About National Cash Registers
The first cash register was inspired by a steamboat. When Dayton, Ohio saloon owner James Ritty took a steamboat trip to Europe in 1878 he became fascinated by a device which counted the revolutions of the craft?s propellers. He wondered if the technology could be adapted to create a foolproof means of registering the cash received from customers at his business, as his employees had been helping themselves to his profits. Upon his return he put his idea to his mechanic brother John and together they came up with the Ritty?s Incorruptible Cash Machine and patented it in 1879.
Ritty later sold his struggling cash register business to Jacob H. Eckert, who marketed the devices under the aegis of the National Manufacturing Company. This became the National Cash Register Company under John H. Patterson, who introduced the paper roll receipt. An inventor and employee of the company, Charles F. Kettering, designed the first electric cash register in 1906. By 1911 National had sold a million cash registers and captured 95% of the US market.
Early models were designed to be particularly elegant and attractive, something that business owners would be proud to have on their premises. The National Cash Register Company models, with their oak and mahogany casings and brass, bronze and nickel plating and inlays, were works of art in their own right and are considered very collectable today, as are the models produced right up until the 60s and 70s. Adding to their appeal is the fact that the serial numbers used by the company make them particularly easy to date.
Available are National cash registers spanning the decade and in various conditions. Some are fully restored and others in need of a little care, but all are of historical and aesthetic interest.