history of the wallet

The Wallet is a tiny, often pocket sized tool for storing cash, and other small articles such as credit cards, bank cards, drivers licenses, identification cards, and other valuables such as these . Usually it is made from fabrics such as leather, or synthetic plastics.

Typically, wallets are associated with men, as most women carry a similar object known as a purse. However, in modern day society, many women now also carry wallets as they are smaller and often, more convenient. Some women carry purses with wallets tucked inside of them.

Wallets were invented in the late 1600′s, almost immediately after paper currency was introduced. Paper currency was invented in Massachusetts in 1690. Prior to this, simple purses were used to carry around metal coins. These purses resembled small, drawstring bags. The first wallets were generally made from cow or horse leather, and had one small pouch for where people would place their identification cards (know then as calling cards).

Today’s modern wallet, which has many different slots for our many cards was invented in the 1950′s, because of the invention of the first credit card. Wallets virtually remained the same throughout the 20th century, with the exception of the Velcro wallet which was introduced in the 1970′s. Late in the 20th century, in 1996, what is known as the All-ett billfold wallet was invented. This type of wallet reduced the bulkiness of the original wallet by nearly half. In the 21st century, wallets have evolved in many ways including numerous shapes, sizes and color, all mostly for stylistic purposes rather than function.

Wallets are a huge hit among pit-pockets, who target people carrying wallets in the pockets of their pants. To avoid this, some wallet owners have chains connecting their wallets to their pants. Other wallet owners have inside pockets on their coats, so that they can not be pit-pocketed without noticing.

Although the wallet was originally designed to carry around cash, in modern society they are more often used for carrying credit cards. With the advanced systems of banks and other money institutes, people feel that carrying around cash is often unnecessary and a hassle. Some people still like to carry around change purses, which can be convenient for small purchases where using a credit card or bank card would be silly and wasteful.

A funny little story about a wallet:  http://www.howtobearetronaut.com/2011/02/wallet-found-and-returned-after-40-years/

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