National Cash Register, Model 313


This 1913 National Cash Register Company cash register has an ornate brass exterior with a marble plate above the cash drawer. In addition to the wooden cash drawer and pop-up indicators at the top, the machine had two rows of keys. Keys in the top row are numbered 90, 70, 50, 35, 25, 15,and 5 (the rightmost key is missing a label). Keys in the bottom row are labeled $1, 80, 60, 40, 30, 20, 10 (the rightmost key is missing a label). Inside a locked compartment above the keys is a register that reads dollars and cents up to $9999.99, a four-digit customer counter, and a two-digit no sale counter. The machine has no mechanism to assist the clerk in adding up totals for individual sales and no paper tape to serve as a receipt. It has serial number 1265603.

By this time, aggressive sales tactics, numerous acquisitions, and frequent lawsuits had won NCR dominance in the cash register market. The firm also trained numerous young executives, including Thomas J. Watson. When the U.S. government found NCR in violation of antitrust law, several of these executives, including Watson, were fired. Watson was soon hired by the Computing Tabulating Machine Company of Endicott, New York, becoming the president of a firm that soon was known as IBM.


Cortada, James. Before the Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand and the Industry They Created. 1865-1956, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.

Crandall, Robert L. and Sam Robins. The Incorruptible Cashier, vol. II, Vestal, N.Y.: The Vestal Press, 1990.

Date Made: 1913

Maker: National Cash Register Company

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Ohio, Dayton

Subject: MathematicsBusiness


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


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MA.333754Accession Number: 302254Catalog Number: 333754

Object Name: cash register

Physical Description: brass (overall material)marble (overall material)wood (overall material)glass (overall material)Measurements: overall: 43.2 cm x 26 cm x 40.7 cm; 17 in x 10 1/4 in x 16 1/32 in


Record Id: nmah_694241

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.