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Icons of Progress

Magnetic Stripe Technology

After its introduction, the magnetic stripe card quickly became entrenched within modern culture. During the early years, charge cards gave the holder a certain sense of status. Unlike cash, minted for circulation, identifying information made the credit card uniquely personal. Even today—though issued by financial institutions, retailers and other creditors—our cards represent us as individuals. We carry them with us every day, our identities quietly embedded within their stripes.

Going Hollywood

The credit card—and its signature magnetic stripe—figures prominently in transaction scenes in countless movies, making its celluloid debut in the 1963 comedy The Man from the Diner’s Club, starring Hollywood legend Danny Kaye. Other films featuring the credit card include Transformers (2007), The Jerk (1979) and Midnight Run (1984). In the 1997 movie Batman & Robin, the “caped crusader” (played by George Clooney) places bids at an auction. Proving he’s credit-worthy, the hero displays his “Bat Card,” issued by the “Gothcard” company. A close up shot reveals that the expiration date is marked “Forever,” a reference to the 1995 film titled Batman Forever.