Inventions of note
John Shepherd-Barron may not be a household name but his invention provides a convenience that in a relatively short period became embedded in the fabric of society. He invented the Automated Teller Machine, better known as the ATM, or the hole in the wall cash machine. Working for the De La Rue banknote printing company, Shepherd-Barron’s ATM first went into service on June 27th, 1967 in Enfield, North London.
The original system used machine-readable vouchers, which were exchanged for banknotes. He was motivated by the then-familiar situation of running out of cash outside of bank opening-hours. His inspiration for the ATM was chocolate vending machines. The device and its successors proved instantly popular – while younger generations that grew up with the ATM question how the world could possibly have functioned without them.