Tillie the All-Time Teller
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A screenshot of an advertisement for Tillie the All-Time Teller
|Type||Automated teller machine|
|Manufacturer||First National Bank of Atlanta|
Tillie the All-Time Teller was one of the first ATMs, 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, and could greet people by name. Many banks hired women dressed as this person to show their customers how to use Tillie the All-Time Teller.
It was introduced by the First National Bank of Atlanta on May 15, 1974. It started out at only eleven locations. They were in commerce starting May 20, 1974. 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, including on a college campus. 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."
Tillie the All-Time Teller machines were red and gold to make them look more attractive. On the bottom left was the place to enter an "access card," which featured a cartoon character. Above that was a place to enter a "secret code" that the customer chose. On the bottom center was a picture of a cartoon blonde girl with china-blue eyes 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
Customers could use Tillie the All-Time Teller by following these steps:
- Inserting an "Alltime Tellercard"
- Following instructions presented on its TV screen
- Entering a "secret code" and entering a desired amount of money on the "money keyboard" ($200 was the limit)
- The machine would automatically hand out the desired amount of money.
- Entering a transaction envelope into the deposit slot
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.
In popular culture
The word "Tillie" has become a slang to describe any ATM.
- King, Wayde (May 19, 1976). "The automatic bank tellers are here". The Dispatch. N.Y. Times News Service. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- Computer Digest, Volumes 9-11. American Data Processing. 1974. p. 406. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- Grayson, Richard (February 13, 2015). University Drive. Lulu.com. p. 49. ISBN 1312917660. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "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.
- "Tillie the Alltime Teller" (PDF). United States Patent Office. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- "3. Hour Convenience Of Tillie The Alltime Teller At 70 Locations". Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- "In Fact, You're Going to Love Me 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year".
- Ravitz, Jennifer (October 15, 2013). "'I'm the original voice of Siri'". CNN. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- "Dub Rogers - KLBK Archival Footage, no. 9 - American State Bank". Texas Archive of the Moving Image.
- Billips, Mike. "Since '78, Atlanta lost banks, but not economic power". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- Advertisement:I'm Tillie : Florida National's Alltime Teller, Page 10A, Lakeland Ledger - Oct 17, 1979
- "Tillie The All Time Teller" from Wells Fargo (from archive.org)