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Donald Wetzel

Donald C. Wetzel (born ca. 1920) is an American engineer known for holding the USA patent to the automatic teller machine.[1]

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana he graduated from Jesuit High School (New Orleans) (1947) and got a B.Sc. in foreign trade from Loyola University New Orleans (1951).[2] He was also professional in minor-league baseball for New York Giants farm system (1948–51), and began working for IBM in his hometown (1951–55) before moving to Fort Worth, Texas as branch manager (1955) and as consultant to the banking industry in San Antonio, Texas (1956–1963) and Houston, Texas (1963–65).

His engineering fame came while working as vice president of the automated baggage handling company Docutel Corporation of Irving, Texas which he joined (1968). He designed the Docuteller machine (1968) that entered production at Chemical Bank in New York City (1969) and was patented (1973). Later he founded three financial systems companies, the Financial Systems & Equipment Corporation (1973), Electronic Banking Systems, Inc. (1979) and Autosig Systems, Inc. (1982) from which he eventually retired (1989), still living in Dallas.



  1. ^ U.S. Patent 3,761,682
  2. ^ Smithsonian : Interview with Don Wetzel
  3. ^ biography from IEEE
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