Loading Spinner

Registers

The cash register was invented in 1879 by James Ritty, a saloon owner in Dayton, Ohio. He produced the Incorruptible Cashier by modeling its inner workings after a device that was used to count the spins of an ocean liner's propeller in the engine room. The first cash register had metal keys that were embossed with denominations to mark the amount of sale and a bell to indicate that the register was ready to receive the cash.

The rights to Ritty's invention were purchased by Jacob H. Eckert, and then again by John H. Patterson. Patterson, who was a partner in the National Manufacturing Company, bought out his fellow investors and renamed the company the National Cash Register Company. His business became one of the leading manufacturers of cash registers of the 20th century. Today, the National Cash Register Company is known as NCR Corporation. They continue to manufacture modern electronic cash registers and computerized financial systems for businesses.

NCR antique cash registers are highly desirable to collectors today. They were manufactured with ornate designs on the outsides in brass, bronze, and nickel plate. These registers were also clearly marked with serial numbers, making them easy to date. Only two other cash register companies survived to manufacture registers in the 20th century: Ideal and Michigan.


Quick Facts

  • One method John H. Patterson used to grow his business was to buy up smaller cash register companies to eliminate the competition. He was convicted of violating anti-trust laws in the 1910s. This is one of the main reasons other cash register companies did not survive
  • The most collectible NCR registers include series 500 machines which were used by department stores and registers with a DR key, or dining room key, that were used by hotels
  • NCR cash registers in excellent working condition usually sell for over $2,000. The oldest models from the 1880s can sell for as high as $15,000

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Rare Victorian National Cash Register Autographic Oak No. 203
Aug 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Rare Victorian National Cash Register Autographic Oak No. 203
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid
Antique Oak Standard Cash Autographic Register
Aug 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Oak Standard Cash Autographic Register
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid
bp parity badge
Vintage Little Learner Cash Register
Jul 20, 2:00 PM EDT
Vintage Little Learner Cash Register
by Heritage Antiques & Auction
Est: $10- $20
$51 Bid
bp parity badge
Vintage R C Allen Cash Drawer & Adding machine
Jul 20, 2:00 PM EDT
Vintage R C Allen Cash Drawer & Adding machine
by Heritage Antiques & Auction
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Oak McCaskey Country Store Register System
Jul 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Oak McCaskey Country Store Register System
by Public Sale Auction House
Est: $150- $300
$500 Bids
Fisher Price Cash Register in Box
Jul 23, 9:00 AM EDT
Fisher Price Cash Register in Box
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$20 Bids
1920's "National Cash Register" Unrestored
Aug 06, 10:00 AM EDT
1920's "National Cash Register" Unrestored
by Joe R. Pyle Complete Auction & Realty LLC
Est: $90- $180
$50 Bids
A National gilt brass cash register serial 1001708 442
Jul 20, 9:30 AM PDT
A National gilt brass cash register serial 1001708 442
by Clars Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
Antique Brass National Cash Register Model 311
Aug 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Brass National Cash Register Model 311
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$500 Bids
Victorian Oak Hough's Security Cash Recorder
Aug 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Victorian Oak Hough's Security Cash Recorder
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$500 Bids
Victorian National Cash Register Autographic Oak No. 35
Aug 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Victorian National Cash Register Autographic Oak No. 35
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$500 Bids
CAJA REGISTRADORA NATIONAL CASH REGISTER CO. REALIZADA PARA EL MERCADO ESPAÑOL. DAYTON, OHIO, USA, C.1922.
Jul 24, 5:00 PM CEST
CAJA REGISTRADORA NATIONAL CASH REGISTER CO. REALIZADA PARA EL MERCADO ESPAÑOL. DAYTON, OHIO, USA, C.1922.
by Aletheia Subastas
Est: €700- €1,000
€3400 Bids
Antique Cash Register Parts, Locks, & Spectacles
Jul 26, 9:00 AM EDT
Antique Cash Register Parts, Locks, & Spectacles
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$250 Bids
A National brass candy store cash register model #216
Jul 30, 12:00 PM PDT
A National brass candy store cash register model #216
by John Moran Auctioneers
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5000 Bids
A National gilt brass cash register, early 20th century,
Jul 25, 10:00 AM BST
A National gilt brass cash register, early 20th century,
by Cheffins
Est: £150- £250
£1200 Bids
National Cash Register Model 313 Original
Aug 03, 10:00 AM EDT
National Cash Register Model 313 Original
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Registers


Mebane Antique Auction

Mebane Antique Auction

Heritage Antiques & Auction

Heritage Antiques & Auction

John Moran Auctioneers

John Moran Auctioneers

Clars Auctions

Clars Auctions