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28 April 2013
Most sellers ask that the items are collected. This makes sense as you really need to look the machine over if it is described as being seized or requiring an overhaul. I would recommend that you think long and hard about taking on a restoration project as some machines are incredibly complex once you get the covers off. The machine shown above is an NCR Class 100. The shops were full of these in the 1950s/1960s but I have been unable to locate any collectors' websites. The more ornate NCR machines from the 1900s seem to attract more attention with their brass casings and ornate design. Buying one of these in good order can set you back many hundreds of pounds. Something like the NCR 100 is quite a good starting block. Removing the cover reveals quite a lot of levers, etc but they are fairly simple machines. All they were designed to do was register a single price sale and had no cumulative counters like modern tills although they did print an audit roll and a total could be gained by moving a number of levers inside. There are many variations - pre-decimal machines are rarer. Some machines had keys that allowed sales up to £6.99. This one (pictured) only allowed sales up to £1/19/11d. A sale of, say £3 would involve the £1 key being pressed three times to enter the sale onto the audit paper. When considering a purchase, check the machine has keys included! If the machine is locked shut you have to drill out the lock which spoils the look and makes it less valuable. In general, these machines are built like tanks and failure is usually down to it being stored in a damp garage for 30 years. A thorough re-lubrication will usually get it working again. Pressing two keys down at the same time (say the 10p and 20p) could cause a jam but assuming they hadn't been hammered down they can usually be freed up.
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