Ritty Model 1 Cash Register, Possibly a Replica

After the Civil War, as American cities and businesses grew, business owners increasingly hired strangers to assist customers. At the time, it was all too easy for clerks and barkeepers to keep part of the money they received. The cash register, invented by the Ritty brothers of Dayton, Ohio, had a large display to indicate the sums customers paid. It also had a locked compartment that tallied total receipts. This is the Rittys' first machine, or an early replica of it. It was the basis for a commercial product called "Ritty's Incorruptible Cashier."
By 1884 the Rittys were out of business, but their patents were purchased by the National Cash Register Company. NCR made and sold much improved cash registers. By 1904, they were ready to convey the history of their company by showing this model at the St. Louis World's Fair. NCR went on to successfully make not only cash registers and accounting machines but electronic computers.
Object Name
cash register
date made
ca 1904
National Cash Register Company
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
glass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 50.5 cm x 55.5 cm x 36 cm; 19 7/8 in x 21 7/8 in x 14 3/16 in
place made
United States: Ohio, Dayton
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
related event
Louisiana Purchase Exposition
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Cash and Credit Registers
Computers & Business Machines
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of National Cash Register Company
Related Publication
Kidwell, Peggy A. and Cerruzi, Paul E.. Landmarks in Digital Computing: A Smithsonian Pictorial History
Additional Media

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