View Full Version : The Cash Machine is 40 years old!

Jun 25, 2007, 05:07 AM

Plastic cards had not been invented, so Mr Shepherd-Barron's machine used cheques that were impregnated with carbon 14, a mildly radioactive substance.

However, Mr Shepherd-Barron denies there were any health concerns: "I later worked out you would have to eat 136,000 such cheques for it to have any effect on you."


Imagine a world without them!


Jun 25, 2007, 01:09 PM
I wonder how those cheques taste... :D

Jun 25, 2007, 03:08 PM
I wrote software for the 3rd generation of cash machines in the late 70s and early 80s. Many great anecdotes. Among others ...

- the woman in one of the southern US states who got annoyed when the machine kept her card so she shot the machine ... in those days they had a sliding kevlar panel to cover/uncover the keyboard ... the bullet ricocheted off the panel and hit her arm

- the same sliding panels had a pressure sensor so they wouldn't trap slow fingers ... so quite a number of customers would "feed" pizza to the machine, with the panel sliding up and down eating the pizza

- a middle eastern financial institution had a machine custom built to dispense small gold bars (one or two ounces).