Where do Wallets Come From - the history

Where do Wallets Come From - the history

Posted by WalletBe on Jun 11th 2023

Wallets, billfolds, change purse - whatever your name for this everyday essential tool, we are certain that you’ve used at least one before! When it comes to finding the perfect everyday wallet, whether it’s a front pocket wallet or a clutch, WalletBe is the place to shop! We have everything you need to keep your money and other valuables safe.

Origins of the Wallet

Since humans have had valuables for a long time, it shouldn't be surprising that wallets came around pretty early on. The first wallets were actually small fabric packs that were closed with a drawstring and tied to belts. They could hold a few coins and a day’s worth of food. The Ancient Greeks used knapsacks to make it through the day, so these were more of a necessity for poor men. It was, essentially, the original lunchbox.

Renaissance Changes

The word “wallet” began to appear during the 1300’s, and Shakespeare even used the word in his 1609 play Troilus and Cressida. However, it wasn't until paper money began to be used that the billfold as we know it came to be. In 1500s Europe, these wallets were also shaped like a sack, but they would hold calling cards and money without the lunch. It was at this time that the wallet became a sign of privilege.

The 1800s

Once we moved into the new century, wallets began to change depending on the needs of the wallet carriers. Instead of carrying around money and food, most men used them for tobacco and smoking accessories, especially in countries like England and Spain. Women did not have pockets in their clothing at the time, so they did not carry around these items. It was about this time where it became “uncivilized” to carry food around in your wallet, and it became much more frowned upon to attach the purse to your belt.

The new century marked the time when the wallet transitioned into what we know it as today: a pocket-sized, easily portable method to hold and organize paper bills. Although leather making has been popular for centuries, the industrial revolution is what made these leather wallets accessible to the masses. This new technology also allowed for the wallets to be dyed, oiled, and preserved in a way that made them more durable and variable in style.

Wallets Today

While wallets have changed quite a bit over the years, they still have space to hold paper bills like they did a couple hundred years ago. With the invention of the credit card in the 1950s, wallets evolved to include slots for these plastic charge cards. Of course, you can still find wallets of all kinds today, such as money clips, checkbooks, bi-fold wallets, triple fold wallets, and more.

Shop Now!

If you are ready for a piece of history that is functional and looks amazing, be sure to shop WalletBe today! We have the front pocket wallets, billfolds, clutches, and cell phone wallets that you need to move your items around safely. Be sure to check it out today and order one of your very own!