Cash register, [model 356G, serial number S30053], metal [copper / brass / bronze / gold plate / perspex / paper / celluloid, made by The National Cash Register Co, Dayton, Ohio, United States of America, c. 1900
The cash register is marked with the manufacturer's name 'The National Cash Register Co, Dayton, Ohio, United States of America'.
The cash register was made in about 1900 but some parts of the cash register are modern reproductions.
The National Cash Register Company, in Dayton, Ohio was the first company to manufacture and promote cash registers. This machine is an example of the 'brass era' when cash registers were designed to look beautiful as well as register sales. They featured elaborate moulded brass casings and viewing panels so that people could look through to the mechanism inside. Such machines would have been important status symbols and indicated to customers that this was a thriving business.
World War I spelt the end of this type of machine when brass and other metals were appropriated for munitions. After the war, the desire to reduce production costs meant that cash registers took on a more functional appearance.
The cash register was invented in 1879 by James Ritty, a saloonkeeper in Dayton, Ohio. It was based on a mechanism he had seen count the revolutions of an ocean linerĀ?s propeller in its engine room. He called his invention the 'Incorruptible Cashier'
The National Cash Register Company (NCR) was formed in 1884 by John Patterson who had bought the rights to the 'Incorruptible Cashier'. He was a grocery store owner who had purchased two machines to address a problem with his staff giving 'freebies' to their friends. The machines had an immediate effect and his profits increased dramatically. John Patterson put the machines into production and set up an inventions department to create bigger, better and more thief proof registers. Notable improvements included adding a paper roll to record sales transactions, thus creating the receipt.
Reference: Museum of American Heritage 'Ka-Ching! Ka-Ching! The History of Cash Registers'
This cash register was donated by Tooth and Co as part of a major donation.