Banking in America

On view 2008 - 2018

From the establishment of the Bank of North America in 1781 to the creation of the newest community bank, and from the largest universal bank to the humblest credit union, depository institutions – commercial banks, savings banks, credit unions – have been and likely will remain crucial components of the financial system and the larger economy. Without them, people would find it difficult to pay their bills, corporations could not be extended various forms of credit, and federal and local governments could not operate.

This exhibit explores the history of banking in America and explains the different types of banks and bank accounts. It also features multi-media sidebars on bank robberies, credit cards and the infamous S&L crisis, as described in the classic movie It's a Wonderful Life, as well as a display of historical piggy banks.

"Banking In America" allows visitors to learn about The Federal Reserve Bank system, how the payment of a check makes its way through the banking system, and what's really in those contracts that we agree to when we sign up for a credit card.