Business & Finance: Pooled Savings

About 1810 the Rev. Henry Duncan of Ruthwell, Scotland became worried by the thriftlessness of his parishioners. Persuading them to bring their surplus pennies to the manse each week, he finally hit on the idea of a mutual savings bank. The bank belonged to depositors; there were no stockholders. Long regarded as an excellent means of making the poor help themselves, mutual savings banks rooted quickly in the U. S., but never firmly either south of the Potomac or west of the Alleghenies. In those regions the poor either stayed poor or relied on...

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