Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Hard Times, Sickness, Financial Distress
I photographed this Mirro Employees Credit Union billboard in Manitowoc, WI in 1980. Mirro Aluminum Company, the famous aluminum cooking utensil company, was once one of the largest employers in Manitowoc. Much of it had already been moved out of the city when I took the photo, and now it's all long gone now.
The sign points to an earlier era in credit union history, when they were chartered as cooperatives to provide financial services to working people at a time when banks mostly did not serve people of limited means. The umbrella was a familiar symbol of the credit union movement. Most credit unions no longer market themselves this way. Instead, they position themselves as member-owned banks, providing a full range of modern banking services to their members.