repetitive-stress injuries?)

    I often joke with today’s supermarket check-out people — when the scanner balks, or an item rings up at the wrong price and they have to do an override — that on the whole, ringing up groceries actually seemed to go much faster back in pre-scanner days.

  6. AcidReign says:

    …..I love it when you carefully place your items on the belt with each UPC facing the scanner window (for quick swiping), and the slopehead running the register picks every item up, slowly looks it over, then turns it so that multiple passes are needed. I think they’ve been inhaling too much carbon monoxide from meat packages!