Computers & Business Machines
Imagine the loss, 100 years from now, if museums hadn't begun preserving the artifacts of the computer age. The last few decades offer proof positive of why museums must collect continuously—to document technological and social transformations already underway.
The museum's collections contain mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers, and handheld devices. Computers range from the pioneering ENIAC to microcomputers like the Altair and the Apple I. A Cray2 supercomputer is part of the collections, along with one of the towers of IBM's Deep Blue, the computer that defeated reigning champion Garry Kasparov in a chess match in 1997. Computer components and peripherals, games, software, manuals, and other documents are part of the collections. Some of the instruments of business include adding machines, calculators, typewriters, dictating machines, fax machines, cash registers, and photocopiers
National Cash Register, Model 1852-E
- This large cash register has a wood and metal exterior painted black, and five columns of keys. The keys in the leftmost column indicate the type of transaction. Right of these keys are four columns of 9 keys, the leftmost for $90 down to $10, the next for $9 to $1, the next for 90 cents to 10 cents, and the last for 9 cents to 1 cent. Hence the machine can have purchases entered of up to $99.99. It is a National model 1852-E, made by National Cash Register Company of Dayton, Ohio. It has serial number 2925055 and dates from 1929.
- The paper tape for dispensing receipts is on the left. Above the keys are indicators showing the type of transaction and the amount. A wide cash drawer is at the bottom of the machine. The machine is electrically operated, but there is a place for an operating crank on the right side.
- According to the donor, the register was used at Mosely's Jewelry Store on U Street in Washington, D.C. It has an indentation from a 32-caliber bullet, produced in one of the many times the store was robbed. The base price for this machine new was $350.00 in 1927.
- Equipment Research Corporation, Business Machines and Equipment Digest, 1928, vol. 1, section 10–1, p. 18.
- Accession file.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- National Cash Register Company
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- maker number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
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