Washington Shopping Plate Credit Card

Washington Shopping Plate Credit Card

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Usage conditions apply
The Washington Shopping Plate was a credit card issued to shoppers in Washington, D.C., that they could use to make purchases at local department stores. The first cards were issued in October 1950 and were good at Hecht’s, Jelleff’s, Kann’s, Lansburgh’s, Raleigh's, and Garfinkel's. It was first issued as an embossed metal plate before becoming the blue plastic card seen here. In 1974 a large D.C. retailer began accepting a national credit card (American Express), which signaled the end of the Washington Shopping Plate.
Object Name
credit card
date made
place made
United States
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 5.5 cm x 8.5 cm x.2 cm; 2 5/32 in x 3 11/32 in x 3/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
serial number
8 23
Credit Line
E. Clain-Stefanelli
See more items in
Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
American Enterprise
Coins, Currency and Medals
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I was just looking through Google and somebody was talking about credit cards on TV and I was just reminiscing about my first credit card back in 1980 I had a lot of first and I had my first credit card the Washington shoppers plate I got my first car I just had a lot of first my first job everything was happening for me in 1980 I'm now 61 I've had several credit cards since then but you never forget your first of anything and I just wanted to say how great the card serve me I had it for like maybe four years and I didn't know until I had used it for a minute and then I realized I had four cards on there cuz I used to shop it was called Hechts company a lot and Woodward & Lothrop and the limited and it Riley's on the car so I can use them there too so I enjoyed the card very much and it interest rates were good and I had no problem using it and I just want to say it was a great card in a great memory.
I found my mother's shopping plate (of course in my father's name) along with the embossed leather case it slides into. It is metal & about the size of a military dog tag approximately 1 inch x 3 inches.
Interesting, as I used to work with the Clain-Stefanellis in the Division of Numismatics at American History.
The card also included Woodward and Lothrop. If you would like another, I still have my mother's. BTW, I was Director of Education at NMAH from 1974-81.

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