|An automatic teller machine or ATM allows a bank customer to conduct
their banking transactions from almost every other ATM machine in the
world. Don Wetzel was the co-patentee and chief conceptualist of the
automated teller machine, an idea he thought of while waiting in line
at a Dallas bank. At the time (1968) Wetzel was the Vice President
of Product Planning at Docutel, the company that developed automated
baggage-handling equipment. The other two inventors listed on the patent
were Tom Barnes, the chief mechanical engineer and George Chastain,
the electrical engineer. It took five million dollars to develop the
ATM. The concept of the ATM first began in 1968, a working prototype
came about in 1969 and Docutel was issued a patent in 1973. The first
working ATM was installed in a New York based Chemical Bank. (note(1):
There are different claims to which bank had the first ATM, here is
Don Wetzel's reference:
"No, it wasn't in a lobby, it was actually in the wall of the bank, out on the street. They put a canopy over it to protect it from the rain and the weather of all sorts. Unfortunately they put the canopy too high and the rain came under it. (laughing) One time we had water in the machine and we had to do some extensive repairs. It was a walkup on the outside of the bank. That was the first one. And it was a cash dispenser only, not a full ATM... We had a cash dispenser, and then the next version was going to be the total teller (created in 1971), which is the ATM we all know today -- takes deposits, transfers money from checking to savings, savings to checking, cash advances to your credit card, takes payments; things like that. So they didn't want just a cash dispenser alone." - Don Wetzel on the first ATM installed at the Rockville Center, New York Chemical Bank from a NMAH interview.
Jack Gebhart had the idea to put the magnetic stripe on the bankcard to carry the customer information. This information could then be read by a reader, also from Jack Gerbhart, which in its turn is connected to a computer. (4)
There is as usual a controversy.
Who invented the idea of an ATM? (6)
Bank automation started as early as 1939 with the invention of the ATM by Luther George Simjian (1905-1997) from Turkish origin.
ATM predecessor installed: New York's First National City Bank (now CitiBank) installs a Bankograph in several branch lobbies. The idea is for customers to pay utility bills and get receipts without having to see a teller.
1967Cash dispensing machine at Barclay's Bank in London. June 27
The concept of the ATM established by Wenzel.
Card-eating: Barclays and a few other banks introduce a machine that encodes cash on plastic cards purchased from a teller. The problem is that the machine always eats the cards, and customers have to buy new cards if they want to make more transactions. (8)
First use of ATM magstripe cards: Docutel installs its Docuteller machine at New York's Chemical Bank. The installation marks the first use of magnetically encoded plastic.
|Last Updated on 17 April, 2006||For suggestions please mail the editors|
Footnotes & References
|2||Cash Technologies, inc.|
|3||smithsonian: picture of ATM and inventor|
|4||David Pryor provided the name of the 'missing' engineer and his contribution to the project|
|7||(According to the article written by Invention & Technology’s Mike Lee, John Shepherd-Barron — the cash dispenser’s inventor qq claims that the paper vouchers are actually checks impregnated with Carbon 14.)|
|8||tom Harper, NetWorld Alliance; Source: Jerry Larson, who helped to develop Diebold’s TABS 500, 550 and 600|
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