NCR – National Cash Register
The first mechanical cash register was invented in 1879 by James Ritty. In 1884, the company and patents were bought by John and Frank Patterson and the firm was renamed the National Cash Register Company. The first machines were expensive – $50 – which at the end of the 1800’s was a lot of money! The company owners were convinced though, that once shopkeepers learned how much the machines would help business they would buy them. One big selling point they pushed was the security – the cash register was hard to steal.
I can vouch for that point – these machines are heavy! No one was going to grab one and haul off with it quickly or easily! If it could be securely locked you could rest pretty easy that your business money was secure.
The brothers sales plan worked and NCR grew quickly and became multi-national in 1888. Between 1893 and 1906 the company acquired several smaller cash register companies, and by 1911 had sold one million machines. By 1922 2 million.
It’s rough, this old relic. The gears and pieces are locked up tight – it appears to have sat in a barn or even outside for awhile. It isn’t ornate or carved or made of expensive brass or gold. It’s not shiny, smooth wood. It’s old metal that appears to have no purpose but should be melted down and made into something new.
And yet for a vintage lover there is something so cool and appealing about this piece. It’s a fun mint green color. The keys are cool. It’s metal and industrial and just neat – even if it doesn’t work anymore.
Open the top and the insides make you wonder just how this worked and what each piece did.
My hubby and teenager spent awhile looking at it and discussing it and trying to figure out just what each piece did and how it functioned.
I’d like to get all the other tabs out to see what all they say. Some deconstruction may be in this old relic’s future. I bought it from a friend and if I can manage to get it to the shop I may use it in a fun display there this spring. But since I can’t carry it by myself (it’s all I do to carry it with another person) I may have to let my husband and daughter deconstruct it.
It was really fun to see them inspecting this and discussing it together. If they can have fun deconstructing this into some pieces that can be repurposed into other things I’ll be fine with that.
What would you do with this if it were yours?