View Full Version : cash registers

03-10-2009, 01:37 PM
This article, about a store in NYC that repairs cash registers, triggered memories of working as a box boy in a grocery store, back in the days when checkers had to do more than scan. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/nyregion/10cash.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=cash%20registers&st=cse.

There is praise here for one of the best American companies:

“There’s a way certain things were made,” Brian Faerman says. “National Cash Register was probably the greatest manufacturing company in the world. Not only did they make their own machines; they made their own tools. They made things the best, and that’s why these old things still work. It’s a sad thing. Things are made cheap now.”

A nice old brass cash register might make an interesting storage bin for nuts and bolts.

03-10-2009, 01:48 PM
A nice old brass cash register might make an interesting storage bin for nuts and bolts.

Hmm. Ring in 10 - 32 x 1 and you'd get the right bolt?

03-11-2009, 04:47 AM
My father-in-law had on old 8-drawer cash register. The mechanism was the most complex mechanical device I've ever seen.

It seemed to require speed to function properly, and that made it impossible to see what was happening. I could follow the movements to a point, then it would go whiz-bang, and it was done.

Since each drawer was assigned to a different person, setting it up to open the right drawer would be pretty easy. IIRC, the store owner's master key would fit all the slots on the top for the employee keys.


03-11-2009, 08:03 AM
About 15 years ago a social club that I am a member of had Gross electro-mechanical cash registers in each of the bars. One day when I paid for my drink, the bar manager had to hand crank the till to operate it. I offered to take it home and have a look at it and he agreed. It took both of us to carry it out to my car (unfortunately they emptied it first!).
When I opened it up my first thoughts were that I had bitten of a bit more than I could chew! It was extremely complex. However it soon became apparent that the fault was a micro-switch controlling the power to the motor. I went to my nearest electrical shop and bought another micro-switch at a cost of a few pence and once installed the machine worked perfectly.
On returning it to the club, they said that the had decided to replace all the cash registers (3 of them) with new electronic tills and that I could keep the old one.
It seemed a shame to dismantle a perfectly good cash register for the parts inside it, most of which would probably never have been used so I donated it to the second hand bookshop at my nearest preserved railway centre, where last time I visited, it was still going strong. :)

Malc. :cool:

03-11-2009, 12:45 PM
My most interesting cash register encounter was in a little shop in Chicago's Chinatown. They had one of the old brass cash registers with the numbers that popped up on individual tags in this array the whole width of the top of the machine.

I'd come up to the counter with an armful of small items, tea and stuff. The very elderly proprietor got out a little abacus, added up the items and when she had the total, she rang that up on the register and put the money in the till. Just a charming encounter with all those elements of the worn shop, elderly Chinese lady, abacus and ancient cash register that she clearly didn't quite trust.