Metal cabinets are furnished
in the following finishes:
( A ) Bronze, oxidized and relieved
This cabinet was a solid
bronze casting that was dipped in a black oxide chemical, which turned the
cabinet black. The flat edges and the high points of the casting were polished,
leaving the black in the low areas and highly shined bronze edging. It was then
lacquered to maintain the finish.
( B ) Nickel plated*
This cabinet is usually a
solid yellow brass (or sometimes cast iron)* casting that was nickel plated.
The drawer front was generally solid nickel because the nickel plating would
easily wear off when closing the drawer. Yellow brass is made from copper, zinc
and tin. Bronze is copper and tin. Both copper and tin are expensive, so the
zinc makes it a lot cheaper to make and was used for most plated machines.
Often if they didn't have all of the parts in brass, they would use a bronze
part. After many years of wear, the nickel becomes worn off in spots. If you
remove all of the nickel, you often find 3 colors, red bronze, yellow brass and
solid nickel. This machine will have to be re-plated? Highly polished and
( C ) Bronze, natural color.
This cabinet was solid bronze
castings. Highly polished and lacquered.
( D ) Oxidized copper and relieved*
This machine is usually made
with yellow brass (or cast iron)* casting which were copper plated. The copper
was thicker than nickel and would not wear off, so the drawer front was also
copper plated brass. It was dipped in the black oxide chemical and the edges
and high points of the pattern were highly
polished, leaving bright copper edging with the lower areas black. Also
( E ) Yellow brass, Natural color
This machine was solid brass
castings that were highly polished and lacquered.
( En ) Black enamal, ornamented. (Class 100 only)
This machine is solid yellow
castings that were dipped in black oxide and the edges and high points highly
polished leaving the black in the low areas. Also lacquered.
****Exception, NCR made a few
series of registers with castings from solid cast iron. These were plated in
Nickel (B) or Copper Oxide (D) finish. If these wear off, you must nickel or
copper plate them again.
All cabinets are made of either bronze or brass, with the exception of registers No. 20, class 100 & 200. (Note on the 1911 Catalouge) The Ionic series no. 11 threw 25 were also cast iron. Plus there was a series in the 50's that was cast iron. To be on the sure carry a small magnet with you. If it dosn't stick it is bronze or brass. The cast iron were mostly nickel & copper plated.
Some of the early machines
were offered in a solid wood cabinet. These cabinets were made from Oak,
Quarter Sawn Oak, Birch, Mahogany, Black Walnut and many other expense woods.
They had burled veneer and fancy inlayed patterns of different wood veneers.
These were often accented with brass and nickel inlays, as well as nickel
plated drawer pull and other hardware.
Many inlay patterns were
named such as: The Shell Pattern,Lilly of the Valley, Tulip Pattern, and the Persimmon pattern.
Early Flat Metal Cabinets
Some of the early NCR models
had flat metal cabinets that were enameled and painted with designs comparable
to the wooden inlay machines. These were very attractive and the metal was
brass or bonze underneath. (Do not confuse these with the later machines that
are brass or steel but painted with a wood grained finish. The later ones can
be many colors as owners often painted them.)
Flat Metal Scribed cabinets
Before or during the fancy
casting period, NCR had a few flat metal cabinets that had a very fancy design
scribed or etched into them. These were solid brass or bronze with nickel plating.
Some had a mixture of small castings on them. These are extremely rare but this
doesn't mean more valuable?