April 9th is National Cherish an Antique day

In today’s throwaway massed produced society where we measure the lifespan of items in days, weeks, months and occasionally years, I like to remember our past.  A past when there were different values and things were made to last decades or even centuries.

In the past, there were different measures for items. Quality, craftsmanship & durability all meant something more than they do today. People had less to work with, so when they couldn’t make an item and had to purchase it, it had better last. People were proud of the work they put into the items they helped manufacture and took the time to make sure that what they put their talents into lasted the buyer for the long run.

To this end items were designed to be repaired, and often several times over. An overhaul by a skilled technician and with new parts could make many items work and run like new. This is just not the case today.

One item that I find particularly beautiful in terms of craftsmanship and design is my Model #442 Cash register, number 1,556,211 manufactured by the National Cash Register Company. This is a perfect example of an item that was designed to look as good as it functioned.

This register is in a brass Empire style case that was designed by Tiffany and it features a marble shelf as well as a receipt printer, and still has its original keys.  My register was shipped from the NCR factory on January 20th, 1916, making this machine 102 years old, and it’s still in working order!

Many people are also not aware that on the underside of the cash drawer, NCR placed a label showing who sold and inspected the unit, and to whom the register was made for and delivered to. It also included the warranty statement. This one was built for a Mr. W.C. Miller and one can only imagine what business it was made for and how many people it served in its lifetime.

Many true antiques have a very storied history. Look around and find something you love, and with a little research, you might find much more about it than you thought you would.  Enjoy your item and take the time also to enjoy the journey and it might lead you places you never imagined, then pass your treasure down so someone else who will cherish your find for many more years to come.