Grolier's Life in America: Credit Card

Many Americans use multiple credit cards to manage their finances. This card features an image of Walter Cavanagh displaying his collection of 1,199 credit cards that he sewed into the lining of a trench coat. Cavanagh owned over 2,000 credit cards and is in the Guinness Book of Records for owning more active credit cards than anyone else. Cavanagh began collecting his cards in the 1970s, and while his active cards would allowed him access to 1.7 million dollars in credit, he did not believe in going into credit debt.
This card depicting Walter Cavanagh is one of Grolier’s “Story of America” cards that were sold in 130 decks of 20 cards from 1994 to 2001. This was card number 8 was from deck number 59 that illustrated the history of credit cards.
Object Name
Physical Description
black (overall color)
white (overall color)
red (overall color)
card stock (overall material)
green (overall color)
overall: 4 3/8 in x 6 1/8 in; 11.1125 cm x 15.5575 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
Industry & Manufacturing
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of David Allison

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