Tillie the All-Time Teller

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Tillie the All-Time Teller
Tillie the All-Time Teller.jpeg
A screenshot of an advertisement for Tillie the All-Time Teller
Type Automated teller machine
Inception 1974 (1974)
Manufacturer First National Bank of Atlanta
Available Discontinued

Tillie the All-Time Teller was one of the first ATMs,[1] run by the First National Bank of Atlanta and considered to be one of the most successful ATMs in the banking industry. Tillie the All-Time Teller had a picture of a smiling blonde girl on the front of the machine to suggest it was user-friendly, had an apparent personality,[2] and could greet people by name.[3] Many banks hired women dressed as this person to show their customers how to use Tillie the All-Time Teller.

History[edit]

It was introduced by the First National Bank of Atlanta on May 15, 1974. It started out at only eleven locations.[4] They were in commerce starting May 20, 1974.[5] Starting 1977, other banks purchased rights to use Tillie the All-Time Teller as their ATM system. By March 21, 1981, they were available at 70 locations,[6] including on a college campus.[7] On October 15, 2013, Susan Bennett revealed that she played the voice for Tillie the All-Time Teller, noting that she "started [her] life as a machine quite young."[8]

Appearance[edit]

Tillie the All-Time Teller machines were red and gold to make them look more attractive.[2] On the bottom left was the place to enter an "access card," which featured a cartoon character.[2] Above that was a place to enter a "secret code" that the customer chose.[2] On the bottom center was a picture of a cartoon blonde girl with china-blue eyes[1] and a red hat. Above that was the place it handed out cash and coins. On the top right was the place to enter a desired amount of money.

How it worked[edit]

A diagram showing the steps to using Tillie the All-Time Teller

Customers could use Tillie the All-Time Teller by following these steps:

  1. Inserting an "Alltime Tellercard"
  2. Following instructions presented on its TV screen
  3. Entering a "secret code" and entering a desired amount of money on the "money keyboard" ($200 was the limit)
  4. The machine would automatically hand out the desired amount of money.
  5. Entering a transaction envelope into the deposit slot

Advertising[edit]

There were a variety of advertisements made by the First National Bank of Atlanta in order to promote Tillie the All-Time Teller. These include:

  • In one of the advertisements, a blonde woman that wore a red and white polka-dotted dress sang "I'm Tillie the All-Time Teller, I work for First National Bank" while standing beside the machine.
  • In another advertisement, a balding, middle-aged man approached the machine singing "If You Knew Tillie" to the tune of "If You Knew Susie." The song went like this:

Oh, if you knew Tillie like I know Tillie
Oh, oh, oh, what a girl!
She works to please me, to make life easy
Oh, oh, she makes my banking smooth and breezy
Day or nighttime, I don’t care
When I need money, I know my all-time teller’s there!
If you knew Tillie, like I know Tillie
Oh, oh, oh!

  • For Tillie the All-Time Teller's third anniversary, the machine was featured in an advertisement where they sang "She's a Jolly Good Teller." It originally aired on KSEL-TV and KAMC.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

The word "Tillie" has become a slang to describe any ATM.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b King, Wayde (May 19, 1976). "The automatic bank tellers are here". The Dispatch. N.Y. Times News Service. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Computer Digest, Volumes 9-11. American Data Processing. 1974. p. 406. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  3. ^ Grayson, Richard (February 13, 2015). University Drive. Lulu.com. p. 49. ISBN 1312917660. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  4. ^ "On May 15, 1974First National Bank of Atlanta (now part of Wells Fargo) introduced eleven new automated teller machines to customers". Google+. Wells Fargo. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Tillie the Alltime Teller" (PDF). United States Patent Office. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  6. ^ "3. Hour Convenience Of Tillie The Alltime Teller At 70 Locations". Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  7. ^ "In Fact, You're Going to Love Me 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year".
  8. ^ Ravitz, Jennifer (October 15, 2013). "'I'm the original voice of Siri'". CNN. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Dub Rogers - KLBK Archival Footage, no. 9 - American State Bank". Texas Archive of the Moving Image.
  10. ^ Billips, Mike. "Since '78, Atlanta lost banks, but not economic power". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 29 August 2015.

Bibliography[edit]