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September 30, 2011

Historical Echoes: Travel Back in Banking Time with American Banker

New York Fed Research Library

To celebrate its 175th anniversary, American Banker is featuring selected articles that describe important and interesting events in banking history. The articles range from 1848, when the magazine was called Thompson’s Bank Note Reporter, to 1999. The magazine has been reproducing the headlines in its print publication (“American Banker’s 175th Anniversary Flashback Series”) as well as providing a selected archive on its website.

    Here are a few examples:

  “Dead Bandit Reward Effective in Texas” (1933) notes that the Texas Bankers’ Association would continue to offer a $5,000 reward ($86,816 in current dollars) for every slain daylight bank robber, but “not one cent” for a live one. The Association had paid out $35,000 since the policy was implemented in 1927.

    “Baby Heads East Side Bank Run” (1933) tells the amusing, if possibly apocryphal, story of a woman renting her infant to other women so they could cut to the front of the teller queue.

    “Fleming Urges Bankers’ Aid to Dispel Ignorance” (1962) summarizes a speech by the president of the American Bankers’ Association exhorting his colleagues to improve the public image of the industry. The public needs reminding, he says, that banking is “a great artery of the free enterprise system.”

    A press release posted on Reuters’ website describes the series and highlights some of the more interesting articles.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author(s).

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