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As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, trends and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the checkbook.

At some point in the past, when a gentleman wanted to pay for something expensive—perhaps a racehorse, or a small Pacific island—the first thing he’d reach for was his checkbook. It would be spotless, glove-soft leather, suggesting the limitless wealth contained within. A few scribbles, indicating the promise that the tiny piece of paper represented, and the deed would be done.

We’ll just come out and say it: The credit card is no substitute.

Allow us to elaborate»

ALL The Past