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Friday, April 17, 2015

Can you help me find out how much my antique brass cash register is worth?

Looking in Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide 2015, we found a list of twenty-six antique cash registers, prices ranging from $69 to $6600. There were only a few listings for specifically brass cash registers, and those were valued between $480 and $1020. We went next to Price It!, our library database for valuing antiques, to see if we could find more information. Price It! pulls information from online sales, auction houses, and online auctions (such as eBay) to give users a price estimate. We found a few complete cash registers in the $345 to $1300 range, but mainly people were selling bits and pieces of their registers.

Finally, we found a few brass cash register collector websites. Dick and Joan’s Antiques provides an extensive chart of serial numbers and manufacture dates, allowing people to estimate the age of their registers. Brass National Cash Registers has pictures of different patterns and features the registers can have, with notes as to their rarity. (The fleur-de-lis pattern, for example, is fairly common, while the scrollwork that spells out “National Cash Register” is rare.) The site also provides tips on unjamming your machine. 

For more information, Brass National Cash Registers recommends the two out-of-print volumes of The Incorruptible Cashier. The first volume is available as a reference text in Cleveland Public Library’s business department. 

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