Working Memories

Do you remember working in a shop growing up? Did you ever learn how to work the old cash register?

Whether you worked at a bar, Woolworths, or Marks and Spencer, you were most likely introduced to the humble cash register.

They have been around since the late 19th century – in fact, the first till that was manufactured in 1879 was named ‘Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier’. It had a wooden body and metal keys and was invented to prevent employee theft.

Spring Chicken Facebook Followers have been reminiscing on their old jobs:

‘I worked in my parent’s tobacconist shop from the age of 3! I loved weighing up the loose tobacco.’

‘We didn’t have tills to add up for you back in the day. You had to use your brain to add it up yourself.’

‘When I worked in Woolworths on a Saturday, I would have to use an old cash register. It was fine, until you had to ring up £1.19s and 11d 3 farthings. You’d run out of fingers or had to stretch a long way! Mind you, with the prices in the 60s, you didn’t have to do that very often.’

With an increase in use of tills in retail, the employee was required to ring up every transaction and, when the total key was pressed, the bell would ring to alert the senior staff that a sale was taking place.

Now, stores have evolved from the abacus to the iPad. But which is easier to use?

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1 Comment

  • I worked in both the Co-op and Civic stores in west London selling electrical goods. It was the late sixties so I would have used tills from that era, I remember colour tv being launched and borrowing one from the shop to show you family and returned it after a short time. One thing that also sticks in my mind was the sound system built into a cabinet it was furniture with record deck and radio very up market, twin tub washing machines were Labour saving, well so we thought.

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