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Leading the Charge

April 15, 2014

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Profile America — Tuesday, April 15th. To borrow from some recent advertising slogans, although many Americans couldn't imagine leaving home without them, and they're everywhere they want to be, there was a time when credit cards were rare; issued only by individual merchants. But that proprietary limitation ended on this date in 1952, when the Franklin National Bank in New York launched a credit card for use by the customers of varied merchants. In this, the bank was following the lead of the Diners Club Card, created in 1950. Today in the U.S., credit card offers fill the mails. The financial sector backs these offers through nearly 740 issuing establishments, which generate nearly $57 billion in annual revenue. You can find current data on the country's economy by downloading the America's Economy mobile application at <www.census.gov/mobile>.

Sources:
Kane's Famous First Facts, 3810
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/11/business/william-boyle-credit-card-pioneer-dies-at-88.html
http://history1900s.about.com/od/1950s/a/firstcreditcard.htm
http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_00A1&prodType=table NAICS 522210


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: March 24, 2014