ATM or Cash Machine invent by John-Shepherd Barron
“I insert a card and get cash in Cash Machine or ATM” By John Shepherd-Barron
ATM is short name of automated teller machine or automatic teller machine. ATM other names are Cash Machine, Cash-point, Cash-line, Mini-bank, Bankomat or colloquially hole in the wall (British).
There was a time not so long ago when there was no such thing as a cash machine. If you wanted to withdraw some money, you had to go into a building and speak to a teller. Now, of course, it is possible to get cash from one of over 16 million Automated Telling Machine (ATM) worldwide, in stores, cinemas and even the southern rim of the Grand Canyon.
Exactly who we have to thank for this stroke of technological banking genius is a matter of some controversy. Luther George Simjian, a prolific inventor of his time, devised the very first ‘cash-point’ in 1939. Installed by the City Bank of New York this cash machine saw little use except with “…prostitutes and gamblers who didn’t want to deal with tellers face to face.” The machine was removed.
There followed a lull in the history of the cash-point that lasted nearly thirty years. Then, in 1967, John-Shepherd Barron (Birth Year: 1925), an inventor of Scottish descent, had an idea in the bath for machine that would give you money, anywhere in the world and the ATM was reborn. The first one was installed in Enfield, North London, in 1967. This early cash machine was operated by a “token” resembling a check impregnated with radioactive material which was verified against a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN code). Why four digits? Because that is the most inventor’s wife could remember.
The first plastic card-operated ATM was invented by Texan Don Wetzel a short time later and some people (including the Smithsonian Institution) credit him being the inventor of the ATM.
According to the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA), there are now close to 3 million ATMs installed worldwide.