Inventor of the ATM, John Shepherd-Barron, dies aged 84

In 1965, John Shepherd-Barron invented the cash machine, while lying in a bath. He had been to his bank earlier that day to take out some money but had arrived too late and the bank was closed.
By: Jonathan Andersen - Press Officer
 
May 20, 2010 - PRLog -- An employee of De La Rue, Shepherd-Barron said that his inspiration came from chocolate vending machines and suggested the idea to the CEO of Barclays Bank while having a drink together.

Enfield, North London was the site of the first ATM, and it paved the way for the almost 2 million machines currently in operation worldwide.

Mr Shepherd-Barron, from Portmahomack, Easter Ross, died in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, on Saturday.

Although he did not patent his invention and therefore did not make any money from it he was made an OBE by the Queen in 2005 for his services to banking. He also received a lifetime achievement award from the ATM Industry Association.

Describing his "eureka" moment, he once said: "I remember back in 1965 that I would always take money out of my bank on a Saturday morning. However, one Saturday I was one minute late at my bank and it was closed.

"That night I started thinking that there must be a better way to get cash when I wanted it. I thought of the chocolate vending machine, where money was put in a slot and a bar dispatched. Surely money could be dispensed in the same way.

"By chance, in 1965, I bumped into the chief general manager of Barclays Bank who was about to have lunch. I said, over a pink gin, 'Give me 90 seconds'.

"I told him I had an idea that if you put your standard Barclays cheque through a slot in the side of the bank, it will deliver standard amounts of money round the clock."

Mr Shepherd-Barron was to go on to become managing director of De La Rue Instruments, which was involved in the printing of more than 140 currencies.

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Source:Jonathan Andersen - Press Officer
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