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Old 09-30-2016, 12:11 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 19,901
I once had a job as an IBM Proof Machine Operator, as did hundreds of workers in large downtown banks. I doubt if that exists anymore.

A Proof Machine was how all checks were sorted at all banks before the printed coding was implemented. An operator read the check, entered the amount on a keyboard with the right hand, then fed the check into a slot with the left hand after punching one of 32 buttons that controlled the sorting mechanism. The check was whisked into one of the 32 pockets in a drum mechanism and 32 printing adding machines in the rear kept tabs on the dollar contents of each, plus one for the running grand total.

This machine was the only one at the time that could handle any piece of paper of the rough size and shape of a check, and didn't require the standard IBM punch cards.

In the bank where I worked, I developed a routine (which involved programming the machine's plugboard) to handle loan payments. What took an assistant auditor most of the day I was able to do in about an hour. The auditor was overjoyed, but my boss didn't like it much -- she was afraid I'd screw up the machine, as no one had ever reprogrammed it before and she didn't know what those wires and plugs did.

Last edited by Musicat; 09-30-2016 at 12:16 PM.