Another Scots inventor...

A friend of mine told me he heard a report on Spanish radio about the death of the Scottish inventor of the cash machine. To be honest I had never heard of him, so I did a bit of googling. The hole-in-the-wall is another one on the long list of Scottish inventions which includes:
  • fax machine - Alexander Bain
  • television - John Logie Baird
  • telephone - Alexander Graham Bell
  • penicillin - Alexander Fleming
  • pneumatic tyre - John Dunlop
  • colour photography - James Clerk Maxwell
  • steam engine - James Watt
  • radar - Robert Watson - Watt
  • ultrasound scanner - Ian Donald
  • refrigerator - William Cullen
  • thermos flask - James Dewar
  • tarmac - John McAdam
  • anaesthetics - James Young Simpson
And I could go on..... Not bad for a small country!

Cashpoint inventor cheques out

THE Scots brainbox who invented the first hole-in-the-wall cash machine has died aged 84.

John Shepherd-Barron came up with* the idea for an ATM in the 1960s as he soaked in the BATH.

The married dad-of-three, who also devised the four-digit PIN number, passed away* at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness last weekend after a short illness.

John - who had his brainwave after turning up* at his bank too late to withdraw money - based his prototype on a vending machine.

He then bumped into* a bigwig at Barclays Bank and sold him the idea over a pink gin.

The businessman, from Portmahomack, Easter Ross, saw his first ATM installed at Barclays' Enfield branch in London on June 27, 1967, with On The Buses star Reg Varney the first person to withdraw cash.

Customers originally inserted a cheque impregnated with carbon 14 - a mildly RADIOACTIVE substance - instead of plastic and it paid out a maximum of £10.

There are now nearly two million dispensers worldwide, supplying two-thirds of all cash, but John made NO money from his invention.

He once explained: "In 1965 I was one minute late at my bank and it was closed. That night, I started thinking there must be a better way to get cash when I wanted it. I thought of the chocolate vending machine, where money was put in a slot and a bar dispatched. Surely money could be dispensed like that."

John was born in 1925 in India, where his father was involved in building ports, before the family moved back to Scotland. He was boss of De La Rue Instruments - printing over 140 currencies and New York Stock Exchange certificates - before becoming chairman of Security Express.

John also invented other less-well-known devices, including one which played killer whale sounds in a bid to deter seals from salmon farms He was awarded an OBE for services to banking in 2005, and after retiring to Wester Ross tried his hand at SNAIL FARMING.

John leaves wife Caroline, sons Nicholas, James and Andrew, and six grandchildren.

Hole lot of facts about our ATMs

1) John Shepherd-Barron came up with the idea while relaxing in his bath.

2) The Scot thought the hole-in-the-wall would get around the restrictive 1960s bank opening hours - between 9am and 3pm.

3) The Personal Identification Number (PIN) was down to* Mrs Shepherd-Barron. It was supposed to be six digits, but she told him she could best remember four.

4) The first ATM was showcased in 1965 at Barclay's in Enfield.

5) Early machines were quickly vandalised.

6) When Japan unveiled its first ATM a crowd of 10,000 gathered.

7) In the UK there are now over 70,000 ATMs and 1.8m worldwide.

8) Over £172billion is withdrawn worldwide.

9) The first ATM fraud was at a mall in Manchester, Connecticut, in 1993. By modifying the inner workings, a gang known as The Bucklands Boys stole information from cards put into the machine.

10) The first mechanical cash dispenser was in New York City in 1939. It lasted just six months because customers could not bring themselves to use a "hole in the wall".

Source: The Scottish Sun

This article is from a tabloid newspaper so the language might be on the difficult side.

Take the headline for instance. It is, as they often are in tabloids, a play on words. Check out is usually when you leave a hotel.

And you will also find examples of *phrasal verbs:

come up with: to think of or to suggest a plan or idea, a solution to a problem, or an answer to a question
  • Can you come up with a better idea?
  • We need to come up with a solution before the boss discovers there is a problem.
pass away: a gentler way to say someone has died
  • The elderly man passed away in his sleep.

turn up: if someone turns up somewhere, they arrive at that place
  • She turned up at class 10 minutes late and without a notebook and pen.
  • What time did she eventually turn up?
bump into: to meet someone you know when you have not planned
  • You'll never guess who I bumped into on the way here. 
  • He bumped into his boss in the supermarket when he should have been at work.
be down to: because of, thanks to
  • What's the secret of your success? It's all down to hard work.
  • The rise in sales figures was down to the recent good weather.


Miriam said…
Scottish people are really creative.

What´s the matter with you?

Don´t hide your skills¡

Have a good day¡
Graham said…
Miriam, you are soooo predictable! How did I know that you'd make such a comment? lol

Maybe I should put my mind to inventing something for the whole world to remember me by.....
Miriam said…
Today is a busy day, but I don´t have to spend a lot of time here, because You know whatever I´m going to say because You are Sooooooo.............clever¡¡¡

See you¡
Graham said…
As busy as a bee is Miriam!

C U!
Miriam said…
Hi Graham:

I don´t know if it´s good to be a bee, but I´m sure I´d prefer to be a wedding guest,especially in Mallorca.

C U¡ just in case¡ I don´t know its meaning.

Have a sooooooooooooooo enjoyable weekend¡ It´s sure¡
Graham said…
Hi Miriam

I'm back from Mallorca. I'll tell you all about it soon and post a photo here as soon as I find the cable for the camera.

"C U" means "see you" :-)
Miriam said…
Wellcome back Graham¡

Have you hidden your cable?

If I don´t forget it, I´ll take you a car reader and You won´t have excuses..........

I really like "C U".

Thank you¡

C U¡¡¡¡¡
Graham said…
Hi Miriam

I have tried your card reader but I can't seem to get the hang of it.

You will just have to be patient and wait until I find the cable.

"welcome back!"

C U!
Miriam said…
If you looked for the cable,I could be patient...........

You can try the card reader in other way, And You had to tell us all about your weekend, well, something could be enough, but nothing is soooooooooo........... Do you know?

I´ll be waiting.........

C U ¡
Graham said…
I can't get your card reader to work and I haven't found the cable for my camera - yet!

aahhhh!!! I live in fear of Miriam.
Miriam said…
Oh Graham:

You must be extremely careful¡¡

I´ve heard absolutely horrible things about her.
She´s really dangerous¡
You ought to do whatever she say¡

C U ¡
Graham said…
This post has become a Miriam - Graham show. jejeje

I've got the camera but still minus the cable. It's a Sony make and called Cyber-shot.

Can you help?
Miriam said…
Hi Graham:

I can help ¡¡¡

I have a Sony Cibershot cable and another car reader, I have an adaptor for Sony cards too.

Why don´t bring the camera? Yes, I´m impatient......

I hope don´t forget anything¡¡¡

Do whatever you want but .........Be careful with Miriam¡¡

Could you get it?????

C U¡¡¡¡
Miriam said…
Hi Graham:

I´ve done all of the mini-checks at the book ending.
Could you give me the answers, please?
I don´t understand very well my last comment, I hope you do, and
we can have a happy ending with the photo most searched¡¡¡

C U ¡
Graham said…
All of the mini-checks AT THE END OF the book? You have been working your socks off lol

I'll try not to forget to photocopy the answers.

To be honest, I didn't understand all of your last comment. But don't worry; I got the gist.

Good news then! I love happy endings. lol

C U in a bit!