Technology, fashion shows and baseball from 1962
Flash BACKS As many of you may know, North*Western Financial Review has a long proud history as a financial news magazine-one that extends back for more than 100 years. My journalistic predecessors began bringing industry news to the forefront first in 1894.
Today, as I attempt to live up to the standards my forbearers have laid out before me, I am constantly aware that just a few feet outside of my office lies a vast and detailed archive of a history that begs to be explored. I really get a kick out of browsing through our library archives and reading some of the news items and advertisements that ran in some of our past issues and I thought you might too. Take a moment and step back in time with me-let me share some of the interesting items I found from the year 1962.
...In January, 1962, in defense of his decision denying the application for merger of the First National City Bank of New York and the National Bank of Wetchester, the Comptroller of the Currency, James J. Saxon, stated that he had "considerable doubt that there can exist effective monopoly power in commercial banking as it operates in this country today." He expressed dismay at the "considerable overemphasis on an alleged lack of competition in banking" and pointed out that "smaller institutions by-an-large are growing at a faster rate than are the largest banks."
I am sure that Saxon's words ring true for community bankers today. When we look at the strength of independent and community banks in America, there is no denying the competition in banking is still going strong 39 years later. ...Also in January, First National Bank of Minneapolis held its first public showing of a Twins baseball movie, "Minnesota Twins: Pride of the Upper Midwest," a 27-minute documentary on the team's first Major League season in the Twin Cities. The film's premier, held at the Radisson Hotel in Minneapolis, drew a crowd of 750 people. The film, shot in 16-mm with sound and color, later earned a Chris certificate award from the Columbus, Ohio Film Festival in October of that year. Of course, being an immense Twins fan, I would love to see this film. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of a copy of this documentary, don't hesitate to write.
...Peppered throughout our issues in 1962 were ads for Mosler's"new"Auto-Banker, a revolutionary TV banking system that operated much as a modern drive-thru or drive-up ATM might, with one exception: the teller, working from inside the bank, would be televised on a small screen in a free-standing kiosk where customers could make transactions and get "the full range of the bank's services without leaving the front seat."
With nine new Auto-Banker installations scheduled for 1962 alone, I couldn't help but wonder about the fate of the TV system. I contacted Bill Fessler, vice president of Bank One, formerly Gary-Wheaton Bank, Wheaton, Ill., one of the banks scheduled to install an Auto-Banker that year. Fessler chuckled when I brought up the old Mosler system. He told me that he not only remembered the Auto-Banker, but that the Lake Forest Bank One location actually has a similar, more updated version of the TV system in place today.
...In February, Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis, now Wells Fargo, received its first shipment of components of a multi-million dollar GE-210 computer system. The data system was implemented in April and was used in demand deposit accounting. The system featured a maximum efficiency of sorting and verifying 2,400 checks every minute. This is a pretty impressive output, considering that today's Wells Fargo sorters, IBM-3890s, have a rated speed of 2,000 checks per minute. Who said that 1960s technology is outdated?
...Northwestern National Bank was also the site of a spring Fashion show in observance of"Spring Fashion Week," March 12-16. The bank's interior was decorated with flowers flown in from Hawaii, California and Oregon and the fashion shows were staged atop a temporary enclosure in the lobby Peggy Henry Matthews, Midwest editor for Mademoiselle magazine was the fashion commentator for one of the shows, which highlighted a "return to femininity for the coming season." Several Northwestern Bank guards were pressed into service as "actors" during the show.
...In the July 21, 1962 issue, our magazine reported that Minneapolis' Franklin National Bank "maintains a large illuminated signboard in its front yard. Messages are changed every few days. Current message says: WE ARE NOT AUTOMATED WE'RE ANIMATED."
Franklin National Bank, then not yet a year old, boasted deposits ofjust over $3 million, and had its sights set on breaking $4 million by its anniversary on August 1. Today, Franklin National Bank has two locations in Minneapolis and Plymouth, Minn., and has just recently broken ground for a new branch office in Minneapolis. The bank's deposits have grown to $58 million.