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Selling Televisions on Credit: The Rise of Consumer Loans in Postwar France

  • Isabelle Gaillard
Chapter
Part of the Worlds of Consumption book series (WC)

Abstract

In 1957, Henry Davezac, president of the French electrical manufacturing labor union, commented on the sizable role that consumer credit should play in the market for television sets in France: “We have to take all measures suitable for expanding the market. Making it easier for customers to get credit constitutes the most effective of these… It represents not only additional sales that would not otherwise be made, but also an essential stimulant to commercial activity, because it brings about an important growth in cash sales.”1 Davezac defended consumer credit against its critics as a major way to increase the sales of new television sets and help the whole electronics industry grow. But rhetoric and reality are not always identical. What role did consumer credit really play in the market for television sets in postwar France?

Keywords

Durable Good Household Appliance Consumer Credit Credit Policy Color Television 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Henry Davezac, “Note sur les effets des mesures restrictives en matière de vente à crédit des appareils récepteurs de télévision,” March 14, 1957, Archives Cetelem, 8–4–22.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rosa-Maria Gelpi and François Julien-Labruyère, Histoire du crédit à la consommation: doctrines et pratiques (Paris, 1994), 23.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Sean O’Connell, “Speculations on working class debt: Credit and paternalism in France, Germany and the UK,” Entreprises et histoire, no. 59 (June 2010): 82.Google Scholar
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    Hubert Balaguy, Le crédit à la consommation en France (Paris, 1996), 18.Google Scholar
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    Figures from Olivier Marchand and Claude Thélot, Le travail en France, 1800–2000 (Paris, 1997), 241; Jean Fourastié, Prix de vente et prix de revient, Recherche sur l’évolution des prix en période de progrès technique, 11th series (Paris, 1961), 198; France Philips archives, unclassified.Google Scholar
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    Philippe Clément, “Temps, argent … et protection,” in Philippe Heymann, ed., De la 4CV à la vidéo, 1953–1983: ces trente années qui ont changé notre vie, ed. Philippe Heymann (Paris, 1983), 151.Google Scholar
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    Paul Henry Chombart de Lauwe, La vie quotidienne des familles ouvrières (1956; Paris, 1977), 95.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© The German Historical Institute 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabelle Gaillard

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