Mainframes in Daily Life
Computers were great for a bank’s accounting. But how about waiting on its customers?
Luther Simjian patented key parts of a cash-dispensing machine in the 1950s. A prototype was tested circa 1961. Functional ATMs, however, required improvements in real-time computing and database software, which evolved in the late 1960s.
Tillie the Teller was a successful ATM promoter for the First National Bank of Atlanta. An actress who played the fictional Tillie made live appearances.View Artifact Detail
Banks had to convince customers that their teller machines were safe and reliable. They didn’t publicize that the paper used by some of the first machines was slightly radioactive.View Artifact Detail
American Airlines pioneered machine-assisted reservations in 1946. Six years later, it joined with IBM to develop a more comprehensive computerized system: SABRE.
Tested in 1960, SABRE took over American’s reservations in 1964. By 2009, SABRE was an independent company making nearly 70 million transactions daily and offering a billion fare combinations.
SABRE was a joint American Airlines-IBM project. Operational in 1964, it was not the first computerized reservation system, but it was well-publicized and became very influential.View Artifact Detail
In the early 1950s, airlines relied on mostly manual systems to manage reservations.View Artifact Detail
TWA and other airlines were using Teleregister’s computerized “Magnetronic Reservisor” reservation system by the late 1950s. Teleregister started in the 1920s making stock market displays.View Artifact Detail
IBM developed the SABRE reservation system for American Airlines thanks to a chance encounter between the airline president and an IBM salesman on a commercial flight in 1953. Running on dual 7090 mainframes, SABRE was inspired by IBM’s work on the SAGE air-defense system.View Artifact Detail