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A: London, England, United Kingdom

The Banker's Clearing House, the First Large-Scale Data Processing Organization, is Founded

Circa 1810 to 1832
"The New York Clearing House." Bankers depositing checks in other bankers

"The New York Clearing House." Bankers depositing checks in other bankers' check boxes for clearing.

Early in the 19th century, the first Banker's Clearing House was founded in the City of London by Lubbock's Bank on Lombard Street in a single room where clerks for London banks met each day to exchange checks and settle accounts. In 1832 Charles Babbage, who was a friend of a founder of the Clearing House, described how the Clearing House operated in his The Economy of Machinery and Manufactures:

"In a large room in Lombard Street, about 30 clerks from the several London bankers take their stations, in alphabetical order, at desks placed round the room; each having a small open box by his side, and the name of the firm to which he belongs in large characters on the wall above his head. From time to time other clerks from every [banking] house enter the room, and passing along, drop into the box the cheques due by that firm to the house from which this distributor is sent."

"Beginning at 5 pm, a clerk for each debtor bank was called to go to a rostrum to pay in cash to the Inspector of the Clearing House the amount their bank owed to other banks on that day. After all of the debtor clerks had paid the Inspector, each clerk for the banks that were owed money went to the rostrum to collect the money owed to their bank. The total cash paid by the debtor banks equaled the total cash collected by the creditor banks. On the rare occasions when the total paid did not equal the total collected, other clerks working for the Inspector would examine the paper trail of documents so that the numerical errors could be found and corrected." (Wikipedia article on Banker' clearing house, accessed 9-2020).

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