Buffalo in the 80s: The Big E offers Visa

By Steve Cichon

Thirty-five years ago this month, The News began celebrating the 100th anniversary of the paper’s starting a daily edition.

In the special section called One Hundred Years of Finance and Commerce, The News recounted the history of a handful of Buffalo’s financial and commercial industries and provided ad space for many companies involved in those industries to tout their own contributions.

Probably because it was fun to say, Buffalonians who were around remember well the Big E, even if they don’t remember Erie County Savings Bank. Just like Buffalo Savings Bank, which became Goldome in the ’80s, the Big E started buying up other banks around the country and changed its name to Empire of America.

Also like Buffalo Savings Bank, Empire was bought out and out of business by 1990 as savings and loan institutions around the country faltered.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.