50 Years of ATMs: Surprising Facts, Unusual Machines

Cash machines are so common that it's hard to remember a time before they were invented. But it wasn't until June 27, 1967, that Barclays Bank began serving London customers with the first of the newfangled cash dispensers. Nowadays, a new ATM comes online somewhere in the world every three minutes.

To mark the 50th anniversary of ATMs, here's a peek at some extraordinary ATMs (a pipe-organ version! one that speaks Cockney!) and a few surprising tidbits about the machines that revolutionized the way we access our cash.

A gold-plated ATM marks the site of the very first ATM, in London. Photo by David Parry/PA Wire

ATMs with reach

Photo by ATM Industry Association

ATMs with personality

Canada Trust dubbed its ATM "Johnny Cash" and hired its namesake for a few TV promos in 1985.

ATMs with pizzazz

In the 21st century, money machines take many forms.

Londoners have converted some of their iconic red payphone boxes to ATM booths.

Photo by Matt Brown

This probably is the droid you're looking for: In Zagreb, Croatia, there's an ATM in the form of Star Wars' R2D2.

Photo by Josip Misolongin

Photo by thefuturistics

Photo by Bill McChesney

Photo by Mark Faviell

Photo by George Grinsted

Photo by Gold to Go

Photo by KryptoNatasha

Photo by Cory Doctorow

Photo by Seth Schoen

Among all these variations, one constant is that ATMs have freed bank customers from their local branches and eased day-to-day scheduling by extending "bankers' hours" around the clock. No wonder they're everywhere. And who knows what the next 50 years will bring?

Caren Weiner Campbell is a staff writer at at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ccampbell@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ccampbell_nw.

The article 50 Years of ATMs: Surprising Facts, Unusual Machines originally appeared on NerdWallet.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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