Cash America’s first pawnshop, opened by Jack Daugherty as ACE Pawn Shop in Irving, Texas.
While Cash America takes pride in being the largest pawnshop chain in the world, the pawn industry is actually an age-old business. Pawning dates back to medieval times, when monarchs raised money for armies and other endeavors by pawning valuables. It’s reported that Queen Isabella pawned her crown jewels to underwrite Christopher Columbus’s voyages to America. The perception of the pawn industry has changed over time, though differences in the reputation of pawnshops remain.
When Cash America’s founder Jack Daugherty entered the pawn business, he sought to change the image of the industry. Jack envisioned clean, well-lit, friendly, customer-oriented pawnshops. He became familiar with the business as a college student in West Texas, when he pawned items for extra money and worked in a seasoned pawnbroker’s shop for 90 days without pay to learn the industry.
It was then that Jack discovered his knack for pawnbroking and opened the first Cash America Pawn in Irving, Texas, in 1983. Through company acquisitions, a focus on treating coworkers well and exceptional customer service, Jack was able to grow the business exponentially. After just a few years, he took the company public and it has since expanded to nearly 900 locations.
Pawnbroking has certainly changed throughout the years, and Cash America’s rich history of success has improved perception of our industry.