Wallet Stuff, How it All Started for Guys July 02 2012

Today, guys carry around wallets packed with all types of stuff including cash, check books, credit cards, identification, photos of loved ones and more. Because a man relies heavily on the use of his wallet, the accessory has been elevated into a status symbol of sorts.  A fine leather wallet always makes a thoughtful and generous gift for men and a gift for men that you know they will actually use day in and day out. As an alternative to a wallet, especially if only carrying a few bills, some men prefer to carry a money clip in leather or metal. Whatever your guy gift recipient prefers, make the presentation more interesting and downright historical with these interesting “first” facts about stuff found in a wallet today.

The First Paper Money: Paper money dates back to ancient China and was first started in the Schezwan province in the 9th century as a replacement for copper currency during a shortage. Several hundred years later, Mongol emperor Kublai Khan stepped up the practice, pumping out an excess of notes which eventually caused massive inflation and a hiatus on paper money in through the 15th century. In Europe, Sweden was the first country to start using paper currency in 1661 and in 1694, the Bank of England, followed suit by printing what they called “running cash notes”.

The First Credit Card: In 1949, Frank X. McNamara started the world’s first credit card as a response to an awkward situation. Apparently when he took friends out to a nice dinner in NYC, he forgot to bring along enough cash to cover the tab. Embarrassed, he vowed never to let that happen again and started the Diners Club Card. The first Diners Club Cards were made of cardboard, had an annual fee of $3 and were only honored by 14 restaurants.

The First ATM Machine: John Shepherd-Barron, an inventor from Scotland, invented the first ATM that was debuted by Barclay’s Bank in North London in 1967. Inspired by a chocolate bar vending machine, he figured that the idea would translate well with money.  Because plastic ATM cards were still a thing of the future, the first ATMs accepted only special checks laced with identifying traces of radioactive carbon. When the ATM recognized a check, the account holder was prompted to enter a 4-digit code and could withdraw up to approximately $25 US – considered enough for a wild weekend 40 years ago.