National Cash Register Brass Cash Register, ca. 1900

Value (2009) | $6,000 Insurance
Watch  

GUEST:
This cash register is actually from my grandpa. He got it in some kind of trade deal over 30 years ago. It's obviously a lot older than that. It's just been sitting in his office looking pretty this whole time. And everything works on it. Some of the dates up here are 1800s, and so I'm just interested to know more about it.

APPRAISER:
Okay. National Cash Register Co. in Ohio was the big producer of cash registers and they started out in the 1880s. And between the 1880s and World War I, they made over a million cash registers.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
They made all different sizes, all different shapes. As a matter of fact, if you had the money, they would make a cash register however you wanted it made. And the thing that hit me right off the bat when I looked at this is I've never seen one of these with a $400 key on it.

GUEST:
That was interesting to us, too, being in the 1800s with $400 on there. And it has "watch sales" and "jewelry repair"-- we thought maybe it was in a jewelry shop. Some of the research we did on it, we thought that maybe this brass part of it was actually made by Tiffany & Co. We're not sure. We couldn't find any stampings on it, but that's what it looks like from what we've researched, so...

APPRAISER:
This entire case is cast out of brass, and because it's so finely made, that would probably be an assumption that some people might come to. Now, I talked to our Tiffany expert and she said definitely not.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
Was your grandfather in Oklahoma at the time that he acquired this?

GUEST:
I believe so, yes.

APPRAISER:
At the turn of the century in 1900, think about how much money was in the oil fields and a lot of new money to be spent and not unlikely that somebody would spend $400 or more on a piece of jewelry. You had all these different departments and categories. These mother-of-pearl buttons here were probably the employees' button.

GUEST:
Okay?

APPRAISER:
Right. So you're ringing up a sale for $450, now you want to go ahead and ring that up for us?

GUEST:
Sure. Can I put some extras on there?

APPRAISER:
Sure, put another one in there.

GUEST:
Let's have some change. There it goes.

APPRAISER:
All right, the four you can barely read, but it's there. Now, the question I have is how many times are we going to multiply this times $455 to get to today's values?

GUEST:
I have no idea.

APPRAISER:
(laughter) Well, I think I'm being conservative, but I think this is so rare, minimal, for insurance purposes, we're going to have to take that $455 and we're going to have to multiply it about 12 or 13 times.

GUEST:
Oh, wow.

APPRAISER:
So right now, I'm thinking $6,000.

GUEST:
That's great.

APPRAISER:
If you did some research and you knew where it was used and everything-- you might be able to trace that by the serial number-- but that will probably add some interest and some value to it also. I've been in this business 30 years and I've seen a lot of cash registers, but this one takes the cake and I really appreciate you bringing it in.

GUEST:
Thank you. Sure. Thank you so much.

APPRAISER:
You're welcome.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Ken Farmer & Associates
Charlottesville, VA
Appraised value (2009)
$6,000 Insurance
Event
Denver, CO (July 25, 2009)

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