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Antique Cash Registers - Vintage Cash Registers

Gauri Waikar Sep 27, 2018
If you own an antique collection, then a vintage cash register is a 'must-have'. These are elegant and sophisticated. They give the room an aristocratic look. To know more about them, read on ...
Cash registers are the devices used in a company or organization for estimating and registering sales and transactions. They also have an attached drawer for maintaining the currency. Some also come with the facilities to print receipts.
James Ritty, a businessman invented the cash register after the American civil war. The National Cash Register company was one of the major companies to produce them. They also invented the concept of printing receipts.

Purpose of Usage

The main aim of the cash register was to prevent theft by employees. In fact, they were solely made with this purpose in mind. These devices are huge and heavily built. They have doors on the top, which can be opened by the key. The very first registers were entirely mechanical. In those days, the drawer could be opened only after the sales.
During every transaction, the clerk or the employee had to ring on the cash register. When the drawer opened, a bell would ring which alerted the boss about the transactions. This machine proved to be a turning point, as it substantially brought down the rate of frauds and defalcation. Nowadays, electronic registers have taken the place of mechanical ones.

Determining the Price

Many companies sell antique cash registers. The National Cash Register company even auctions rare and old ones, and you can bid for whichever model you like. You can even get a register that dates back to a hundred years. You can also find some models in good working condition. Some companies also provide free shipping services to the customers.
The value of the antique depends on various features.
  • The material it is made of.
  • Their condition also matters. If they are in the working condition, they will be more expensive.
  • Their tenuity.
  • The additional facilities they provide, such as a printer or a clock.
Vintage cash registers are made either of wood or metal. The wooden ones can be expensive depending on the quality and wear and tear. Their prices range from USD 50 to USD 300. In case of the metal ones, the prices depend on the type of metal used. The metal ones cost around USD 1000.
Most antique ones are made of brass, they can also be plated with nickel or copper. The solid brass registers are the most expensive. You can also get it polished to give that golden-red color. You can have it lacquered to prevent it from being tarnished.


The nickel plated registers do not have a finished look. One easy way of identifying the nickel plated varieties is examining the front drawer. Most of the time, the front drawers of these registers are made of solid nickel. One advantage of the nickel plated ones is that they do not tarnish with age.
The copper ones when polished, look just like the bronze registers. However, they lose their finish very easily. The copper oxidized versions are available in cast iron or bronze. People generally confuse them with copper plated. If the finishing is done properly, they can also have the elegant look of brass cash registers.
Consider this information before buying an antique cash register. If you plan to do some finishing work, check its worth because restoration can prove to be very expensive. Vintage ones may not be as efficient as electronic registers, but they are considered to be classic. They can never become outdated.