cash register

cash register
a business machine that indicates to customers the amounts of individual sales, has a money drawer from which to make change, records and totals receipts, and may automatically calculate the change due. Also called sales register.
[1875-80, Amer.]

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      business machine that usually has a money drawer and is designed to record sales transactions. The typical cash register of the mid-20th century, through a system of keys, levers, and gears often electrically driven, indicated the amount of a transaction at the top of the register where it could be seen by both customer and salesperson; it also kept separate totals of sales by various classifications, printed and issued a receipt on cash sales or overprinted a record of the transaction on a docket for charge sales, and kept an audit strip within the register. Some types of machines automatically made change. Frequently, special counters in the register showed the number of customers and the number of transactions of different kinds.

      Within a few years the combined electronic revolution and the increasing ubiquity of the digital computer in business operations had caused major manufacturers to convert from the mechanical cash register to an electronically operated device that performed the same functions, often driven by and sometimes feeding information into a computer, enabling instant credit checks, recording of transactions, and inventory control entries. Computer-driven cash registers often are equipped with an optical scanning device or a light pen that can read printed or coded price information and product description, recording it and printing it on the customer's receipt.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Cash register — A device for recording the amount of cash received, usually having an automatic adding machine and a money drawer and exhibiting the amount of the sale. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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