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ABSTRACT
<p>This is the second article in a series about computer use at Bank of America. (The first appeared in the Annals, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 44-57.) In the early 1950s Bank of America and Stanford Research Institute collaborated to produce "ERMA," the Electronic Recording Machine -Accounting. After a successful demonstration in 1955, BofA was besieged by companies interested in manufacturing the computer system. Following an extensive selection process, BofA gambled on General Electric. Together the bank and GE worked to produce 32 ERMA systems in a remarkably short time. The leading-edge system was transistorized and incorporated the newly accepted MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) method for reading checks. The system's impact was felt not just by BofA, but by the entire banking industry The ERMA effort clearly demonstrates that a knowledgeable user working with competent technologists can design and implement a system that meets critical needs with state-of-the-art technology.</p>
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CITATION
Amy Weaver Fisher, James L. McKenney, "Manufacturing the ERMA Banking System: Lessons from History", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 15, no. , pp. 7-26, October-December 1993, doi:10.1109/85.238388
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