From the moment the velvet curtain was drawn back at a Barclays branch in London’s Enfield, the way we bank was altered forever. On the 50th anniversary of the unveiling of the world’s first ATM, we look back through the archives at this historic invention.
Today we think nothing of stepping up to a hole in the wall to withdraw money, but until the late 1960s, getting hold of cash required a trip to the bank during office hours.
That restriction was lifted fifty years ago today, on 27 June 1967, when the world’s first ATM (automated teller machine) was ceremoniously unveiled at a branch of Barclays Bank in Enfield, north London. The then Barclays deputy chairman Sir Thomas Bland was given the honour of drawing back a velvet curtain installed for the purpose, while comedy actor Reg Varney, best known for the sitcom On the Buses, made the first withdrawal – although he wasn’t suddenly cash rich, as the machine only permitted users to withdraw £10 at a time.