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Brief History: Antique Cash Registers

Brief History of Antique Cash Registers

In 1879, James Ritty, a tavern owner in Ohio first invented the cash register, which revolutionized how store keepers and other retailers completed business transactions.  Gone were the days of not having a receipt or a record, which is what drove Mr. Ritty and his brother John to create his invention.  It is rumored that his employees were serving the customers but pocketing the money.  The Rittys then opened a small manufacturing plant and started producing registers, but theyíre idea didnít take off until after they had given up in 1884 and sold their interest in the company to John H. Patterson, who named the company The National Cash Register Company.

From the late 1800ís to the early 1900ís business boomed and cash registers started making their debut in all types of business establishments. Many of the early cash registers were made of brass and are beautiful pieces of art, but many others were made of different materials including cast iron and wood and covered with finishes that include brass, nickel plate and copper.  Many of the early cash registers were also hand cranked and it wasnít until 1906 that the electric cash register was invented by Charles F. Kettering, who was working for The National Cash Register Company.

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