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L.Srikumar Pai
B.Sc( Engg.), MIE, MIWWA, MICI
Civil Engineer & CAD Specialist
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Invention : ATM ( Automated  Teller Machine)

Biography | Inventions

John Shephard-Barron was the inventor of the ATM cash automatic machine


Sheppard-Baron was born in India in 1925 to Scottish parents. He worked for the banknote printer De La Rue and even was acknowledged by Queen Elizabeth back in 2005 for his contributions to banking. It is cash machine that has made an international celebrity. When Sheppard-Baron first started producing his cash machine, it wasn’t long after when companies all over the world picked up on his idea. Sheppard-Baron always said that he looked at the machine as a novelty at first but now days it is part of everyday life.

John Shepherd-Barron changed the world with his money invention. Each time you walk up to an ATM to withdrawal money, it was already planted in his vision some 43 years ago. The idea first hit him when he arrived at his bank after hours, because the only thing stopping him from getting his money was business hours.

He started thinking about how to obtain funds when after banking hours. Then, like magic, he came up with the idea when he was in the bath. "It struck me, there must be a way I could get my own money, anywhere in the world or the UK," he said during an interview in 2007.

"I hit upon the idea of a chocolate bar dispenser, but replacing chocolate with cash." He took his invention to Barclays and raised awareness that they could charge a fee for people to take money from the Automatic Teller Machine. The ideal sold, and the bank installed it at their London location in 1967.

Barclays bank was the first bank to use the then cash machine. The machine was installed on the 27th June 1967 at north London suburb. The machine received the special check and after verification, dispensed the ten-pound bills on another tray.

Forty years after his invention, he was awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire OBE for his invention. The teller machine has grown to every part of the world and currently there are about 1.7 million ATMs installed around the world.

He died peacefully at a hospital in Scotland at the age of 84. His wife, 3 children and 6 grandchildren survive him.

By: Kara Gilmour
Staff Writer

( )

BBC Article about John Shepherd-Barron in 2005

The Scot credited with inventing the automated cash machine has been awarded an OBE - 40 years on.
John Shepherd-Barron, 79, from Tain in Ross-shire, said the accolade was "better late than never".

He came up with the idea of the auto-teller in the early 1960s after becoming frustrated at not being able to access his own money at weekends.

He installed the world's first ATM at a branch of Barclays Bank in Enfield, North London, in 1967.
At the time he was managing director of De La Rue Instruments.

Chemically coded
The De La Rue Automatic Cash System took in cheques impregnated with Carbon 14, which were bought in advance from a bank teller, and exchanged them for cash.

Each cheque was chemically coded to identify between customers so money could be taken from the correct bank account.

Mr Shepherd-Barron went on to supervise the installation of the machines in Switzerland, Philadelphia and Japan.

There are now an estimated 800,000 cash machines across the world, and De La Rue still produces about one in every five. Mr Shepherd-Barron becomes an OBE for services to banking.

He said: "It was a bit late, but better late then never.
"It is very nice to have it, but it has taken about 40 years."

He said that despite some complaints from the US, the Guinness Book of Inventions had recognised him as the inventor of the ATM.

"The thing that I have done obviously became an important feature of international banking," he added.
"It has everyone in the world working in the same way."


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