Brandt Automatic Cashier

Brandt Automatic Cashier

Usage conditions apply
By the late 19th century, many American workers were paid in cash. Putting together packets with precisely the right bills and coins was a tedious task. In the 1890s, Edward J. Brandt, a cashier at the Bank of Watertown in Watertown, Wisconsin, invented a machine that could dispense change automatically.
The machine dispenses change in amounts between 1 cent and 99 cents. It has eight channels across the front, three for pennies, one for nickels, two for dimes, one for quarters and one for 50-cent pieces. Above and behind the channels is an array of 99 plastic keys, numbered from 1 to 99. Pressing another key, marked "5," releases five pennies. On the right are keys marked 10, 25, 25 and 100 that give change for these amounts. The entire coin holder can be removed from the mechanism for storage of coins. Pushing down a key moves a bar that pushes coins from a channel into a compartment with a trap door at its base. Pushing the trap door back releases change into the hand.
A mark on the front and the back of the machine reads reads: BRANDT AUTOMATIC CASHIER. A mark on a brass plate on the back of the machine reads: PATENTED (/) JULY 11, 1899... (/) DEC. 12, 1916 (/) 48184 93421 10014 PATENTS PENDING (/) T.M.Reg.U.S.Pat.Off. (/) Brandt Manufacturing Company (/) WATERTOWN, WISCONSIN. The serial number, marked on the right side at the front, is 22446.
Brandt’s machine received medals at the 1900 Universal Exposition in Paris and the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. This example dates from the 1920s.
James H. McCarthy, The American Digest of Business Machines, Chicago, 1924, p. 196–197.
Charles J. Wallman, Edward J. Brandt, Inventor, Watertown, WI: Brandt, Inc., 1984.
Accession file.
Currently not on view
Object Name
coin changer
date made
ca 1925
Brandt Manufacturing Company
Physical Description
nickel (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
steel (overall material)
metal (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 28.3 cm x 23.5 cm x 36 cm; 11 5/32 in x 9 1/4 in x 14 3/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Wittenbach Business Systems
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Computers & Business Machines
Cash and Credit Registers
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.


My wife has one of these, missing the coin slots. I'm looking for information about where parts could be found.

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.