Ka-ching! Ka-ching!

Feb 23, 2019 | 0 comments

1904 Cash Register

Tucker outdid himself last night for his weekly “show and tell” part of our Friday Night Gathering!  In fact, when the time came, he had to go home and bring the mystery object over in his car.  “It was too heavy to carry,” he told us and, as always, acted as though we might not really have time for this weekly highlight.

He brought it in covered in a blanket and set it on the floor. The rest of us were totally mystified until he revealed… an old-fashioned cash brass register that was so shiny bright that there was an involuntary “Ohhh!” from the nine of us onlookers.  What a beauty!

But it wasn’t until he pressed the ‘Total’ button and the cash drawer opened with that never-to-be-forgotten “Ka-ching” sound that our nostalgia really kicked in.  All of us were old enough to remember the days when purchases were made with real money and almost every store had a cash register – but perhaps not as grand as this one.

It was made by the National Cash Register Company (which is still in business after 135 years, though now owned by AT&T.).  According to the label on the bottom of the cash drawer, the register had been manufactured in 1904 for a specific (unnamed)c company who, as part of the terms of purchase, was obligated to buy any supplies such as ink and paper (cash register tape) solely from the National Cash Register Company.  Ditto any repairs to the register.

The highest amount on any key was $1 which made $1.98 the largest sale that could be rung up.  This caused Tucker to believe that perhaps this particular register had been manufactured for a five-and-ten cent store – back in the day when most items at such a shop did, indeed, cost a nickel or a dime.

We all agreed that it was one of the best “show and tell” items ever from Tucker’s collection.  Surely, he’ll never top this one!  (But… we’ve said that before.)


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