We care about confidentiality

We and our suppliers store information such as cookies on your device and process the data to personalize ads and content, measure ad and content performance, gather audience insights, and also to develop and improve products.
You can click on "I agree", to accept all cookies, or click the "X" to refuse to consent. Alternatively, you can access more detailed information and change your preferences before consenting or withholding your consent.
Some cookies, particularly technical ones, may not require your consent as they allow proper site functioning. However, you have the right to disable their use at any time. You can change your preferences at any time by returning to this site and accessing the section Manage Preferences.

For more information on the use of cookies and data processing within the site you can consult our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

The origins of the cash register


"A cash register or just an automatic cash machine is a mechanical or electronic device to calculate and save sales transactions, normally combined with a drawer to store money ordered according to the various denominations". (Wikipedia)

Everybody knows the meaning of cash register, but what the definition does not say is how the need of sales operations calculation and saving was born.

It all started after the American Civil War: around 1879, after Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of Emancipation, James Jacob Ritty was the owner of the Pony House saloon in Dayton (Ohio, US), attended by celebrities such as William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

Mr. Ritty was a practical and sophisticated businessman for that time period, but did not trust the honesty of his employees and could not bear the risk that some money could be stolen and dishonestly pocketed.

So we arrive to the need able to stimulate human inventiveness, which in this case lead to the famous exclamation "eureka" during a journey to Europe. On the ship, in fact, Mr. Ritty noticed the use of a kind of a fuel output counter, so - once back at home - James built a kind of watch with keyboard.

This first attempt was not successful, however it was patented for Ohio on November 4, 1879 with the name "Ritty Model I". In 1883 the patent was registered for the US after the improvement of the invention with the help of James' brother, John.

Later on, Ritty brothers founded in Dayton a company to manufacture cash registers, the National Manufacturing Company, but - without time or energy to manage it - they sold it to John Patterson, who changed its name into National Cash Register Company ( NCR Corporation).

The city of Dayton, a few years later, was the cradle of another historic invention: Wright brothers found in this city the conditions for the success of their first motored flight, but that's another story...

Published on 03/03/2016 in Technological Innovations