The first cash register was patented in 1879 by a Dayton, Ohio saloonkeeper who was fed up with having his employees steal from him. James Jacob Ritty’s “Incorruptible Cashier” proved to be the foundation for National Cash Register Company, known today as NCR.

For collectors, NCR machines are desirable because of their beauty—the ornamental relief on the outsides of their brass-, bronze-, and nickel-plated cash registers is as lovely as the marquetry on walnut or oak ones. But antique NCR cash registers are also popular because the company’s serial numbers make them relatively easy to date. Machines with numbers below 190,000 are from the 19th century, registers with numbers between 190,000 and 800,000 were made between 1900 and 1910, and so on.

Series numbers are another way to determine an NCR register’s value. Among the most collectible are the large Series 500 machines, which were used by department stores. Sometimes just a single cash-register key makes an antique NCR cash register collectible, such as those with a DR key (for dining room) used by hotels.

NCR was not the only cash-register company, but it might as well have been. Of the 80-plus competitors in business in the late 1800s, only three made it into the 20th century. Ideal produced registers that were highly ornate and used levers instead of keys. And then there was Michigan, which made cash registers that looked the most like NCRs. One of its most popular machines was a bronze beauty that took up just nine inches of counter space and cost only $35.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

An enormous database focusing on pinball machines and other arcade games from the 1930s and on, from a collector wh… [read review or visit site]

International Arcade Museum

International Arcade Museum

This site boasts more than 13,000 pages of educational content on arcade and coin-op collecting, including innumera… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

1905 Antique Calculator Bamberger Omega Rechenmaschine Antique National Cash Register Receipt Box Cast Iron Glass Sides National Cash Register Receipt Box As Found24" Long Rope Rail For Old Brass Cash RegisterNational Cash Register Co. N Emblem Old Named Register Ncr Advertising MedalRare Thales German 1900s Pinwheel Arithmometer Ce Model Calculator Wooden CaseVintage National Cash Register Receipt Holder Antique *advertising* Bill Spike Spindle Paper Receipt Holder For Cash Register Antique Victorian Bill Spike Spindle Paper Receipt Holder For Cash Register #3 Antique *advertising* Bill Spike Spindle Paper Receipt Holder For Cash RegisterCash Register Top SignVintage Addometer Adding Machine Manual Calculator By Reliable Typewriter1909 Wooden Cane Presented By Ncr National Cash Register Company Walking StickNcr 1904 National Cash Register 440 Vintage Country Store Counter Display SignScrews For Attaching Back To Detail Adder National Cash Registers (ncr)Ncr Brass Cash Register Data Tag, Model & Serial Numbers Vintage Germany Arithma Addiator Manual Pocket Adding Machine Calculator Antique Victorian Bill Spike Spindle Paper Receipt Holder For Cash Register #2Mini Vintage Cash RegisterAntique Victor Mccaskey Cash RegisterVintage Hermes Adding Machine Model 109-7Vintage Ncr National Cash Register Picture- Dayton Ohio -beautifully FramedVintage Tucker Alarm Till 537 Antique Indianapolis Usa CompleteVintage Adding Machine Remington Rand 99Vintage Produx "original," Adding MachineAntique National Cash Register