ATM inventor makes $ 15 in 50 years on his idea

    The patent system allows inventors of many popular things to earn millions of US dollars. I remember, in some American comedy, the moment was played out where one of the heroines of the film is a very wealthy person, since her grandmother invented the spring for the toaster, and the whole family still receives deductions from the producers of toasters. In general, this is close to the truth, despite the fact that the film is a comedy.

    But there are exceptions. James Goodfellow, a patented device for automatically issuing paper money to bank customers, earned almost nothing. He got $ 15, and that’s it. But billions of people use ATMs, millions of devices themselves (3 million, more precisely). The Guardian

    Editionpublished an interview with Goodfellow, in which the inventor shared the story of the creation of an ATM. Rather, of its prototype, there are still some differences between the original invention and modern ATMs. The inventor claims that the very concept of a money issuing machine came to mind not only to him, but here is the idea that led to the creation of the ATM - namely him. Here he recalls the Wright brothers who did not create the very concept of flight, along with them (and before them) a lot of people were engaged in this. But they created a working prototype of the aircraft, which was able to fly, and therefore they are considered to be the creators of the aircraft.

    Goodfellow says that few people know about his patent, and he himself did not tell anyone until 2005, when the reward for the invention of the ATM was received by a completely different person, John Shepherd-Barron (John Shepherd-Barron). The award is the Order of the British Empire. Interestingly, Goodfellow received a similar order, but not for the invention of an ATM, but for the idea of ​​introducing pin codes for these devices. Shepherd-Barron, by the way, does not have a patent for a device for dispensing cash to bank customers, although he created a similar device at about the same time as Goodfellow.

    The system for issuing cash to customers of banks at any time was created by Goodfellow in the mid-60s. Then he worked for a large company, Kelvin Hughes. The task to develop a system for issuing money after the end of the working day was received from the authorities. As a result, the inventor came up with a system that could issue funds to a bank client after his, client, identification. The identification process was two-factor - the client had to insert a special plastic card into the slot with perforated holes (their placement was unique for each client), plus enter your PIN code (10-digit).

    A system for issuing money was created, and the first such machine was installed in 1967 in one of the branches of Westminster Bank.

    A similar authorship system by another inventor, Shepherd-Burrow, was also established in 1967, a month earlier than the Goodfellow system. Nevertheless, the patent for the invention belongs to the hero of this publication. He filed patent applications in a bureau of 15 countries. The analogue also issued money after identifying the client, but here we did not use a plastic card, but a check with a carbon isotope, carbon-14.

    Goodfellow's authorship has already been recognized by the government. And in the book Life in the United Kingdom (it should be studied by those who would like to obtain British citizenship), Goodfellow is already indicated as the creator of the ATM.

    According to him, the invention did not change his life. But Goodfellow is happy with everything. “I really enjoyed doing my job,” says the inventor of the ATM.

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