Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's 40 - ATM Machines!

It's hard to believe that, at one time, in order to do our banking, we had to go to a bank teller to perform our transactions, and we had to make sure that we did those transactions during "banker's hours" (9:00 AM - 4:00 PM). Now, we can perform our banking transactions 24/7 with the Internet and ATM machines.

Forty years ago, the first ATM machine was implemented in the United Kingdom at a north London branch of Barclays Bank. Back then, the machine only dispensed cash. The man credited for developing the first ATM machine at Barclays Bank is John Shepherd-Barron, OBE. ATMs really didn't catch on in the United States until about 5 years later, although Shepherd-Barron did present the idea to Miami bankers in 1967.

Apparently there is a controversy on who really invented the ATM machine. While the UK acknowledges Shepherd-Barron as the "inventor" of the ATM machine, the Smithsonian Institute actually credits American Don Wetzel as the "inventor" of the ATM machine. Web site ATM Machine, a company that sells ATM machines, actually did comprehensive research on who is the real inventor of the ATM.

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