Restoration of Rusty 1914 National Cash Register - With Original Lit Top Sign, St. Paul Saloonkeeper

פורסם בתאריך 17 מאי 2021
This all-original 1914 National Cash Register has its original owner's glass sign - Frank Matschinger, who operated Astoria Cafe in St. Paul, Minnesota and sold Yoerg's Beer. The restoration tackles a jammed machine, restoring power to the motor, rust and crud, a surprise inside, tear down, and lots and lots of sanding and polishing bronze surfaces.

A subsequent owner of this machine was Como Park Pharmacy, as evidenced by a hand-painted glass sign on the other side. Because this cash register was used at a bar, it has unique keys like "Cigar," "Lunch", and "Pint", and was designed to face the back wall behind the bar, so no number indications are shown on the back side. The tag indicates a serial number and the model number 442-E-L (series 400 with four rows of keys with printer, Electric, Lighted).

The label underneath the case drawer shows the original purchase date of April 17, 1914 by Frank Matschinger, a German immigrant to St. Paul.

If you have any questions about restoring antique cash registers, drop a comment below. Another excellent resource is the Cash Register Collectors Club (

00:00 Rusty antique cash register
01:18 Disassembly - taking apart old cash register
02:20 Antique cash register wiring diagram
02:32 How to open an old cash register
03:32 Original NCR cash register top lit sign
05:45 Stuck keys on an antique cash register
06:50 Broken springs on an old cash register
07:30 Receipt printer disassembly National Cash Register
08:15 Yoerg's Beer, St. Paul, Minnesota
09:58 Astoria Buffet, St. Paul, Minnesota (Astoria Hotel, Astoria Cafe, Wabasha St)
11:05 Key removal, buffing, polishing, antique NCR cash register
14:45 Crank handle refinishing NCR register
15:24 Electric motor on NCR cash register 452-E-L
15:38 Dash pot, NCR
18:10 Lit top sign, antique National Cash Register
19:49 Como Park Pharmacy, St. Paul, Minnesota
22:45 Refinishing the wood base on an old cash register
23:36 Frank Matschinger, St. Paul, Minnesota saloonkeeper Astoria Cafe, Wabasha St
30:10 Receipt printer reassembly
35:10 Reassembly of an antique brass cash register
36:31 Before and after of a restored NCR cash register with lit top sign

תגובות: 1 694

  • I love the way things looked back then. Everything was ornamented. Everything was beautiful: cash registers, park benches, lamp posts. Beautiful job.

  • I was a cash register technician in my youth and I worked in the 80's with one of the last NCR trained technicians on the old "Brassies". Thank you for keeping one more alive.

  • I did a little research and I found this: “Cost of Class 400 new in 1909 ranged from $75 to $400, possibly higher depending on the options added.” This is a 452 model and had all the bells and whistles so I’m sure it was in the higher range of $400+ which equates to $10, 920 in today’s dollars! Pretty fascinating!

    • Oh WOW 😂🤣👍🏼👍🏼✌🏼✌🏼💙💙

  • I did not expect a seemingly mundane object like a cash register to be so ornate and complicated. It must've costa fortune back in the day. And it's built like a tank too. Even has special washers that prevent nuts from coming loose from vibrations. Nice to see this unusual piece of history back in working order, looking like new again.

    • @Barney Fife, it was nothing to do with president. The corporations moved their factories to China for the lowering a cost of productions.

    • That was the day when things were made to last and products Made In the USA lasted. It was Made in the USA in the late 60's to early 70's. In 1973 was when the President gave to China a lot of manufacturing and afterward manufacturing was being shipped off to other countries as well and the Made in the USA died. We have been running around 'servicing each other' since then which is why we have realized poor quality products and having to buy them more often. Even today, we can buy "Made in the USA" products such as stoves/ranges, but the parts are made in China or elsewhere. It was sad to see the industry in my area become a ghost town with all of those empty buildings rotting.

  • Beautiful. Both the craftsmanship of the item itself as well as your expertise bringing it back to life. I wish things were made this well today.

  • Beautiful machine. The intricate details are amazing. The fact you could take it apart and put it back together with repairs is insane! Sand blasting is so satisfying. Looks great!

  • Nothing is made nice like this anymore. That is a piece of art.

  • Beautiful work. These mechanisms were pieces of art in their own right; thank you for restoring it to its former glory. Would have loved to see a printed receipt!

  • Amazing job, mate. Machines deserve love too. Greetings from Australia.

  • I found a National cash register in salvage condition which I wanted to restore. But after watching this video, I was appalled at the level of intricacy, precision, engineering, and not to mention patience and elbow grease needed to take on such a humongous task. I wouldn't know how to put together all the parts once they're disassembled. That alone would make me abandon the project. Thanks for doing this restoration. You brought back a piece of history to full glory and it's amazingly, jaw-dropping beautiful!

    • @Queen Of Wands Good idea! Thanks for the encouragement :)

    • Write down each step and take lots of pictures/videos so you know what piece goes where. C’mon you can do it!

  • I thought this piece was in fantastic condition, as seen in the beginning of the video, with all of the patina and aging from it's 100+yr life span. I wasn't really convinced that it needed this level of restoration. After watching the video and seeing the care, skill and reverence put into this project, I'm am astounded by the effort and the result. This item could be considered a treasure BEFORE the restoration, but even more so now. You're equal parts historian, engineer, craftsman, guru and artist. Simply OUTSTANDING work! Please keep posting these projects!

  • I don't know how you remember where everything goes when you put all together again! I like your videos very much. Cheers from Tasmania!

  • Превосходная работа! Заслуживает высшей оценки реставрации ! Сам кассовый аппарат по своей механизации и красоте даже не сравниться ни с одним современным компьютером !

  • Very nice restoration! I have to admit, I felt a great deal of anxiety at about 1:30 when you popped off the covers and I saw how complicated everything was inside - i thought there was no way you’d get everything back together! But you did, gave it a stunning makeover, and it looks like it did the day it was made. Very well done - Cheers

  • I'm amazed at how complicated this machine was. And a testament to a time when mechanical prowess and art could be one in the same.

  • Take note: This machine still works. It's a hundred years old . With proper care this machine will work a hundred years from now. Nothing electronic will last that long.

    • It will it you replace the capacitors and batteries and bulbs and such.

    • @jamesick an old machine will still work when electricity is unavailable. It also doesn’t create waste because it’s still able to be used

    • They still are better excellent quality than the electronic crap now days

    • They were made to last for centuries when properly cared for. A true masterpiece.

    • (because they're made to not last so we can keep buying things)

  • How did he remember where everything goes? Just imagine someone designing something that complicated back then! Yikes!

    • Once you know how something works generally everything only goes in one place. Different size screws are where the problems come in...

    • Take pictures and take more pictures...

    • He can refer his own video on ILaward

    • He filmed it

    • Why the fuck is this question even asked? Is there not a camera to document everything?

  • Trabajé para NCR 40 años en el departamento de servicio técnico, es un orgullo ver la restauración de tan hermoso modelo de caja registradora, gracias

  • From the days when everyday items like cash registers were made like works of fine art. The perfect blend of engineering, art and functionality👌 Great video! More please 👍

  • Thank you for these videos. You’ve helped me with my anxiety. I cannot express how much I enjoy watching you restore items. This has to be my favourite at the moment. The love and attention you put into these items is amazing - thank you. ❤️🇨🇦

  • У меня нет слов для восхищения! Обожаю смотреть такие ролики по восстановлению старых антикварных вещей! Супер!!! 👋👋👋💯💯💯

  • I used to repair typewriters (as a hobby) so I have a good feeling what you went through to get that beautiful register gleaming again. A job, respectfully well done. Thanks for the video. Too bad I can only hit the like button once!

  • Excellent job, thank you for sharing! I was surprised at all the tiny pieces…it would’ve driven me nuts, but you handled it all delicately and professionally.

  • What a transformation! While I might have the patience & skills to take the old apart, I have neither to fix it and put everything back together. Obviously you have both. I congratulate you! Thanks for sharing this awesome transformation!

  • Somewhere Mr.Frank is thanking you for restoring his legacy Beautiful craftsmanship Thank you for your dedication

  • This was an amazing restoration. Loved the history lesson as well. What amazes me is that someone long ago sat down at a drafting table and designed this beautiful machine by hand. That person then took it to a machine shop where every single piece of this intricate system was made……no computers, no CAD, no lasers etc. …..just craftsmen with knowledge that has, for the most part been forgotten until someone with a unique talent and desire brings it back to life. My hats off to you sir. Amazing job.

  • One wonders at what it would take to make all the parts for this cash register and assemble it back in the 1910's, much less invent it. Just one of thousands of amazing things made by amazing people in that time period.

  • I am absolutely blown away by your attention to detail. You make it look so easy, but this video shows that you really know so much about machinery, electronics and restoration. Absolutely beautiful. I am a new subscriber!

  • Awesome job I was able to transport myself in time and hear what the saloon was like it’s so cool to see restorations like this and that’s so cool how hard you work to complete it thank you for all your videos

  • Amazing that such an intricate and old piece of machinery, still works so well after so long.

  • Trabalho de mestre! Parabéns!

  • Being a Cashier for some 30+ years, it was a thrill and a pleasure to see this cash register from 1914 being brought back to life. Hopefully to either be put on display or to be used again. Amazing...

  • Nice restoration. I like that the paper elements were preserved. I would have liked to have seen the printer print and the light lit, though.

    • Towards the end….after he shows a time lapse of each panel being added to the chassis - and just before he moves into the before-and-after montage - he quickly rings up a sale and the drawer opens. For about one second the display lights up.

  • It’s amazing how much the technology for cash registers have changed over the years, but many of these new registers, ATMs, self-checkout terminals and such that we use today were made by the same company that made this old beauty: NCR.

  • A simply wonderful restoration, and I admire the patience and the skill necessary to bring this earlier work of art back to life. I only wish that the light on top would’ve been lit for the final photos.

  • What a beautiful machine. Not just how it looks on the outside now, but the engineering! You did a great job. 🤗🖖💕

  • For the most part, this was an amazing restoration! The amount of work and attention you put into things is amazing. the only thing I'm super disappointed in was the treatment of the wood. It felt like that piece of wood you used for the new faceplate was a really cheap piece of balsa wood or something. It wouldn't have been hard to source a period-correct piece of wood like that from a local lumber store and it would have made a huge difference. I know that seems like I'm being picky but as a fan of really nice wood I feel like the restoration of the wood didn't match the rest of the project. I'm blown away by the rest of your work though!

  • Que linda toda restaurada, ficou magnifica. Parabéns pelo trabalho 👏👏👏👏👏👏

  • I would love to know how much this cost originally. We loved the bit of history and back story also! Thanks for that. It adds so much to the project. Kudos for finding that info.

  • Wow!!! That's a LOT of moving parts to keep track of! My only wish is that the wooden top (under the register mechanism) could have seen a little more love, but hey, no one sees it anyway. Great work! Tis truly a thing of beauty.

  • This piece is a work of art--we are so grateful you saved it. I kept thinking….how are they ever going to get it all back together in working order?!? Silly me; of course you did. (and, good save on the pharmacy sign.) 👍🏻

  • What a beautiful machine and what a pleasure to watch you restore it. One of my favorites and I watch quite a few. Thank you for sharing.

  • Never thought I would find such beauty in a cash register. The craftsmanship is astounding. Great restoration brother.... job well done.

  • Muy bien reparado, Lo felicito. Me tocó verlas trabajar hacían mucho ruido cuando se registraba

  • Great job! Thankfully there are people out here like you that preserve history

  • All those little parts working together, and covered in gilding from head to toe. They sure made a glorious contraption didn't they. Thanks for taking all that time to restore it, it looks great.

  • Wow, amazing job. It looks stunning. The amount of experience and time put into this really paid off. Great job!!

  • Que hermosa y compleja máquina, respeto total para sus diseñadores y para este trabajo de restauración. 🙌🏻👏🏻👍👍

  • Gotta love those iron castings. The quality of them is truly something. Oh crap! 20:04 At least it wasn't original lettering. Though my background is electronics, I'm fascinated by mechanical devices like these. I can watch videos like this forever. Beautiful restoration. How much does the complete unit weigh?

    • @BOM Reviews Wow, about 56kg. No one was ever going to make off with it, just by carrying it out the door, back in the day.

    • I did put it on a scale at one point, I think it was 125 lbs

  • MAGNIFICENT JOB! I wonder a restored piece like this one would go for?

  • Thank you for adding to my education, what a wonderful demonstration of the intricate work that can technically now still work. It would be cool to see a receipt from it today but finding the right paper rolls probably not so easy. Your precision, patience and excellent skills are mesmerizing to watch.

  • Indeed, this video is a ILaward treasure, I hope this is a very rare machine! The entire video is very informative and educative. It says many things about past technology and how the then inventors thought and designed their work. Thank you very much for sharing this video.

  • Wow! This is absolutely magical, you sir are a restoration wizard 🧙‍♀️

  • The most complicated piece of machinery I have ever seen, I think you were very courageous to tackle this

  • I never fail to be surprised at the level of artistry & detail in things from the past- just a cash register, & yet, it looks so much more complex & beautiful than its modern equivalent....

  • Esta registradora é uma obra de arte. Beautiful!!🌹🌷

  • Amei! Meus parabéns! Belíssimo trabalho!

  • Excelente trabalho de restauração. Parabéns! (Excellent restoration work. Congratulations!) - Quanto tempo você levou para concluir o trabalho? (How long did it take you to complete the job?)

  • I love to see old things restored. This is a beautiful machine. Beautiful job!

  • That first ka-ching sound after the buttons and crank mechanism were cleaned and repaired was just 👌 Another thing I’ve learned is that diluted Dawn dish soap is hands down the best de-greaser you can get

  • Incredible. The quality of the restoration as well as the craftsmanship of the old products.

  • You Sir have done James Ritty proud. Thank you for the skills and for keeping a part of history alive!

  • This mechanism is incredible! Marvellous restoration work!

  • I have NEVER in my life seen such skill and professionalism as having been shown in this video! Quite obviously, this was not your "first rodeo"! Being "mechanically challenged" myself, I do so admire your talent!

  • It's great when an old thing gets a second life👍 My respect to the master.

  • This makes me wonder about his family. I would hope they would see something like this and be touched by it. Amazing to see things like this restored.

  • For me this isn't just an incredible talent in restoring a piece of history -- Which is rare enough in itself. It's also about appreciating the amount of attention they once paid in making a practical device, beautiful. Look at the detail in the body of the register - It's detailed and compliments the structure of the register.

  • To me, as soon as you took the cover off it looked like a work of art. You did a truly amazing job restoring it back to it’s original beauty. Thanks for sharing that experience.

  • I’m from Dayton Oh and many family members and friends worked for NCR while I was growing up. These registers are works of art. There’s a huge collection of them at Carrilion Park. Each one different and unique. My jewelry box is a 3 drawer mahogany base for a NCR register

  • Watched the entire video without skipping any bits because it was mesmerizing, and superb work. I have only one problem. I would have LOVED to see a printed receipt. When the video ended, I saw a box showing the receipt printing process. Great video.

  • This is my first video from this channel, but I can already tell I’m gonna keep coming back. I love how they gave the known history on the register! It makes it feel 100% more satisfying seeing it finished. If the original owner were to see it all fixed up I know he’d be through the moon.

    • @BOM Reviews the fact you share the history of the piece is definitely unique and helps you stand out! I can’t wait to see what other content you choose to make!

    • Thank you! I know there are a lot of restoration channels - I hope to add a little more in the way of history and fun.

  • Ficou maravilhosa! Parabéns!!! 👏🏼

  • What a fantastic machine and what a great job you did! I restore antique typewriters and can appreciate the time and effort that goes into a restoration.

  • Impressive work. A LOT of experience with these machines to take it apart and remember where everything goes. I salute sir, 😁👍🏻

  • I live in Minnesota and my great great grandfather was from Bavaria Germany also. He immigrated to Wisconsin and opened the Regenfuss Brewery, they closed in 1933. It’s sad cause our family has no physical items from the brewery because it was all taken by collectors. I hope to one day get a beer crate or something with our name on it.

  • Esta sem dúvida foi a restauração mais longa e linda que eu já assisti,magnífica restauração,parabéns ao restaurador,está registradora já registrou alguns dólares durante sua existência, excelente,parabéns!

  • Thank you for revealing the beauty and artistry of this incredible early 20th century machine. Amazing restoration job!

    • Ok is eating wood filler a large problem in your neck of the woods 🤣

  • Just wow. I think if Frank Matschinger could see this he’d be amazed! Fantastic restoration!!

  • That is one absolutely fantastic job on the restoration of what I can only describe as a work of art. Compared to today's electronic mass produced pieces. Love it. I'm even more amazed at the fact that it is still fully operational after all these years, apart from the few repairs that were needed.

  • Не кассовый аппарат а произведение искусств. Какую красоту делали раньше да и жизнь была интересной. Реставрация заслуживает особой похвалы. Прекрасная работа 👍👍👍👏👏👏

  • Great job. A long time ago, in my distant childhood, I saw such a (very similar) cash register, which our local pharmacist had in the pharmacy as a decoration (the device, of course, has not worked for a long time, but its appearance has always attracted attention). What a complex electro-mechanical device for its time. And, of course, a work of art both outside and inside.

    • It's basically mechanical. The motor just powers the same stuff the crank does. Once the machine has carried out it's command (e.g.: addition) you can turn the crank all day and nothing more happens. When you hit an "action key" the motor starts running. When the action is complete, the motor stops. Except for the noise, there isn't any problem with the motor running all the time.

  • My goodness this is just incredible work. Well done!

  • What a amazing work of art restoring the cash register. It's beautiful. It's great to see someone with passion for the old pieces of history to give them new life. My first time watching, like what I saw.

  • Wow! I am SO impressed! I have never seen one of these restored and I love seeing it as I imagine my grandmother would have. I love this! ❤

  • I was a field engineer for National Cash Register in the 1960s and 70s and still worked and repaired those Beautiful Cash Registers; and the Mechanic design was to last forever. For years later was always looking for one of the Brass ones to restore, but sadly never was able to find one. Good job: sorry to say though, I had never ran across that Model. Thank you, enjoyed Video.

  • My family owned what was euphemistically called a "five and dime" and one of the cash registers in the store was almost identical to this machine. It didn't have the fancy light at the top, and the electric motor and printer did not work, but my dad didn't care :) I grew up working in that store and cranked the handle of that machine many, many times. My parents retired and sold that store in the early 70's, and I think my niece owns that machine now.

  • Linda peça restauração de finíssima qualidade parabéns

  • I brought 1900 St. Louis Cash Register from Salvation Army in Ballwin, MO in Fall of 2017 for about $100.00 and it is mechanical cash register made in St. Louis in 1903. I contacted a repair guy in Illinois that has expertise and repair it for me and have it repaired and completed in Spring of 2019 at the cost of $125.00 before I moved to MD

  • Потрясающе! Как делали раньше вещи - прочно, качественно и с любовью! А реставратор - просто волшебник!

  • Pretty on the outside, but I felt the inside could have used a little more love. A good de-grease and re-grease. I cringed a little at still seeing the gunk in gears as the sides went back on. Understandable if you're doing it for a price though. Looked great and works again. I enjoyed.

    • yeah.. It was cringey.. I started skipping the video after I realized it wasn't gonna be cleaned and fully rebuilt..

    • Not sure if it’s working 100% a function demonstration was never documented on the video just simply opened the drawer never seen the printer print anything out :(

  • Only one word to describe the experience of watching the restoration work......Sublime!! More power to you Sir !👍

  • Fico impressionada com seus trabalhos,parabéns,sou artesã,queria Mmmmmm muito saber essa maravilhosa arte👏👏👏👏👏👏👏🥰🥰🥰

  • Excelente. Reparação top. Gosto de ver a história sendo preservada.

  • Stunning, awesome restoration,,,,,,,,kudos to the guy who conceived it, and the engineers who built it.

  • Why would there be over 800 people that gave a thumb down ???😲😒 I guess there will always be haters! Beautiful, masterful work, sir 👍

  • Fascinating to watch , I admire your patience and skill . Thanks for taking us along on the restoration journey .

  • Absolutely amazing restoration on such a magnificent piece from the past. As a young boy I had the privilege of using a beautiful old 'National' Hotel Cash Register. Thank you for such a wonderful video of your work.

  • Beautiful restoration! Mr Matshinger had no idea that this would probably be one of the only things left from his years of proprietorship! Nice work too on restoring that later pharmacy lettering on the glass ! I enjoyed watching this!

  • What a great restoration! Thanks for saving this piece of Americana from the brass scrap heap!! I looked up the proprietor and he was an interesting man. Keep the videos coming, sir! Are you able to say how many manhours it took and the cost of restoration?

  • This was amazing to watch! Beautiful restoration! 😍