Slideshow: Seven Vintage Savings Passbooks

Willy Staley

By Willy Staley
Updated on Thu Jun 19, 2014

With the banking industry all topsy-turvy these days, it’s hard not to long for the days when the industry was simpler, gentler. Of course this would be misplaced nostalgia, as so much nostalgia is. The banking industry has taken our economy for a ride in the past, too. But with so much of our lives being digitized, it’s easy to look fondly toward the past and old objects, forgetting the more atrocious aspects of times past. No, we don’t long for the days of segregation in the South, but we do like old-timey diners.

Similarly, this collection of old passbooks calls to mind a time before mobile wallets, complex derivatives, Twitter and all the things that come with them.

The simplicity of a passbook is compelling. A person could keep track of their own finances back then using only these little, elegant books.

The simple beauty of some of these makes one wonder whether there isn’t room for a bank that brands itself in an intentionally old-school fashion. Brooklyn has an artisanal mayonnaise shop. Could it not support an artisanal bank?




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