The Community for Technology Leaders
RSS Icon
Subscribe
Issue No.01 - January-March (1993 vol.15)
pp: 44-57
ABSTRACT
<p>In the early 1950s banking was faced with a paper-handling crisis. Banks were unable to keep on top of the rising number of checks and were unable to retain bookkeeping staff. Bank of America, then the largest bank in the world, turned to Stanford Research Institute to develop an automated bookkeeping and proofing system. SRI and BofA worked together to create ERMA (electronic recording machine - accounting) and to develop the MICR (magnetic-ink character recognition) check coding system. The work on this project demonstrates the necessity of senior executive involvement, strong leadership, and innovative engineering.</p>
CITATION
Amy Weaver Fisher, James L. McKenney, "The Development of the ERMA Banking System: Lessons from History", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.15, no. 1, pp. 44-57, January-March 1993, doi:10.1109/85.194091
REFERENCES
1. E.L. Van Deusen, "The Coming Victory Over Paper,"Fortune, Oct. 1955, p. 132.
2. "How Banking Tames Its Paper Tiger,"Business Review, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, May 1960.
3. E.D. Spina, "Magnetic Character Recognition," Report to International Standards Organization Technical Committee/97 Working Group C on Character Recognition by US Delegation, Oct. 1962, p. 2.
4. A.R. Zipf, interview at Oroville, Calif., Oct. 23, 1989, Harvard Business School, Boston.
5. "Study of Check Collection System," Report of the Joint Committee on Check Collection System to the American Bankers Association, Association of Reserve City Bankers, Conference of Presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks, June 15, 1954, p. 1.
6. "Sixty-four Years of Growth of Bank of America NT&SA," Bank of America, San Francisco, 1968.
7. "Bank of America NT&SA and Bankamerica Corporation: A Brief Historical Sketch," Bank of America, San Francisco, Sept. 1974.
8. J. Schermerhorn, "S. Clark Beise dies at 91: headed BofA,"San Francisco Examiner, Oct. 25, 1989.
9. J.D. Noe, interview at Seattle, Oct. 20, 1989, Harvard Business School, Boston.
10. Memorandum to History Files, from W.B. Gibson, SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., 1954.
11. "Our Future with Erma,"The Bankamerican, Bank of America, San Francisco, Oct. 1955.
12. "A Resume of the Development of the Electronic Recording Machine (ERM)," SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., July 20, 1955.
13. "The Development of ERMA," SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., Sept. 1955.
14. "A History of the Electronic Recording Machine (ERM)," SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., June 1, 1955.
15. Memorandum to T.H. Morrin, from O. Whitby, "Project X- 104," SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., Nov. 14, 1950.
16. Memorandum to T.H. Morrin, J. Lovewell, and J. Noe, from O. Whitby, SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., July 27, 1950.
17. Memorandum to T.H. Morrin, from J.D. Noe, SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., July 17, 1950.
18. A.R. Zipf, telephone interview, May 11, 1991, Harvard Business School, Boston.
19. O. Whitby, "Project Diary #385: Background Work on Project," SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., May 30, 1951.
20. "Appendix A: Specifications of an Electronic Recording Machine (ERM), SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., Jan. 21, 1952.
21. A.R. Zipf,Eastern Trips: Reports to the Managing Committee of Bank of America, Bank of America, San Francisco, May 1954 to Mar. 1958.
22. O. Whitby, "Project Dateline," SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., 1951.
23. T.H. Morrin, interview at San Francisco, Oct. 18, 1989, Harvard Business School, Boston.
24. T.H. Morrin, "Outline of Memoirs of Thomas H. Morrin on 'ERMA,' 1949-1957," SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., 1973.
25. T.H. Morrin, letter to authors, Harvard Business School, Boston, June 28, 1991.
26. J.A. Kley, interview at Naples, Fla., Nov. 30, 1989, Harvard Business School, Boston.
27. F.J. Kamphoefner, interviews at Menlo Park, Calif., July 3, Oct. 18, 1989, Harvard Business School, Boston.
28. C.B. Clark, telephone interview, Jan. 24, 1990, Harvard Business School, Boston.
29. T.H. Morrin, letter to authors, Harvard Business School, Boston, Feb. 5, 1990.
30. B. Cox, interview at Menlo Park, Calif., Oct. 18, 1989, Harvard Business School, Boston.
31. J. Goldberg, interviews at Menlo Park, Calif., July 3, Oct. 18, 1989, Harvard Business School, Boston.
32. "ERMA: Electronic Recording Machine, Accounting," SRI, Menlo Park, Calif., Sept. 1955, p. 11.
33. US Patent No. 3,000,000, issued to Kenneth R. Eldredge and General Electric Co., Washington, D.C., Sept. 12, 1961.
34. J.L. McKenney, "Developing a Common Machine Language for Banking: Lessons from History," working paper, Harvard Business School, Boston, 1991.
35. R.A. Folsom, letter to authors, Harvard Business School, Boston, June 7, 1992.
36. Memorandum to J.R. Davis and Fred Yeates, from H.A. Leif, "Formal Name for the ERM," Bank of America, San Francisco, Aug. 8, 1955.
27 ms
(Ver 2.0)

Marketing Automation Platform Marketing Automation Tool