NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - The first ATM installed in a bank in the United States was in Rockville Center, Long Island, 50 years ago this month.
To commemorate the implementation of the revolutionary machine, Nassau County officials honored its inventor on Friday by naming the day 'Donald Weltzel Day.
Chase Bank of Rockville Center (formerly Chemical Bank of Rockville Centre) unveiled the automated teller machine on September 2, 1969.
Wetzel, now 93, used his background at Docutel, the Texas-based company he owned that made automated baggage handling equipment, to help create the first 'cash box.'
Before the invention of the ATM, bank customers had until 5 p.m. to make withdrawals.
Wetzel, frustrated one evening that he had to wait as the bank was nearing closing time, decided to take action.
“So much of what they were doing was withdrawals, and it struck me as I was standing in line, that there ought to be a machine that could do that,” Wetzel told Fox News in 2016. “And something that didn’t need the bank to be open – customers could get money 24 hours, seven days a week. I thought it would be marketable, and it turns out it was.”
The ATM took 11 months to create.
There are now 3.5 million ATMS installed around the world.
“It was a pleasure and the honor of a lifetime to be recognized today by the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, as well as Chase Bank, for my invention 50 years ago. It’s been a privilege being back here in Rockville Centre for this special occasion, and I thank everyone who joined in this celebration of this milestone,” said Wetzel.
The first automatic teller machine in the world was installed in London in 1967.