Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Boston Store Charge Card

It seems like there is a card for everything these days. One for insurance, the library, the bank, Master Card, Visa and one for each grocery and department store...your wallet is probably bulging with cards. But, before there was plastic, there were aluminum cards tucked into a hard plastic carrying case. These were issued by large department stores like the Boston Store and Trask's here in Erie, PA. Customers would give this card to the cashier when they wanted to put items on their account. The cashier would put the card in a machine and pull a handle down to emboss the name and address on the receipts, one original and one carbon copy for the customer. There was a paper card tucked into the back of this Charga Plate Credit Token with the customer's signature on it.

Chuck Hess found this Boston Store Credit Token, along with the steel wheat penny, while he was hunting with his metal detector recently. I'll keep the location a secret so he can go back and look for other items, but I will say that he found it in the City of Erie. 

This card was issued to Mrs. A. C. Locke who lived on West 30th Street in Erie. The Boston Store issued these in the thirties, forties and fifties. Customers would carry them when they went shopping in Downtown Erie. I will have to do some more research to narrow down the time frame for this one.

Enjoy more interesting historical facts and photos at: Old Time Erie


  1. Very cool, Deb. I love this kind of stuff! :-)

  2. Thanks, Al. I'll keep an eye out for the other items you asked about. I never know what people are going to give me next. Always pleasantly surprised by the kindness of strangers.

  3. Yes, I remember it well.
    I had one from 1965 when I graduated until 1969 when I joined the USMC.
    There were many Redmonds who had them, and they were always getting our charges on each other's accounts because it was all hand-sorted and posted back then. LOL
    God bless.
    R Redmond (formerly of McKean PA)

  4. Choose a charge account
    in most any amount
    Home and family needs galore
    Have so much fun]
    on a shopping spree
    At the Boston Store