09 December 2008

Longchamps Puts It on Account

This is an enormously cool thing. One of the coolest I have ever possessed.

It is a Longchamps credit card. For 1957, to be exact.

A few weeks back, a reader residing in Florida wrote to me, saying that she had been rummaging through her father's things and had found the card. She offered to send it to me and I readily accepted.

I was not even aware that Longchamps gave out credit cards. The card makes me think of the era of "Executive Suite" and "The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit," more genteel times when a person could sign for lunch or dinner and worry about the messy matter of paying later. "Please show card and sign check with your Name and Account No.," it reads. "All liquor charges subject to local laws."

The back of the card lists all the Longchamps locations, most on the East Side or near intersections of import (Grand Central, City Hall, Times Square, the Empire State Building). The one near 59th and Madison was open all night Fridays and Saturdays. Locations in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Our cardholder lived on Webb Avenue in the Fordham section of The Bronx, walking distance from the Metro North Hudson River line. An easy commute into the big city.


David Freeland said...

Brooks - This is great to see. Unfortunately, that old Longchamps sign that remained on the exterior of the Madison Avenue location for decades has finally been taken down. I was sad to see that go, because it was unique and a reminder of how New York's past can live with us in the present.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Oh my God, David, is that true. That's terrible news. I loved that sign.