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Cash Register Legacy From Father

By Neal McChristy
16-Sep-98

About six blocks away from a statue in New Ulm, Minn., named Herman at Herman Heights Park lives Floyd Schlottman, who with his dad carved out an adding machine and typewriter business in this community 100 miles south of Minneapolis.

His father also gave him the legacy of a National cash register.

"My dad had an old register when he started (this business) in 1960," said Schlottman, now age 70. "I think it was from Tracy, Minnesota."

When Schlottman took over the business in 1973, the machine came with the business. The brass National cash register is a class 400-800 register, manufactured about 1900, says Schlottman.

"This has all the fancy brasswork, as you can see," he said.

The community that Schlottman lives in is mostly agricultural and of German heritage. There is a Heritage Fest every year in July and of course, an Oktoberfest. Schlottman says he joins in, as his German-born ancestrors settled in nearby Courtland, Minn., migrating from Illinois.

Schlottman has run the business mostly himself, with some help from his family. An article in the New Ulm Post-Review in 1988 states the New Ulm Office Machines Co. did sales, service and rental of all makes and models of typewriters and calculator. The business at that time had typewriter and calculator supplies, ribbons for most makes of typewriters and calculators, tapes and paper supplies for calculators.

The company that was a hallmark for office machines, National Cash Register Co., and produced the cash register Schlottman owns, was founded in 1884 by John H. Patterson, whose 13 employees were located in the Callahan Power Building in Dayton, Ohio.

In 1885, an Englishman named J.W. Allison became NCR's first international agent after viewing the self-adding cash register in Chicago. The first company-owned factory was established on the Patterson farmland in south Dayton.

In 1906, the first cash register powered by an electric motor was developed by Charles F. Kettering. By 1911, NCR had sold its one millionth cash register. The company became publicly-owned in 1926.

Research on magnetic memory drums for memory machines, electronic digital displays and signature verification by video began in the late '40s. Computer and electronics applications for business machines began in the early '50s. The NCR 390 was the first low-cost computer on the mass market. In 1991, the company merged with AT&T, and Teradata merged with AT&T in 1992.

Editor's Note: The cash register is for sale. If you would like to contact Floyd Schlottman about it, contact him at 202 N. Minnesota, New Ulm, Minn. 56073 or telephone at (507) 354-5416.

For a complete history of the National Cash Register Co., the Web address for AT&T's compiled NCR history is http://www.att.com/press/0993/930922.nca.html


 
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