November 12, 2004

Today in Automotive History 1946

Today in Automotive History

1946 First Drive-In Banking Service

On this day, the Exchange National Bank of Chicago, Illinois, instituted the first drive-in banking service in America, and anticipated a cultural phenomenon that would sweep across America in the coming decade. In 1946, America's Big Three automobile companies were still engaged in the laborious process of retooling from war production to civilian automobile company. With the influx of returning soldiers, and economic signs pointing to a period of great American prosperity, market demand for automobiles was high. At first, U.S. carmakers responded by offering their old pre-war models, but beginning in 1949, the first completely redesigned postwar cars hit the market, and Americans embraced the automotive industry as never before. By the early 1950s, the U.S. was a nation on wheels. With a seemingly endless reserve of cheap gas available, drive-in culture -- featuring everything from drive-in movie theaters to drive-in grocery stores -- flourished alongside America's highways and main streets. In 1946, the Exchange National Bank of Chicago anticipated the rise of America's drive-in society by several years, featuring such drive-in banking innovations as tellers' windows protected by heavy bullet-proof glass, and sliding drawers that enabled drivers to conduct their business from the comfort of their vehicle.

Posted by Quality Weenie at November 12, 2004 06:42 AM