To mark the 40th anniversary of its BankAmericard next year, Bank of America is plumbing its archives for historical artifacts in search of creative ways to commemorate its invention.

Among the favorite relics is a set of television commercials-the first ever for a credit card-that ran in the early 1960s in Fresno, Calif.

"There are folks we show this to-even employees-who remember it as if it were last year," said Stephen B. Galasso, president and chief executive officer of the credit card unit, Bank of America NA.

The advertisements, in black and white, feature an animated figure of a conductor leading an orchestra.

As the instruments play musical notes, sentences appear on the screen describing the card.

One of the original commercials says:

"BankAmericard-the family credit card.

Convenient shopping, yes indeed!


For almost everything you need.

Budget payments if you choose.

Too many bills? Get just one bill.

Too many checks? Write just one check.

One bill, one check, or spread your payments if you choose.

The credit card with buying power.

You don't need to bank at Bank of America to get BankAmericard, but it's O.K. if you do."

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