Oi Polloi


Published: Fri May 31 2013

The Great Wallet Ban of ‘54

Footwear history-fans often spout off that ‘penny loafers’ got their name as young Ivy-League sorts would put pennies in the diamond shaped cut-out in the front of their loafers. We at Oi Polloi know this is rubbish. The real reason is that many years ago there was a large gambling epidemic spreading throughout the North West. Everyday things like work and eating were soon forgotten as droves of gambling addicts flocked to arcades, bookies and the dark corners of family restaurants for their chance to make a mint. With workplaces empty, the government decided something had to be done, and went straight for the heart of the matter with what is now known as the Great Wallet Ban of ’54. With wallets, purses and coin-holders outlawed, the race was on for gamble-fans to find another suitable way to carry coins. The answer was the penny loafer.