Invention of the Cash Register

A common sound in any store is that of the till as it rings meaning another sale has been made. These registers have been around for about 100 years yet not many people know exactly where and by whom it was invented. The invention of the cash register was one of the little steps that helped build industrial giants all across the globe. You can’t go into a single store now that doesn’t have at least one register, some of the big stores may have up to 25 registers to provide for the customers.

The invention of the cash register took place back in the 1800s in the United States following the American Civil War. A man by the name of James Ritty opened up a saloon in Dayton, Ohio. One day he noticed a small contraption that counted the times the wheel went around on a steam boat and thought it would be fascinated to create a machine that added up the totals of money for his business. The reasoning behind the concept of a register was to keep track of the sale to make sure that employees weren’t cheating the employer out of any money.

James Ritty went home to Dayton, Ohio and joined up with his brother John Ritty who was a skilled mechanic. They tried a few different prototypes and finally on the third try they got the machine that they wanted where you could push a button and it stood for a certain amount of money. Basically the first cash register was just an adding machine. In 1879 they patented the machine as “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier.”

The Ritty’s then decided to open up a factory to start the production of their new “cashiers.” It wasn’t long after that James Ritty couldn’t handle running two businesses at the same time so he sold off the factory to a group of investors. These investors become stock holders and in 1889 the majority stock holder, John Patterson, changed the name of the company to the National Cash Register Company and the name has stuck ever since.

James Ritty may not be as well known as Thomas Edison or Eli Whitney but his invention of the cash register has made just as much of an impact on societies all around the world. The register is a necessity to life and this world would probably be in much more disorganization if it wasn’t for the invention of the cash register.