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ATM inventor still can't cash in at home

The idea behind the Don's ATM began in 1968.

Senior citizens don't always embrace new technology, but this is unbelievable.

“I have never used an ATM," said Eleanor Wetzel.

That wouldn't be so shocking if her husband wasn't Donald Wetzel.

“The inventor of the ATM," he said.

"I like my little bank on the corner and I like the tellers," Eleanor said.

The idea behind the Don's ATM began in 1968.

Before meeting his wife, Don was hired by a Dallas company called Docutel. His job was to create new technology the company could sell.

But when Don searched his brain for ideas, he was bankrupt.

Until pay day, literal pay day.

Don had just gotten his check and needed to cash it, but when he got to the bank the line was more than an hour long.

“And I just got agitated because I didn’t want to spend an hour, two hours just trying to cash a check," he said.

Don figured there had to be an easier and faster way to get cash.

The ATM was his answer.

Using the ATM was easy, but marketing it was a hard sell. In fact, the first banker who hear Don's idea nearly laughed in his face.

“He thought I was nuts," Don said. "He thought it was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard.”

Even Don has low expectations.

“I think we thought if we could sell 4,000 of these machines it would be a very successful product for the company.”

I asked Don how many ATMs exist now.

"[There are] 3.5 million installed.”

Don and his ATM were featured in magazines, newspapers, even the Smithsonian.

Today, just about the only place you won't find an ATM is in front of his wife.

“Believe me, I’ve supported him a lot in these 46 years and I don’t intend to stop," Eleanor said. "But that’s not a way I’ll do it.”

Take that to the bank.

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