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The humble beginnings of the cash register

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 22, 2013 at 8:38 am •  Published: March 22, 2013
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1902: The cash register offers shopkeepers cumulative totals and can give an audit trail of transactions. That helps businesses collect market research data.

1906: Charles Kettering, researcher for the National Cash Register Co., designs the first register powered by an electric motor.

1915: The cash register, dressed in fancy cast-metal cases, became an essential tool in nearly every retail establishment. The registers were made of different materials including brass, cast-iron and wood. National Cash Register ran the largest brass foundry in the world during that period. By 1915, more than 1.5 million cash registers were sold.

1960s: The retail industry shifts to electronic registers.

Early 1970s: National Cash Register introduces the first cash register that's part of the store's entire computer system. At the same time, National Cash Register introduces a bar coding scanning system to be used with the machine.

1974: The National Cash Register changes its name to NCR Corp. It makes the first bar code scanners.

1991: NCR acquired by AT&T

1994: NCR name changes to AT&T GIS by the end of 1996.

1995: AT&T GIS changes its name back to NCR Corp. in anticipation of being spun off to AT&T shareholders by January 1997 as an independent, publicly traded company.

1998: NCR installs first self-checkout system at a Ball's Hen House grocery store in Kansas City, Missouri.

2003: Self-checkout areas become mainstream at many grocery stores and other discounters.

2012: NCR launches a new software program that runs on Apple's iPad that's connected to the keyboard at the cash register counter or can be detached and used as a mobile checkout device.

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Source: NCR Corp. and Museum of American Heritage