Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Death of John Sheppard-Barron - Inventor of ATM

It is sad to know about the demise of John Sheppard Barron who invented Automated Teller Machine (ATMs) in 1960s. It is interesting to know that he was born in Shillong as quoted by the Shillong Times (English Daily) on 24th May 2010, page 3 under Shillong Jottings.  It read as -

ATM inventor John Sheppard-Barron died recently at the age of 84. Though his death may not be a matter of great loss for us here in Shillong, it is interesting to know that this great soul was actually born here. His Scottish father was the chief engineer of Chittagong Port Commissioners while his mother was a tennis player. He got the idea of a cash dispenser while lying in his bath after finding his bank closed in 1965. That’s how the ATM was conceived. And indeed it is one of the greatest inventions of all times. Thanks to the ATM, today we do not need to carry cash around even while travelling. It is easier to draw smaller amounts from ATMs and deal with our purchases. Moreover, ATM cards are today accepted as legal tender in most stores. Humankind has indeed come a long way from the days of bartering.

May his soul rests in peace.... Shillong is really a Scotland of the East...

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