“The past is not dead. It is not even past.”*…
In 1943, as American businesses tried to guess whether wartime relief from the Depression would translate into postwar prosperity, the Tension Envelope Corporation printed this chart for customers. The infographic folded into a pamphlet and could be displayed on the wall when opened. (The online archive of the Federal Reserve, FRASER, has digitized a PDF of the pamphlet, which you can view here.)
The infographic and the explanatory text below it tap data from several sources, including U.S. Treasury reports, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Survey of Current Business, and the Committee for Economic Development, a nonprofit founded in 1942 to help American business plan for the postwar future. Excerpted text from a Committee for Economic Development publication, “Business Planning Now for V Day,” can be found in the lower left-hand corner of the chart.
In an explanatory section on the federal debt—represented on the chart as a red line that climbs steeply upward beginning in 1941—the chart’s authors articulate a strong stance on what could be an alarming indicator: “The necessary cost of this war is not important. Victory is worth the price. Whatever the cost to the future citizens is, they will get their money’s worth in benefits derived.”…
From the redoubtable Rebecca Onion: “A Comprehensive 1943 Infographic of American Booms and Busts.”
* William Faulkner
As we reach for the Dramamine, we might recall that it was on this date in 1969 that Chemical Bank installed the first ATM in the U.S. at its branch in Rockville Centre, New York. In fact, as noted here before, the ATM was imagined (and an early version patented) in 1960 by Luther George Simjian; but a six-month trial of the stand-alone device in 1961 was a failure. A British version (developed by the banknote company Delarue and deployed by Barclays) debuted in 1967, but required the use of pre-acquired “cheques” for withdrawal. The Chemical ATM was the first of the breed that is now common: networked machines that communicate with the bank (and its account information) in real time.