Here’s something for your next pub quiz. Who else is going to be familiar with the history of the modest cash machine? It’s easy to forget that everything we take for granted is to be conceived at some point. Have you ever considered how and when things like paper, bottles, and sofas were invented?

Forget about the article for the time being. But we’re getting intrigued so that we could talk about it later. Let us concentrate on the brilliant innovation of an ATM processor and the machine. Consider you to be in the early 1960s.

Instead of going to a machine in the wall, you have to walk into a bank and conduct the process over the counter every time you need cash. This meant speaking to a human being, which is terrifying!

The Idea

Fortunately, a Scottish man (and inventor) named John Shepherd-Barron felt the same way. He has a brilliant idea while bathing one evening. What if chocolate dispensers could also use to dispense cash? It’s unclear if he exclaimed, “Eureka!” But, Shepherd-Barron did quickly contact at least one bank – Barclays.

Negotiation & Installation

Over a pink gin, the Barclays CEO has reportedly rushed to sign a contract with Shepherd-Barron in what seemed like a race for the first ATM. What a pivotal moment in history it turned out to be!

On June 27, 1967, Barclays introduced the world’s first ATM in their branch in Enfield, London, after its development. On a side note (for those who remember him), Reg Varney, who played bus driver Stan in On the Buses, is the first to take money from an ATM. (Fact #2 from the pub quiz)

The Technicalities

People had to use a check-like paper to withdraw money because bank cards have not yet developed. Because it contained the radioactive chemical Carbon14 (pub quiz fact #3), it has recognized as genuine when entered into the ATM.

Shepherd-Barron has estimated – probably after being repeatedly questioned on this – that you’d need to EAT 136,000 of this check for the radiation to have any effect on your body at all. Is that pub quiz fact number four?

Transatlantic Growth

In any case, the ATM machines for sale is immensely popular. And the number of machines increased dramatically over the world. On September 2, 1969, the first ATM in the United States has opened at the Rockville Centre, New York branch of Chemical Bank (pub quiz fact #6).


Inevitably, as the ATM grew in popularity, every man and his dog tried to cash in (pardon the pun) by building their own. It has an improved version. Even though advancements have been pretty continual from the first installation and continue to this day.

The first “modern ATM” has commissioned by Lloyds Banking Group and manufactured by IBM. The first of these put in December 1972 in Brentwood High Street in Essex, UK.

50th Anniversary

Aside from the pub quiz information, keep in mind that we’re sharing this to commemorate a historic event. This is the month that’s marking the 50th anniversary of the first ATM installation.

A concept hatched in a Scottish bathtub. So, happy birthday, cash machine, and thank you for your service to the world, John Shepherd-Barron!


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