Originally organized in 1875 and incorporated in 1879 as The Stationers Board of Trade, Business Products Credit Association, Inc. is the oldest trade association in existence. Today’s members continue to be proud of a rich, strong heritage that is over 140 years old. From the beginning, The Stationers Board of Trade was an important part of the stationery and book trade, and due to the quality of the services it provided over the years, expanded into more and more related industries.
In 1875, the association was temporarily established in the offices of The American Stationer, at their 74 Duane Street location in New York City. The preliminary meeting was presided over by Willy Wallach, whose active and energetic interests were widely recognized throughout the membership.
On October 7, 1875, a meeting was called to order at the office of Charles H. Phelps, 128 Broadway, in efforts to organize a Stationers Board of Trade. C. T. Bainbridge of Charles T. Bainbridge & Sons, a stationery company, stated that it would be expedient to form such a board. Willy Wallach functioned as the Chairman and Charles Phelps was acting Secretary during the first meeting. Irwin Martin, a member of this first assembly motioned that the fledgling group should be named The Stationers Board of Trade, and he indicated that the board should have one president, one vice president, one treasurer, nine directors and a secretary.
Nine men were chosen during this initial meeting to function in the most important process of electing the other offices and generating a constitution that would outline the purpose of The Stationers Board of Trade. Those nine men were: Willy Wallach, Benjamin Lawrence, C.T. Bainbridge, Melvin Hard, George L Pease, Samuel Raynor, William T. Pratt, Theodore V. Smith and Andrew Dougherty.