Cash Register with Display Cases, possibly by Waddell


This device consists of a wooden cash register between two wooden and glass display cases. Amounts are entered by dropping balls into holes for 1, 2, 5,10, 25, and 50 cents, and 1 and 5 dollars. Another hole is labeled "Ticket". From these holes at the back of the machine, the balls slide forward and accumulate in slots on top of the cash drawer. Pop-up numbers above the holes rise up when a ball is dropped. Neither these numbers nor for the slots have any cover.

This object resembles several devices manufactured in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Greenfield, Ohio. It is quite similar to a “cash indicator and register” patented by J. H Schnarrenberger of Greenfield in 1891 (U.S. patent 465732). These cash registers were manufactured by firms associated with John M. Waddel (also spelled John M. Waddell), whose primary business was in the building of display cases and other business furniture.

Compare to the description of the Waddel, Simplex, and Sun cash registers given in Crandall. Papers of the Waddell Company are at the Ohio Historical Society. By 1929, the Waddell Company was selling a combination of three adjacent display cases, with a money drawer under the shallower middle case. There was no cash register in this later item.


Richard L. Crandall, The Incorruptible Cashier, Vestal, N.Y.: Vestal Press, 1988, vol. 1, pp. 133–147.

Waddell Company, Show Cases, Store Furniture Catalogue No. 109, Greenfield, OH: Waddell Co., Inc., 1929, pp. 10–11.

Date Made: ca 1895

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: MathematicsBusiness


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Computers & Business Machines, Cash and Credit Registers


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Connie Eisinger

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MA.325694Accession Number: 256655Catalog Number: 325694

Object Name: cash register

Physical Description: wood (overall material)glass (overall material)metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 28 cm x 132.5 cm x 56 cm; 11 1/32 in x 52 5/32 in x 22 1/16 in


Record Id: nmah_694240

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.