The History of Credit Cards

The History of Credit Cards - A History of Credit Cards By...

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A History of Credit Cards By Stephanie Pham
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What Is Credit? “The ability to obtain goods, money, or services in return for a promise to pay at some later date.” –dictionary.com
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Where Did It Come From? The concept of credit has been used throughout history because there hasn’t always been a form of currency. References to credit are made as early as the 14 th century: the bill of exchange; used before paper currency came along in 17 th century.
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The First Mention The first advertisement for credit was placed in 1730 by Christopher Thornton, who offered furniture that could be paid off weekly: “Rooms may be furnished with chests of drawers or looking glasses at any price, paying for them weekly, as we shall agree.” This introduced the idea that people who couldn’t afford to buy expensive items could make regular payments until the full cost of the items were paid .
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Secondary Sources… That idea was picked up and used from the 18 th century-early 20 th century by tallymen. Tallymen sold clothes that the purchasers could pay for in small weekly payments. They kept a tally of what people had bought on a wooden stick. One side of the stick was marked with notches to represent the amount of debt and the other side was a record of payments.
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Secondary Sources Cont’d. That, along with paper currency was used until something new came along. In the 1920s, a shopper's plate was introduced. Individual companies (hotel chains, gas stations, department stores) began issuing charge cards to customers Could only be used in those specific stores Credit became big because of cars.
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“Just Charge It!”
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Secondary Sources… 1949- Frank McNamara had a business dinner in New York's Major's Cabin Grill. When the bill arrived, Frank realized he'd forgotten his money, so he had to ask his wife to bring it. 1950-Embarrassed, McNamara decided there should be
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The History of Credit Cards - A History of Credit Cards By...

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