Based around the column "Trevor's Travels" published each Sunday in the San Bernardino Sun, with some detours along the way.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I found myself short of cash the other day and I was well outside my area. No problem; I went to the nearest ATM and agreed to pay the small fee as it wasn't my bank. Who could object for the use of this convenient device? I remember the very first ATM that I used to use. It was around 1966, I think. The system was that the bank gave you a little punched card - about two inches by one inch. You were also given a number - your PIN - and when you wanted some cash, you inserted the card, punched in the number and out came a little wallet with about 5 pounds in it. This was a sizeable amount back then as a bank manager was making about 25 pounds a week.
Well, here is where the system was different to today. The ATM swallowed the little card and it was ultimately sent back to you by mail, which took about a week. You see this system was really only for emergencies back then. Mostly if you needed cash you asked the local landlord of a pub and wrote him a check. Of course, you had to know the place well.