>The credit card is rooted in the idea of allowing consumers to buy on time, which took hold in the 1920s. By the late 1940s, some department stores and gasoline companies had issued courtesy cards to their customers, granting them credit in advance of a purchase. Then, in 1950, businessman Francis Xavier McNamara was having lunch and discovered he had left his cash at home. >I don't think this actually happened. I think it was just a marketing gimick.Ed.