27 June, 2011

June 27, 1967

The world’s first ATM is installed in Enfield Town, England. According to rumor, unemployment skyrocketed the next day.

The Wikipedia article has some inconsistencies. There’s this quote:

In simultaneous and independent efforts, engineers in Sweden and Britain developed their own cash machines during the early 1960s. The first of these that was put into use was by Barclays Bank in Enfield Town in North London, United Kingdom,[7] on 27 June 1967. This machine was the first in the UK and was used by English comedy actor Reg Varney, at the time so as to ensure maximum publicity for the machines that were to become mainstream in the UK. This instance of the invention has been credited to John Shepherd-Barron of printing firm De La Rue,[8] who was awarded an OBE in the 2005 New Year's Honours List.[9] His design used special cheques that were matched with a personal identification number, as plastic bank cards had not yet been invented.[10]

And this one, in the intro:

Invented by IBM, the first ATM was introduced in December 1972 at Lloyds Bank in the UK. On most modern ATMs, the customer is identified by inserting a plastic ATM card with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smart card with a chip, that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date or CVVC (CVV). Authentication is provided by the customer entering a personal identification number (PIN).

Anyway, despite the text in the introduction, 1967 is widely regarded as the introduction date of these mysterious devices that seem to be taking over our world.

Personally, I am part of the resistance. I gave up ATM use several months ago and I’ve never looked bad. Although I did notice a strange machine following me the other day…

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