Brass Cash Registers

Another item that is greatly desired on the early registers is a "Clock". NCR developed a clock as an employee time device very soon after they started selling the registers.

As an owner you might want to go home early and leave your employee to close at a certain time. The clock was wound and set to the proper time. You left at 6:00 and your employee was to close at 8:00.

The last thing he would do before locking up was to press the button on the clock which stopped the clock. When you arrived the next morning you could see that he closed on time or too early etc. You could also reverse the system and have your employee open at a set time. He would press the button upon arrival and you could see when he opened.

These clocks were screwed on or locked from the inside to prevent tampering. As with most of NCR's efforts to have great quality merchandise, these were made by "Seth Thomas". They are highly sought after by clock collectors & NCR collectors. Many are removed by collectors without regard to the completeness of the register. Others were broken off or taken off to be repaired and never found again.

The following are some examples of clocks from the early to the later ones. As with all brass items they were made to match the cabinet finish. Most of the ones that were on a wood cabinet were nickel plated. The first ones were the "fine Scroll" pattern. These were mounted on the side of the register with 2 screws in the mounting "RING" and the clock was hinged on one side and screwed on the other side. This was not safe & soon changed. Notice the button that stopped the time on top side of the clock. The button was on the front later. Also notice that this was a 24 hour clock. The clock faces were both 24 hour in white face or "Day/Night" 24 hour face with the day in white and the night in black.

To safe guard that the clock couldn't be tapered with, they started cutting a hole in the cabinet and making the clock a twist in with a set screw inside the lid. The lid was secured by the lid lock. Note: the stop button is missing on this one. I do not have one but they made the fine scroll clock in a deep(shown) and slightly narrower size. This is on a Canadian machine.

They made a casting or pattern design change. The body became a fluted patter but this one was still the deep style with the button on top. This on is on a Canadian machine. The clock was missing so I inserted a digital clock face.


As cabinet styles changed, so did the clock. Some still had the ring and this was attached by screws to the cabinet and then the clock was twisted into the ring. The clock was locked in place with another screw from the inside of the lid to prevent its removal. Others were twisted right into a large hole cut into the cabinet and had a set screw to lock them in. If these were removed you could tell it right away. The ones with the rings can be spotted by the 3 threaded screw holes in the cabinet.

On still other machine that didn't have a lid, they made a special ring that had a lock built into it. This ring was screwed to the cabinet and you had to have a key to remove or attach the lock. These were used on the crank machines and also the very rare top signs with a clock on it. The top sign clock pictured is a reproduction.

Still later on NCR built a real time stamping clock for the larger model 500. The concept was still the same only they had type wheels that move with the cock movement and when you inserted your time card and pressed the top . it would print your time on the card. These were built in 2 different styles, one with the clock on the front panel and the one pictured with the clock on the inside. I suspect that the front clock was too easy to get damaged so they moved it to the side.

These are the operating instruction for the both clocks;