|Inventors of the Modern Computer|
|ERMA - the Electronic Recording Method of Accounting computer processing system invented at Stanford Research Institute.|
During the 1950s, researchers at the Stanford Research Institute invented "ERMA", the Electronic Recording Method of Accounting computer processing system. ERMA began as a project for the Bank of America in an effort to computerize the banking industry. ERMA computerized the manual processing of checks and account management and automatically updated and posted checking accounts. Stanford Research Institute also invented MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) as part of ERMA. MICR allowed computers to read special numbers at the bottom of checks that allowed computerized tracking and accounting of check transactions.
ERMA was first demonstrated to the public in 1955 (September), and first tested on real banking accounts in the fall of 1956. Production models (ERMA Mark II) of the ERMA computer were built by General Electric. Thirty-two units were delivered to the Bank of America in 1959 for full-time use as the bank's accounting computer and check handling system. ERMA computers were used into the 1970s.
According to Stanford Research Institute's website:
The Stanford Research Institute researchers behind ERMA and/or MICR were: Jerre Noe, Byron Bennett, C. Bruce Clark, Bonnar "Bart" Cox, Jack Goldberg, Fred Kamphoefner, Philip E. Merritt and Oliver W. Whitby, and others.
Photo provided by Marty Mallonee of