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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORWAY IN SEPTEMBER, c. 1920s

ATM: 1918

ATM: 1918

Washington, D.C., circa 1918. "Bankers Automatic Receiving Teller Co." These machines (designed to look like little bank buildings) were used, among other places, in the D.C. schools into the 1930s to encourage thrifty habits. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

First National Fark

Automaton

I still think it looks like it could take your lunch money and eat your lunch all on its own.

Learning Thrift

The pictured automatic savings machine was much fancier than most. The more common variety did not involve passbooks but rather distributed stamps redeemable at the bank.


Washington Post, Jul 31, 1923.

Pupils of the Capital Have Saved $57,846 in Automatic Banks

Pupils in the District's grade schools are learning thrift as well as their "three R's" it was shown in the annual report of the Dr. E.G. Kimball, chairman of the committee on the thrift, made public yesterday. Dr. Kimball reported that the grade pupils saved $57,846.32 with automatic school savings machines during the past yaer.

While Dr. Kimball's report is the first showing of a complete year's thrift work, it augurs well for the permanent establishment of the automatic saving machines in all of the graded schools. The machines were first placed in the public schools in March, 1921. In the four months they operated that year they enabled 8,457 pupils to save $9,006.31.

The automatic banks are slot machines placed on the walls of graded school buildings in a corridor much frequented by the pupils. There are slots for coins of different denominations. The pupil places a coin in the machine and by turning a crank receives a stamp representing the denomination of the coin inserted.

The stamps are placed in a folder with which the pupil is provided and after the folder is filled the pupil is given credit for it in a bank book. By arrangement with a bank the machines are kept filled with stamps and the money is counted and kept. Each school has a teller working in conjunction with the bank so that a double check is kept on the savings of the pupils.

First National

As a native Southern Marylander, rconnor, having a "First National Bank of Southern Maryland" seemed odd, though I suppose it isn't really. Looks like there is at least one surviving branch with this name in Upper Marlboro.

The wealth of the Indies

"As the Spanish proverb says, He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him. So it is in travelling; a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge." -- Samuel Johnson, Samuel

Also on Union Station in Washington:

Early Art Deco Clock Numerals

In response to Root 66, even though it's 1918, the numerals on the clock have a distinctive Art Deco appearance to them a full decade before that style existed!

[They're more Edwardian than Art Deco. - Dave]

First National Bank of Southern Maryland

That particular bank is still with us -- or the building is, at any rate (now an M&T bank), right in my neighborhood.

I don't know how to embed a Google maps iframe here, but here's a link to what it looks like today, among all the county offices and bail bondsmen.

You can see what it used to look like here

I so want one of these

This thing is just beautiful. I would give it a place of honor at home, and if it were in good shape, save my money in it.

HEAVY duty

A functional, manually operated, 1200 pound, cast iron, probably steam operated and in the guise of the actual bank, aahhhh, progress. But it is really nifty.

No, I don't mean "vocational"!

Vacational - now there's a word I've never run across. Google wants to know if I meant "vocational." Dictionary.com says "no dictionary results."

Sounds like a pretty good word to me. I have all sorts of vacational ideas for this summer. I wish I'd had this contraption to save up for them.

"Font"-tastic

I love the font for the clock numbers. Any ideas as to what it was called? I wish more machinery was as beautiful as it was functional.

A Matter of Trust

No doubt this machine could recognize and count the coins but the bills were a matter of trust. By the time I was in school in the early 1950's, the savings program in the schools was the Savings Stamp Program. You placed an order each week for stamps which I recall were twenty five cents each. They were pasted in a book and when you filled the book you received a twenty five dollar savings bond. I believe that this was a continuation of the War Bond Savings program of WWII.

One-way teller

Maybe we should have stuck with bank machines that only took money in versus spitting it out.

 
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