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Luther Simjian

AKA Luther George Simjian

Born: 28-Jan-1905
Birthplace: Gaziantep, Turkey
Died: 23-Oct-1997
Location of death: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Inventor, Business
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Invented automated teller machine

Luther Simjian was born in Turkey, but was separated from his family in the Armenian genocide. He made his way to America, where he became a successful inventor, best known for devising the first automated teller machine. In his teens he worked in a Connecticut photography shop, and was eventually hired as a medical photographer at Yale, where he devised a self-focusing camera, colorized x-rays, and new methods for underwater photography and projecting microscope images. His first invention to pierce the public consciousness was the PhotoReflex, often found in department stores in the 1930s, that allowed customers to pose in front of a mirror, then choose the exact moment to click the automated camera. Customers' photos were developed and mailed to customers from Simjian's PhotoReflex Co.

After leaving Yale, he invented the Reflect One mirror chair, which had mirrors that allowed its occupant to see herself from several different angles. Reflect One led to Simjian's Reflectone Company, an ancestor of CAE that built its aerospace reputation from Simjian's development of flight simulators for military aircraft and an air flight speedometer. He held 219 patents, including an early teleprompter, a golf simulator, a predecessor of ultrasound, a coffee processor, a meat tenderizer, and an automatic teller machine -- first tested in 1961, introduced by CitiBank in 1968, and withdrawn after six months due to lack of customer acceptance. The ATMs which have been ubiquitous since the 1980s were of a different design, and Simjian received no royalties.

Wife: Gladys Cannon Simjian (b. circa 1911, d. Oct-2005)
Daughter: Maryjo Simjian Garre

    Reflectone Founder & President (1935-61)
    PhotoReflex Co. Founder & President (1929-35)
    National Republican Senatorial Committee
    Naturalized US Citizen
    Armenian Ancestry


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