1902: The cash register offers shopkeepers cumulative totals and can give an audit trail of transactions. That helps businesses collect market research data.
1906: Charles Kettering, researcher for the National Cash Register Co., designs the first register powered by an electric motor.
1915: The cash register, dressed in fancy cast-metal cases, became an essential tool in nearly every retail establishment. The registers were made of different materials including brass, cast-iron and wood. National Cash Register ran the largest brass foundry in the world during that period. By 1915, more than 1.5 million cash registers were sold.
1960s: The retail industry shifts to electronic registers.
Early 1970s: National Cash Register introduces the first cash register that's part of the store's entire computer system. At the same time, National Cash Register introduces a bar coding scanning system to be used with the machine.
1974: The National Cash Register changes its name to NCR Corp. It makes the first bar code scanners.
1991: NCR acquired by AT&T
1994: NCR name changes to AT&T GIS by the end of 1996.
1995: AT&T GIS changes its name back to NCR Corp. in anticipation of being spun off to AT&T shareholders by January 1997 as an independent, publicly traded company.
1998: NCR installs first self-checkout system at a Ball's Hen House grocery store in Kansas City, Missouri.
2003: Self-checkout areas become mainstream at many grocery stores and other discounters.
2012: NCR launches a new software program that runs on Apple's iPad that's connected to the keyboard at the cash register counter or can be detached and used as a mobile checkout device.
Source: NCR Corp. and Museum of American Heritage