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Digibarn Small Items:
Charga-Plate (an early credit card)
Thanks Kathy Zasloff for this nifty 1950s (1940s?) Charga-Plate issued by Charga-Plate Group, Inc. New York, NY. This card was issued to Kathy's mother, Mrs. Ira Zasloff. Thanks Lavinia Plonka for bringing the artifact to us from Kathy.
This is an early predecessor to the credit card. From Wikipedia's entry on Credit Card:
The Charga-Plate is an early predecessor to the credit card. They were issued by large-scale merchants, much like department store credit cards of today. In some cases, they were kept in the store. When an authorized user made a purchase, the clerk retrieved the plate from the store's files and then processed the purchase. This made it possible for stores to allow more specialized employees of their customers to use the cards, in addition to corporate officers and executives, who would normally have expense accounts and corporate credit cards. For example, an art-supply store that opened an account with a research institute might allow graphic artists employed by the institute to buy art supplies for ongoing projects. It would not be necessary for the research firm to issue a credit card to the artist: instead, a supervisor would simply say, "Go to Universal Art Supply and buy those supplies." The employee would go to the store and choose the appropriate supplies, and they would be charged to Central Institute for Research's account.
Wikipedia's entry for Credit Card
Punchcard Printing Plate
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