Q: We have been spring-cleaning and found a few objects we don't want but are not sure if they have any value. In my letter, I have included a picture of a vintage cash register. It is metal with a wood frame, and it is not in good condition. The drawer won't open; the top marble plate is missing. The price keys are white with black numbers. The overall weight is at least 50 pounds. There is a metal plate on the front with the words: "The National Cash Register Co. - Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A."
We would appreciate any information you can provide on our cash register.
A: John Henry Patterson established the National Cash Register Co. in 1884 in Dayton, Ohio. The company grew slowly in the first 10 years; aggressive marketing and advertising proved to be the key. By 1904, the factory was producing over 100,000 cash registers. Patterson also believed in maintaining a good work environment. He provided lunches, chairs with backs rather than stools, indoor restrooms and proper ventilation for his employees. He passed away in 1922, and his son took over. Eventually, the company became more diverse and began making other office equipment. It is still in business, operating today as the NCR Corporation.
Your cash register is circa 1915 and in need of restoration. Its value is diminished due to the poor condition, and it is probably only worth $125 to $150. If it were in excellent condition, it would be worth anywhere from $800 to $1,800.
Q: This is the mark on a porcelain bowl and smaller, matching bowls. The border of each dish is decorated with bands of small, pink flowers and green leaves. There is gold trim on all the edges. The set is in mint condition.
What can you tell me about the maker, vintage and value of my set?
A: Theodore Haviland established his porcelain company in Limoges, France, in 1892. Over the years, the company experienced several changes in management and reorganizations, but it continues to operate today. You have a berry bowl with matching serving dishes that was made around 1930. It would probably have a value in the range of $80 to $125.
Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.