History of Pawn Shops, Part 1

History of Pawn Shops, Part 1 loan usa worcester

The history of pawn shops is almost as old as money itself. After all, people have always had a need for money to buy the goods and services they want and desire, but sometimes they just don't have the cash. However, what they do have are items that they are no longer using, but they don't necessarily want to part with them. Enter the pawnbroker.

Loan USA is a family-owned pawn shop that has been serving the communities of Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield, Massachusetts, since 1993. We have an A + rating with the Better Business Bureau, and we treat all of our customers like family. Our mission is to help you get the cash you need, when you need it. Below, we'll take a brief look at the history of pawn shops. Contact our local pawn shop to get started today!


Pawnbroking as we know it officially began in China over 3,000 years ago. Certainly, pawning existed in some form before that, but we have no written records to prove it. These pawn shops mainly served the peasants of China who needed short-term loans to buy seed and tools for farming. The tradition extended to ancient Greece and Rome, where being a pawn broker was considered a noble profession. Since Rome was the largest empire of its time, pawnbroking followed emerged wherever the Romans did, spreading all throughout Europe. Pawnbroking continued relatively unchanged throughout the Middle Ages. In fact, the three spheres that are associated with pawnbrokers originated in England from this time period. It was in the Middle Ages that pawnbrokers began to get a sordid reputation and to not be liked. This was due to the fact that many pawnbrokers and, in effect, moneylenders were Jews, and since the Catholic Church virtually ruled the world, at least religiously, Jews were disliked and discriminated against heavily.

One interesting fact is that the kings of England, namely Edward III and Henry V pawned the royal jewels in order to pay for the war against France in 1338 and 1415, respectively. In a time before established banks, pawnbrokers filled a much-needed service for those who could not afford to live without loans.


Naturally, since pawn shops were a vital part of England, they hopped the ocean as well. The three spheres were used, and since the Industrial Revolution was revving up in the early 19th century, the need for small business loans skyrocketed. They helped keep food on the table for factory workers in-between paychecks, by providing workers with the cash they needed to  purchase food and pay the rent. It's safe to say that local pawn shops saved many lives.


Today, pawn shops still play a vital role in lending in America with their fast pawn loans that give those who need cash fast to pay for food, lodging, or other wants and needs the money they need to do so. With no credit checks and minimal paperwork required, you'll be on your way in no time. Stop by Loan USA in Lawrence, Worcester, or Springfield today!