Monday, February 14, 2011

It's A Living - Part 3

 I don't expect you to share my passion for cash registers, so I won't be upset if you skip over this entry.
Image result for anker f7
Anker F7
As I previously mentioned, my internship with cash registers started in 1974 at Standard Cash Register, located at 301 Central Avenue, Dover, NH but it is no longer there.  We referred to the cash registers as 'machines', and the owner's daughter picked up on the term.  However, she was very young and couldn't pronounce 'machine' so it came out as 'berscheeb'.  So the very first 'berscheeb' I became proficient at, was the German-made Anker, the model F7 shown at the left.  It was a very well built machine used in many markets in the Boston area, including Purity Supreme and Star Market.  It was always the goal to sell maintenance contracts to the businesses we serviced.  That was a good thing for both them and us, we had guaranteed income and they had fixed costs they could budget for the year.  When I had started working for Standard, the largest account we had was Rigazio's Market owned by John Rigazio, an interesting person, in Rochester, NH with three Anker Registers.  For extra income, I could sell contracts and receive a commission and being a young father and husband, I needed the bucks, so I went for it.  I managed to sell contracts to eleven Star Markets and thirteen Purity Supreme markets.  The downside was they were predominantly in the Boston area and that made for long days on service calls.  We were a small company and there were only two and sometimes three of us to do the work.
Cash register. Photograph Joanna Boileau
NCR Class 51
  Along with Anker registers, we would service other makes.  There were a lot of NCR's out there.  A common supermarket 'berscheeb' was the Class 51.  It's predecessor was the Class 6000.  One thing I could never figure out was why the older models had larger model numbers!  For smaller markets and restaurants, you would often see the Class 21.

NCR Class 6000
Image result for chrome ncr 1900
NCR Class 1900
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NCR Class 21
In bars, the machine you would see most, was the Class 1900, though sometimes you would see a 51, 21, or 24.  The last mechanical machines that NCR produced was the Class 24 and the Class 5.  That was easy to tell, because the cases were plastic instead of metal.  The 24 was a smaller machine, basically an updated version of the 21 and the 5 was a monster that was the high end machine for supermarkets and the like.  Fortunately for me that was one machine that we wouldn't service, whew!

NCR Class 24

Victor 45

R.C. Allen 'A-Mod'
We also sold and serviced Victor, JCM and R.C. Allen cash registers as well as servicing Hugin and Sweda. Interestingly, the Victor, Hugin, and Sweda mechanical registers are all cousins to each other where the companies have all tied in together at one time or another. The most common Victor we sold and serviced was the Model 45 for general retail and the Model 40 for restaurants. The JCM's were Japanese machines that was our 'econony' line. R.C. Allen had been around a long time making adding machines. I think one day they decided to put their adding machine on a cash drawer and call it a cash register, because that is what it certainly looked like! The term that applied to this fabrication was called an 'A Mod'. The owner of Standard Cash Register, Dick Lemke, got his start working for an office machine company in Dover, NH, and he asked if they could expand into cash registers and eventually Standard was a spin off of that company, focusing on just cash registers. I believe it was the R.C. Allen line that started that, because Standard was heavy into the R.C. Allen machines.

Image result for sweda 46
Sweda 46
  The most common Sweda we serviced was the Model 46 as well as some of it's bigger brother, the Model 76.
  Eventually, the technology took a big change and the electronic register came along.  When I first started at Standard, there was one, lone, ECR (electronic cash register) in the back corner of the show room.  More of this exciting story to follow!....


  1. Hello:

    I hope you do not mind but I used one of your pictures in my school project Sveda 46. Thanks

  2. Thanks. I enjoyed reading your blog.

  3. Enjoyed reading your blog! I have always LOVED cash registers - can't explain it, but I love them. It's clear you feel similarly! Thanks!

  4. Just out of high school in 1964 I landed a job with a cash register company which sold & serviced used NCR's and new Sweda machines - mostly model 46's. What great days, replacing amount blocking slides, adding more counter wheels and adjusting the power-penny row. Our NCR 6000's were real dogs compared to the mechanical beauty of Stockholm's finest. Too bad everything went electrical almost overnight and registers turned into empty boxes with a 10-key pad.

  5. I was wondering if you could help with some cash register issue? I have a Hugin/Victor that has some issues. I can almost get it to work. It will run and cycle, but not how it should. It worked great, then jammed, I unjammed it, now it doesn't run that great. I can send videos of what it does, let me know. You can email me at Thanks!!!

  6. Great blog. I have a Sweda model 76. Serial 8608-471983. Type 48042-000, which I need to sell, but have no idea what to ask for it. Can anyone help with this?

  7. Re above. email please

  8. In 1970 I worked for NCR in the Flagstaff, Az. office. One morning my boss told me drive to a business on the desolate road running north to Page, and to look for a building on the right. I found it all by itself in the middle of nowhere. I went in, it was a bar. I asked the owner why are you here? He said "This is where the road is closest to the Najavo Reservation" (where alcohol is banned)...


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