1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cash Register

CASH REGISTER, a species of calculating machine adapted for use in connexion with the cash-tills of shops, in order to provide a record of the money received. Such machines are made in great variety and widely used. Sometimes the records are constituted by holes punched in a roll of paper; in other cases they are shown on dials by the aid of adding mechanism. A common form has a number of keys, each representing a particular sum and each attached to a counting mechanism which records how many times it has been used. By pressing appropriate combinations of these keys the amount of any purchase can be registered, and the combined records of all the counting mechanism give the total that has been passed through the machine in any selected period. Each key when pressed also raises an indicator which informs the customer how much he has to pay. In their more elaborate forms these cash registers may have a separate money-drawer for each assistant employed in the shop, thus enabling the proprietor to ascertain how many customers each man has served and how much money he has taken, and also to fix responsibility for mistakes, bad money, &c. The machines are also made to deliver a printed receipt for each purchase, showing the amount, date and assistant concerned, and they may be arranged to keep separate records of credit sales, money received on account, and money paid out.