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"A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content."
- Theodore Sturgeon

Automatic Ticket Machine  
  Get your ticket to Trantor automatically.  

I'm not sure when the first machines that dispensed tickets (like subway tickets) first originated. I don't think that machines that could read paper currency were common until the 1980's.

And the voice that cut in on her was a thunderclap that iced the scream in her throat into a voiceless slash.

"Look, miss," it said, irritably, "are you using the ticket machine or are you just standing there?"

It was the first she realized that she was standing in front of a ticket machine. You put a high denomination bill into the clipper which sank out of sight. You pressed the button below your destination and a ticket came out together with the correct change as determined by an electronic scanning device that never made a mistake. It was a very ordinary thing and there is no cause for anyone to stand before it for five minutes. Arcadia plunged a two-hundred credit into the clipper, and was suddenly aware of the button labeled "Trantor." Trantor, dead capital of the dead Empire – the planet on which she was born. She pressed it in a dream. Nothing happened, except that the red letters flicked on and off, reading 172.18– 172.18– 172.18–

It was the amount she was short. Another two-hundred credit. The ticket was spit out towards her. It came loose when she touched it, and the change tumbled out afterward.

From Second Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1953
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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Second Foundation
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Second Foundation
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

Automatic Ticket Machine-related news articles:
  - Ticketed Passengers Only Aboard Soyuz ('TANSTAAFL' Says Roskosmos)

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