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
St. Louis Cash Register
- This cash register has a wooden case with glass-covered pop-up indicator numbers at the back. A metal lever that moves laterally across the front of the machine points to multiples of 5 from 5 to 95. On the right is an auxiliary lever for indicating amounts from 0 cents to 4 cents. On the left is another auxiliary lever for indicating 0, 1, or 2 dollars, hence the cash register indicates amounts up to $2.99. When the pointer-lever is depressed, the dollar, multiple of 5 cents, and 0 cent to 4 cent amounts are indicated on separate indicators at the back of the machine.
- A window in the front of the machine is above the scale for the pointer. It is supposed to be covered with a shutter which can be opened only with a lock and key, keeping a secure record of transactions. No lock or key is evident.
- The wooden cash drawer has six compartments for coins and three for paper bills. A spring at the back of the drawer keeps it in place.
- The Model 106 is not listed in McCarthy in 1924, although other St. Louis cash registers are. The company is not mentioned in the 1928 edition of the book.
- Richard R. Crandell and Sam Robbins, The Incorruptible Cashier, vol. 2, Vestal, N.Y.: Vestal Press Ltd., 1990, pp. 80–84, 319, 320.
- James H. McCarthy, The American Digest of Business Machines, Chicago, 1924, pp.160–162, 585.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1915
- St. Louis Cash Register Company, Inc.
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History