Today was the 50 anniversary of Automatic Teller machine the beloved Cash point with its multiple functions ! It is an indespinsible part of our lives now worldwide !
John Shepherd-Barron once explained that he came up with the idea of cash dispensers in 1965 while lying in his bath after finding his bank closed. It was then his habit to withdraw money on a Saturday, but on this particular weekend he had arrived one minute late and found the bank doors locked against him.
Later that year, he bumped into the chief general manager of Barclays Bank who was about to have lunch. Over a pink gin, Shepherd-Barron asked him for 90 seconds to pitch his idea for a cash machine.
“I told him I had an idea that if you put your standard Barclays cheque through a slot in the side of the bank, it will deliver standard amounts of money around the clock.
“He said, ‘Come and see me on Monday morning’.”
Barclays commissioned Shepherd-Barron to build six cash dispensers, the first of which was installed at a branch in the north London suburb of Enfield on June 27 , 1967 .
Shepherd -Barron was born at Shillong India in 1925 & later served in the Indian Army in Second Airborne division where he taught Gurkhas to parachute
He also invented the PIN by recalling his Indian Army number, he had originally intended to make personal identification numbers (PINs) six digits long, but reduced the number to four when his wife, Caroline, complained that six was too many. “Over the kitchen table, she said she could only remember four figures, so because of her, four figures became the world standard,” he recalled.
All this was possible due to decades earlier a mathematical prodigy by the name of Srinivas Ramanujan —A mathematical genius of India.
Unconventional Genius mathematician Srinivas Ramunujam had no formal training in mathematics and would not get further education in Madras university and his English boss at Madras Port trust encouraged him to write to Prof Hardy of Trinity College Cambridge
He wrote a big letter with his equations which held Hardy’s interest and he secured him an admission without necessary prerequisites or hard Tripos Exam
He would have not made it to Cambridge and world fame if rules were not broken for him and at Trinity college he came up with partition theory
He was one of the earliest & youngest Indian to be awarded the Fellow of Royal Society !
When you put your debit or credit card in the machine and order the machine to dispense the amount of your desire the machine divides and arranges your money before dispensing it, using Ramanujan’s partition theory, which is as:
A partition of a positive integer n is just an expression for n as a sum of positive integers, regardless of order. Thus p(4) = 5 because 4 can be written as 1+1+1+1, 1+1+2, 2+2, 1+3, or 4.
The ATM machine the machine arranges the correct money to be dispensed according to Ramanujan’s Partition theory.
My salute to these two fine Gentlemen !