Our History & Heritage

Heritage isn't just about history. It's about people and their stories. The stories that shape who we are, tell where we've been and show where we're going. At Bank of America, our history covers more than two centuries and includes people who helped to shape life as we know it in this country. The stories of our history and heritage connect us to some of the greatest achievements and advancements of all time, and we're proud to share them.

“ Bank of America has been helping connect people to what is most important to them for more than 200 years. What endures is our commitment to our customers, clients and communities, rooted in the knowledge that our success is intrinsically connected to theirs. ”

-  Brian T. Moynihan,  Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America

Our Roots

Our roots, from 1784 to 1850, are set in stories of our earliest heritage members and their roles in the evolution of a young United States. Learn about the making of the national anthem, the survival of our capital through the War of 1812, the discovery of comets, building a foundation for economic growth and more.

VIDEO: An independent bank for an independent nation Massachusetts Bank first depositor, Moses Michael Hays video

VIDEO: An independent bank for an independent nation

VIDEO: An independent bank for an independent nation Get the whole story.
Handwritten copy of Star Spangled Banner composed by Francis Scott Key, an early Bank of America customer

Preserving the National Anthem

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Illustration of Bank of the Metropolis, circa 1817

Rebuilding our nation’s capital

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What famous waterway—financed in part by Bank of America’s heritage bank The State Bank of Albany—made New York the financial capital of the world?

Answer: The Eerie Canal

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State Bank of Albany, first location, 1803

The making of the financial capital of the world

The Shawmut Bank headquarters, Boston

The birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution

VIDEO: The bank that saved Nantucket Ship on fire video
1873 Interior of Boatmen’s banking quarters, circa 1870

The bank that helped St. Louis survive and thrive

The Rise of Industry

Between 1850 and 1900, the American Industrial Revolution sparked enormous social, political and economic advancement throughout the country. Our heritage includes stories of people who played a significant part in these events, from the making of great cities to revitalization after the Civil War to the vision of enterprising young bankers and beyond.

VIDEO: The building and rebuilding of Chicago Chicago video

VIDEO: The building and rebuilding of Chicago

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Continental National Building 1906

Stabilizing Chicago's economy during the Civil War

U.S. Trust IL Central Railroad

Laying the groundwork for American Industry

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Which industry is Charlotte, North Carolina famous for, establishing its role in the American Industrial Revolution?

Answer: Textiles

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VIDEO: The making of Los Angeles into a metropolis LA metropolis video

VIDEO: The making of Los Angeles into a metropolis

VIDEO: The making of Los Angeles into a metropolis Get the whole story.
Commercial National Building

Charlotte's textile industry roots, from emerging to booming

Early Seattle

Seattle’s first banker: Dexter Horton

First Merchants logo on building

Rebuilding Richmond after the Civil War

The Modern Era

From 1900 to 1950, our country entered the modern era, a time when our heritage stories tell of rapid progress with political and economic advancements. From Hollywood filmmakers to bridge engineers to the London stage, our legacy of people in support of innovation is rich.

VIDEO: Building the most photographed bridge in the world Golden Gate Bridge contruction video

VIDEO: Building the most photographed bridge in the world

VIDEO: Building the most photographed bridge in the world Get the whole story.

This famous and stunning achievement of civil engineering was funded by Bank of America. The 4,200-foot-long suspension bridge spans the Golden Gate Strait to connect San Francisco and Marin County.

As of today, more than 2 billion vehicles have traveled across the bridge since it opened. Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world."

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Cecil Demille

Financing Hollywood through the Great Depression

Annie Grimes

America's first bond saleswoman

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Which national landmark, financed by Bank of America, is considered the world’s most photographed bridge?

Answer: The Golden Gate Bridge

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Disneyland Branch A

Building a small world

VIDEO: Every woman's bank Women's Department video
Wine financing

The making of wine country

New York Times paper

The advice that helped many clients survive The Great Depression

Move Powers Brokers

The making of Charlie Chaplin's The Kid

London

Bringing Hollywood to London after World War II

Technology & Innovations

In the half-century from 1950 to 2000, our heritage stories tell of people whose revelatory achievements led to technological advancement and international expansion. Learn about the advent of automated banking, the world's first electronic recording machine–accounting (ERMA) system, the development of magnetic-ink character recognition (MICR) and more.

VIDEO: Bank of America revolutionizes the banking industry 'ERMA' going to work for Bank of America video

VIDEO: Bank of America revolutionizes the banking industry

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VIDEO: Introducing the modern credit card Bank of America card ad - 1960 video
China 1979

Expanding Merrill Lynch around the globe

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What was the name of the first computer used in banking, created by Bank of America?

Answer: ERMA (Electronic Recording Method of Accounting)

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New Millennium

Today, Bank of America is a global company committed to helping clients, customers and communities thrive around the world. We are a global leader in wealth management as well as corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes.

In the U.S alone, we serve 49 million consumers and small businesses with 5,000 retail banking offices, 16,000 ATMs, 30 million online banking users and more than 15 million mobile users. And, we offer industry-leading support to 3 million small business owners through an innovative suite of award-winning online products and services.

Our commitment to being a responsible company helps ensure the sustainability of our operations and the wellbeing of our employees while maintaining a positive impact on the economy, communities and society as a whole.

We are inspired by our past as we look forward to future. Building on our heritage, each day is an opportunity for us to help improve the financial lives of our customers and clients.

Learn more about our story.