Pennsylvanian Merchant? New York Merchant? Portland Merchant?
Dear Quote Investigator: Today credit cards are commonplace in the U.S., but in the past many shopkeepers hesitated to extend credit to customers. Occasionally, reluctant businesses displayed a humorous sign:
In God We Trust. All Others Pay Cash
The phrase “In God We Trust” has a long history. Its prominence grew when it appeared on the two-cent piece in 1864. The sign twisted this well-known expression. Would you please examine the history of this saying?
Quote Investigator: The earliest close match located by QI appeared in “The Philadelphia Inquirer” of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 4, 1877: 1
Dull Times have driven many merchants to the cash system, and they are now ornamenting their stores with mottoes such as: “Pay to-day, trust to-morrow;” “If I trust, I bust;” “In God we trust; all others cash.”
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 1877 April 4, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Gleanings by Late Mails, Quote Page 7, Column 1, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com) ↩