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National Cash Register Model 313 with matching top sign

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Sold! $2,350 8/30/11
80.00 LBS

Product Description

Restored Antique "Candy Store" Cash Register Model 313 with matching refinished Top Sign 


Maker: National Cash Register
Date: 1913
Serial #: 1342298 
Dimensions (inches): 21" x 10" x 16.5"

A National Cash Register #313 in in the rare bronze with Coppertone finish (Copper Oxidized CuO2 process) on wood base by National Cash Register Co (NCR) of Dayton, OH, Model #313 with matching top sign. This model 313 is in 100% fully restored condition. An excellent, professional restoration, all the copper plaiting absolutely gleams, every indicator sign repainted and silk screen with the original fonts, copper plated money holder, and matching top sign. (note, the top sign is has indications it is a replacement sign and not the original, but it has been refinished with the machine plating to match exactly. Nothing looks worse on a nicely restored 313 than a top sign that obviously does not match the finish!) Serial #: 1,342,298 puts this machines date of manufacture between Nov 13, 1913 & Nov 26, 1913. Since the factory serial numbers were sequential, near the end of November 1913, National Cash register was pushing out almost 800 registers a DAY during that period! The following week was even more impressive - averaging over 1,100 a day for 9 days.

Serial # Date
1,320,000        24-Sep-13




1,350,000 26-Nov-13
1,360,000 4-Dec-13
1,370,000 23-Jan-14
1,380,000 19-Feb-14

That production peak was near the end of the road for the the fancy brass registeres. As World War I ramped up, the need for metals like brass & copper took over and on On May 31, 1915 NCR abandoned the fancy brass case, and replaced it with a steel case with simulated wood grain painted on.



In 1884, John Henry Patterson bought out his fellow investors in the National Manufacturing Company and formed the National Cash Register Company, the predecessor of NCR Corporation. Located in Dayton, Ohio, this company made cash registers. The company grew slowly, producing only sixteen thousand registers in its first decade in operation. Through aggressive marketing and advertising, by 1914, the National Cash Register Company was producing 110,000 cash registers per year. In 1906, the company manufactured the first electric cash register.

John Patterson, founding president of the National Cash Register Company, used the following message from 1885 through 1915 to demonstrate the limitations associated with the outmoded cash drawer:

"I am the oldest criminal in history.
I have acted in my present capacity for many thousands of years. 
I have been trusted with million of dollars. 
I have lost a great deal of this money. 
I have constantly held temptation before those who have come in contact with me. 
I have placed a burden upon the strong, and broken down the weak.
I have caused the downfall of many honest and ambitious young people.
I have ruined many business men who deserved success.
I have betrayed the bust of those who have depended upon me.
I am a thing of the past, a dead issue.
I am a failure.
I am the Open Cash Drawer."

The cash register was invented in 1879 by James Ritty, a saloonkeeper in Dayton, Ohio. He patented a machine with a mechanism similar to one he had seen count the revolutions of an ocean liner's propeller in its engine room. His "Incorruptible Cashier" (left) used metal taps with denominations pressed into them to indicate the amount of the sale. There was a bell to "ring up" sales. It also had a total adder that summed all the cash values of the key presses during a day.  Ritty's invention caught the eye of John H. Patterson when he purchased several machines for use in his retail store. Patterson bought the rights to Ritty's invention (from Jacob H. Eckert, who had purchased the rights from James Ritty) for $6,500 in 1884 and put it into production under the auspices of his newly formed company, National Cash Register, better known now as NCR. 

John Patterson, had previously owned a grocery and general store in Ohio. He tells the story as to why cash registers became a necessity for his business:

"We were obliged to be away from the store most of the time so we employed a superintendent. At the end of three years, although we had sold annually about $50,000 worth of goods on which there was a large margin, we found ourselves worse off than nothing. We were in debt, and we could not account for it, because we lost nothing by bad debt and no goods had been stolen. But one day I found several bread tickets lying around loose, and discovered that our oldest clerk was favoring his friends by selling below the regular prices. Another day I noticed a certain credit customer buying groceries. At night, on looking over the blotter, I found that the clerk had forgotten to make any entry of it. This set me to thinking that the goods might often go out of the store in this way-without our ever getting a cent for them. One day we received a circular from someone in Dayton Ohio, advertising a machine which recorded money and sales in retail stores. The price was $ 100. We telegraphed for two of them, and when we saw them we were astonished at the cost. They were made mostly of wood, had no cash drawer, and were very crude (Ritty's Incorruptible Cashier). But we put them in the store, and, in spite of their deficiencies, at the end of twelve months we cleared $6,000."


Patterson, eccentric and aggressive, made NCR a successful business. Eighty-four companies sold cash registers between 1888 and 1895; only three (the St. Louis, Ideal and Michigan) survived for any length of time. Patterson set up an inventions department to create bigger, better and more thief proof registers. He began a training program for his salespeople, often terrifying the novices by auditioning their sales pitches himself.

Cash Registers become Ubiquitous

During the period 1888 to 1915 the cash register, clothed in fancy cast-metal cases, spread into nearly every retail establishment. This period is best typified by the cast brass-encased registers, many of which are still available in antique markets today.

There were registers made of materials other than brass. Cast-iron, wood, and even metal stampings were used. Finishes included polished brass, nickel-plate, antiqued copper, paint, and even silver and gold plate. Brass dominated the National Cash Register Company line, which grew to represent 95% of the total market. NCR ran the largest brass foundry in the world in that period, hence, the characterization of that time as the "Brass Era."

World War I marked the end of the antique era for cash registers. There was a definite turning point after World War I when mechanics were no longer a fascination. Their creators were no longer interested in adding to their cost in order to achieve beauty of form along with function.

NCR’S Questionable Sales Techniques

John Patterson, the founding president of the National Cash Register Company, is generally credited with devising the steps associated with today's approach to sales and marketing. Yet the following in-house circular letter used by National Cash Register shows how the company also encouraged deceptive sales techniques. NCR was sued by the Federal government under antitrust laws in 1913 and was found guilty.

"Circular Letter
The National Cash Register Company
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A., 
February 4, 1892

To All Managers:

We send you under separate cover devices for beating the Simplex Cash Register which consists of a lead bullet with a common horse hair attached. We want you to have your agents call on the parties who are using the Simplex Register, in your territory, and explain how easy it is to beat them. (But do not show them how to do it.)

You can easily ask the proprietor to step away about twenty feet from the machine, and then by concealing the bullet in your hand register any amount you with by simply dropping the bullet in the small hole directly under the amount you wish to register.

 In all cases be sure and withdraw the bullet from the machine at the same time that you open the cash drawer (that is providing you can get the combination of the lock) which can be easily done.

Of course, if you do not want to open the cash drawer you can step away from. the machine and the proprietor (unless he has an eagle eye) cannot discover the horse hair protruding from the machine. Be particularly careful to cut the horse hair off so that it will protrude only about one inch from the opening.  We think agents will have little trouble in using the above simple device effectively and Impressing users that they have a machine which can easily be beaten and is worthless.

Kindly let us know what success you have in using the above device."

NCR, After 1908

After the National Cash Register Company had been in business almost twenty-five years, John Patterson, NCR's president, realized that changes were due. Many of the company's top executives left in 1908, allowing the company to make a fresh start. Patterson remained an aggressive competitor, at one point observing "To succeed in business it is necessary to make others see things as you see them."

The post-1908 catalogs were impressive in their comprehensiveness - a machine for every price, every feature, and every establishment. NCR was flexible. If the customer would pay for it, John Patterson would have his engineers make a cash register do almost anything. The cash register is surely one of the earliest examples of flexible manufacturing. NCR's millionth cash register was sold in 1911, and by 1915, the company was Dayton's major employer, with over 5900 workers on the payroll. The two millionth machine was sold only nine years later.


Corporate Culture

After disaffected employees of the National Cash Register Company set the factory on fire three times in the early 1890s, its president and founder, John Patterson, decided that more interest would have to be taken in their employees to make them better workers. In the ensuing decade, NCR became the nations leading example of corporate welfare work & Patterson became well known for his compassion for his employees. He provided women workers with coffee and soup for lunch. Machine operators sat on actual chairs with backs for support rather than on stools. He provided his workers with indoor bathrooms. Patterson implemented a ventilation system to provide clean air to his workers. He also maintained a doctor's office in his factory to assist injured workers as quickly as possible. By the 1950's, this philosophy had grown into fully catered home cooked meal lunchrooms, fully staffed doctors office, outdoors recreation area with a pools & parks, and even company provided on site child day care. The "welfare work" philosophy was born.

The National Cash Register Company engaged in civic work as well. Following the Dayton flood of 1913, the company provided approximately one million dollars to assist people in recovering from the disaster. The company allocated an additional 600,000 dollars to study how the community could prevent flooding in the future. In addition to these efforts, Patterson donated money to help build parks and playgrounds. He also provided funds to create the first public kindergarten in Dayton.

Patterson died on May 2, 1922. His son, Frederick B. Patterson, assumed control of the National Cash Register Company. That same year, the company produced its two millionth cash register. It also had begun producing other business machines. During World War I and World War II, the National Cash Register Company helped the United States' war effort by manufacturing shell fuses, plane engines, and code-breaking machines, among many other items.

During the 1950s and the 1960s, the National Cash Register Company began to produce computers. In 1974, it changed its name to NCR Corporation to symbolize its more diverse product line. In 1991, AT&T acquired the NCR Corporation but decided to end its control of NCR Corporation in 1997. NCR Corporation continues to operate in the early 2000s, specializing in office equipment.

Product Videos

National Cash Register Model 313 with top sign in bronze with coppertone (06:28)
More details at:http://www.antiqueperfection.com/products/National-Cash-Register-Model-313-with-matching-top-sign.htmlAntique Candy Store Cash Register Model 313 with Original Top Sign Origin: AmericanMaker: NationalDate: 1900Dimensions (inches): 21" x 10" x 16.5"A National Cash Register #313 in in the rare bronze with coppertone finish (Copper Oxidized CuO2 process) on wood base by National Cash Register Co (NCR) of Dayton, OH, Model #313 with original top sign. In excellent condition!
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    More details at:http://www.antiqueperfection.com/products/Nati...

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