Regitel Cash Register Point-of-Sale Terminal

Regitel Cash Register / Point-of-Sale Terminal

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The Regitel is an early point-of-sale (POS) electronic cash register. Such terminals capture information about sales for computer processing.
The device was made by the American Regitel Corporation and installed as a part of a networked system in department stores across the nation. The networks communicated over telephone systems at 9600 baud, which was extremely fast for the time period.
A mark on the front reads: REGITEL. A mark on tape on the bottom of the machine reads: Theresa 3-22-71.
For related documentation, see 2002.0091.02 through 2002.0091.06.
American Regitel Corporation was founded in Palo Alto, California, in 1968. The firm was acquired by Motorola in 1970.
Accession file.
Auerbach Publishers, Snapshot of Point-of-Sale Systems, Pennsauken, N.J.: Auerbach Publishers, 1978, p. 11.
Creative Strategies Internaional, Retail Automation to 1983, San Jose: Creative Strategies International, 1980, esp. p. 109.
Currently not on view
Object Name
cash register
date made
ca 1970
American Regitel Corporation
place made
United States: California, San Carlos
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 9 in x 20 1/2 in x 20 in; 22.86 cm x 52.07 cm x 50.8 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Evan L. Ragland
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Cash and Credit Registers
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I worked as a sales associate at Carson Pirie Scott, a Chicago-based department store, in the early 1980s and we used these POS terminals. I remember them well. We had this model and the more modern 420 model. I'd love to see pictures of the 420 model and 425 model if anyone has them. Some stores had the newer 425 model and I wished I was able to use those as they were a little more advanced than the 420. These registers would be running non-stop during busy sales days, such as Christmas, for 12+ hours and never failed.
I installed and maintained the "Regitels" in Milwaukee for Gimbels in the early 70's for 5 years. Can't tell you how many keyboards I replaced on the 420's due to the "older" cashiers banging on them like they were the old NCR's.
My experience includes supervising the installation of Unitote Regitel POS systems in the Joseph Magnin chain of department stores throughout Northern California during the period 1967-1968. The work was exciting being in on a major advancement in the data processing of retail sales data.
"I worked as a Systems engineer for General Instrument 1976-1979 and was responsible for department store installation of Regitel systems at Bloomingdale's and Woodward & Lothrop. GI had purchased the Unitote line of registers as well but the Regitel line was very innovative, ahead of its time in design, although it did have some quirks. Although I never visited the Palo Alto site, I worked with many of the former Regitel employees who started the company. They had excellent marketing and engineering staff, a close-knit group, typical of a California-startup company. I have fond memories working with Regitel and learned a lot, did a lot of traveling and debugged some very interesting problems with the software."
"The donor, Evan Ragland was the founding president of American Regitel. The date in early 1971 indicates that it was one of the first to be used, possibly at Bullocks in Los Angeles.Another founder, David Frick did the design and implementation of the hardware and software for the servers and up to 119 of the terminals.David Perron and I were the first programmers hired to continue Frick's work, but he was still the chief programmer, usually to be found at a teletype terminal writing or changing code. "

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