Between 1914 and 1941, Los Angeles businessmen opened supermarkets across the city, beginning America's era of mass-food retailing. The very first in the world, Los Angeles supermarkets pioneered business practices and architectural standards that would, over the following decades, become industry standards. This includes self-service shopping, large low-slung buildings cooled by massive air conditioners, and a reliance on colorful displays of fresh fruits and vegetables. More significantly, Los Angeles supermarkets fundamentally reconfigured the ways Americans used urban space, first in Southern California and then across the rest of the United States.

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