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NCR Post Tronic

1957-1970 USA

by J.F.van Hanswijk Pennink
retired employee of NCR 1961-1995











This is one of the machines that meant a mile stone product for NCR

The Post Tronic was developed from the NCR Class 2000, with a magnetic card reader/writer, and a coupled paper tape recorder. This machine meant a technological breakthrough for all banking institutions. It eliminated double bookings that generated many mistakes, because mutations were put separately on the accountslip and the customer card.
The magnetic record card developed by NCR read the previous saldo, clientnumber and line position. This technology prevented a lot of errors. After entering the mutations the machine printed them on the booking card and also wrote the changes to the magnetic strip on the back of this card. In the same time mutations were punched on a papertape. At the end of the day the tape was send to the computer center for further processing, and account slips were printed.
Because of this succesful introduction of the magnetic book keeping cards in combination with the Post Tronic machine NCR gained a large share in the banking market.

In one of the pictures of the Post-Tronic an NCR 461 papertape recorder is shown. This recorder was equipped with a parity check for each character. The machine stopped immediately when an error occured. This parity check could be set to even or uneven parity check. Seldom have I experienced that this error occured, which proves how well this papertape machine was constructed

When the Post Tronic was developed allmost the entire company was against the machine They believed that this machine would become obsolete by the computer. But when Owen B. Gardner, head of sales for the accounting machine department and later vice president, demonstrated the NCR Post-Tronic to the banking industry, they became so enthiousiastic that Stanley C. Allyn, then CEO re-activated the development of the NCR Post-Tronic. That this was a good decision shown by the fact that the machine stayed in use untill the end of 1970 at banking institutions

Some 4000 Post-Tronic were sold in 1959, 6000 in 1960 By 1960 the Post-Tronic had been installed in 50 states in the USA and 20 different countries, totalling a value of USD 100 million. Because of this success NCR had quite some money to invest in the development of computers. Experience gained with the Post Tronic was used with the development of the NCR 390 computer.

The first Post-Tronic was installed on 22 April 1957 at Passaic-Clifton National Bank of Passaic in New Jersey. For the occasion 15 reporters were flown in from New York per helicopter to report on this newest NCR product. This demonstration was also seen by some 300 bankers and business people.

This memorable day ended with a big gala dinner and resulted in 800 orders.

see also NCR Class 2000








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