Brass Cash Registers
Top Signs

You always hear people talk about a "Top Sign". The cash register has indicators in a window at the top of the register. The Top Sign is a form of advertisement that sets on top of the cabinet. There is usually holes drilled to mount this sign. I said it was an advertisement but it was more often used to explain the amount that was displayed below.
"Amount Purchased" was used more often than other signs. Many times it said the owners "Name" or the name of the business. Also you will see "Get A Receipt", "Cashier", and other such saying.

When the cash register was invented they did not have Top Signs. They did start appearing very soon. You will find a great many more registers without Top Signs or Repro Top Signs. My guess is that less than 5% have original Top Signs. Over the years these were lost because it was hard to see over them and they were removed, never to be seen again. Also, the ones that said the owners name were thrown out when a new owner took over. There are many collectors that collect only the Top Signs.

Finding an original Top Sign is really a great bonus when you buy a register. You will find the wrong top sign on machine quite often. I will try to show you the right signs  for the right machine.  As National is the biggest, we will start there. 

The first top signs were made of glass inserted in a frame made from spiral twisted tube. These were found on the early wood cabinet machines. The one I have is perfect. I have seen about 10 others in various condition.

NOTE: These top signs are not for sale. They are just for your education on what you may find. Look in lower section for “Top Signs for sale”.

Rare Glass top sign on a German built model 742.