Week 21 2024

National Cash Register

Early cash registers were not only sold for their functional ability, but also on their beauty – a fixture which every store owner would be proud to display in his establishment. Our brass cash register was produced by the National Cash Register Company of Dayton, Ohio, USA in 1913.  They had been making registers since approx 1908.  The classic pattern on our Empire model is said to be designed by Tiffany.

The fancy cases on cash registers ceased in 1915 due to demand for brass during World War I.  Less expensive sheet metal versions were then produced and the era of the brass cash register ended.

Even though brass cash registers have not been manufactured since 1915, they were refurbished and sold as used registers for the next three decades.  In some cases, they can even be found in use today.  The quality of the mechanisms in these machines, as well as the timeless beauty of their ornate cases, make it easy to understand why these one-time common business machines have become such a sought-after and coveted antique.

These mechanical marvels and their plain metal successors are a tribute to the ingenuity and skill of their creators.