Sunday, November 15, 2009

James Ritty's Incorruptible Cashier - First Point of Sale Machine in History

As I searched in Google I found that Retail point of sale systems have their roots in an 1870s Dayton, OH saloon. Deeming himself a "Dealer in Pure Whiskies, Fine Wines, and Cigars," owner/operator James Ritty had a successful business. But, like most business owners, he faced a growing issue of dishonest employees who frequently pocketed money from the customers instead of depositing it.


While on a steamboat trip to Europe, Ritty was intrigued by a mechanical device on the ship's propeller that tracked of the number of revolutions for maintenance purposes. Upon his return to Dayton, Ritty and his brother John began working to duplicate this idea to record cash transactions at the saloon with a mechanical device. In 1879, the Ritty brothers patented their invention as "Ritty's Incorruptible Cashier,"







or, as we know it today, the cash register.

The Ritty brothers opened a small factory in Dayton to manufacture their cash registers. Several years later, Cincinnati businessman Jacob H. Eckert bought the business from the Rittys and formed the National Manufacturing Company in 1881. He later sold it to John H. Patterson who continued making improvements to the cash register, including adding rolls of paper used to record each day's transactions.

In course of time, even though Cash register and POS has been serving same purpose, it has been evolved from Giant wheels and machines to the latest touch screen application.


src: Ritty's machine , Ritty