From the rotation of the ship’s propeller to record your saloon receipts.

In 1871 James Jacobs Ritty, the fifth of five children, opened a saloon well Known as “THE EMPIRE”  in 10, South Main Street, Dayton, Ohio, (USA).


James Ritty

After a few years his business suffered a breakdown because of money thefts and Ritty was obliged to take a vacation trip to Europe. During this trip he observed the movement of the ship’s propeller and he thought: “If the movements of a ship’s propeller can be recorded, there is no reason why the movements of sales in a store cannot be recorded”.  When he came back to USA from the trip, he designed and produced on the second floor of the “EMPIRE” together his brother John, a mechanic, the first “cash register” of the history to protect the receipts by the thefts. On the 4th of November 1879 Ritty patented the invention named “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier”. The first model of cash register was without a cash drawer, it recorded only the number of sales and the amount of each one. After having patented the idea, he decided to found in Dayton the first company of cash registers, but unfortunately  the product wasn’t appreciate and  Ritty’s company closed. The patent was sold to a group of OHIO investors, among which there was John H. Patterson. Patterson turned  Ritty’s invention in a fortune and in 1884 founded the National Cash Register company also known as NCR. The actual Cash registers are made by a touch screen and a POS for tracking the payments, the first cash register of history was only mechanical.


Ritty’s Cash Register


NCR’s electronic cash register

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