"can of corn"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Aug 22 03:33:33 UTC 2014

At 8/21/2014 10:05 PM, George Thompson wrote:

>"CAN OF CORN: An easily played fly ball. Reported to have originated
>with the grocer’s practice in the early 1900s of storing cans of corn
>on a high shelf. When a grocer needed one, he’d simply tip it forward
>with *a rod or a broom handle* [?] so that it would tumble easily into his
>waiting hands."
>Back on Curtis street, in Meriden, Conn., in the late 1940s/early 1950s,
>Mr. Christian had a special tool for getting merchandise from the highest

I thought everyone did.  I even think it had a 
name, but I forget.  "Grocer's <something>"?

>On one side of one end there was a pincher, worked by a handle at
>the other end; opposite the pincher was a hook.

The device probably looked something like this, apart from the hook --
Unger 92134 36-Inch Nifty Nabber
But that's not the name I remember.

>He had the option of using
>the hook to tip a box until it fell, or of lifting it down.  I thought it
>was the coolest thing.

Me too.

>As I recall, Mr. Christian had better sense than to
>put heavy, solid merchandise (like cans of corn) on the high shelves.  I
>recall that they were always boxes, quite light, so if the pincher lost its
>grasp, or if he muffed the falling shredded wheat, he wouldn't be flattened.
>But perhaps if a retired baseball player had opened a grocery, he would put
>the heavy stuff up high, so he could show that he still had good hands.


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