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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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NCR: 1902

NCR: 1902

Dayton, Ohio, circa 1902. "Plating department, National Cash Register Company." Photo by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Re: Quality and Beauty

Back in the day, furnishings were elegant and hats, eloquent. You might explore the steampunk subculture. While you may or may not be at an age where you'd be comfortable participating, you could at least take heart that there are those who still appreciate the aesthetics of bygone days.

Gilded Age

This appears to be one of their top-of-the-line registers of the turn-of-the-last-century--a beauty! Caption says it was headed out of production more or less as the (Shorpy) picture was being taken:

I just love the "conductor."

Right there in the center of the shot.

Watch out for old Sparky

I wonder what voltage they are using to electroplate. You can see the voltage controllers and a meter on the post. I assume that the power is turned off before the plater dipped into the tank. On the left side, one of the men has his hand on the controller.

As for ventilation: It looks like they are on an upper story, and all of the windows can be opened. The cross ventilation would be pretty good. Today, you better capture those fumes.

Re: Preserve your baby shoes

10th and Santa Clara - probably site of the 7-Eleven, now!

This is a nasty job.

What I remember about visiting an electroplating plant and seeing workers who worked there regularly was that it was very hard on clothing. I see some workers wearing aprons here. But some are not even wearing that protection.The workers seem to be able to dip their parts without actually having to use their hands. But the system looks as if it would be easy to lose hold of the part and it would splash into the solution in the tank.
Rubber gloves, full rubber aprons and rubber boots seem to be the current fashion for this sort of work.

Nasty Brew

I can almost smell the chemical stench just by looking at it!

I worked for a short time at a place that made printed circuit boards, and the plating line was home to some wicked chemicals and their aromas. Can't imagine that NCR had good ventilation in 1902. No safety glasses either.

Crank It

When I was in high school in the '80's, I worked in a small town independent hardware store in a building that had been a hardware or dry goods store since the 1880's. We still used an ancient NCR cash register with rows of giant buttons to enter the item amounts. Once you had added everything in (including the tax) you turned a crank on the side of the machine about four times and it would ring up the total amount, pop out the till, and spit out a receipt (yes, the receipt printer still worked, and you could still get paper that fit). The crank made a terrific mechanical ratcheting noise and when the till popped open, a bell rang with a bright loud "Tingg!!!". I loved that thing.

Preserve your baby shoes

In 1945 on the corner of 10th street and Santa Clara in San Jose, California there was a plating shop very much like the one in the photo. It was much smaller: it had about 6 large tubs. I was 7 years old and was able to walk in off the street and stroll between the tubs and watch what they were doing. It appeared that much of their work was in plating baby shoes.

The conductor is waiting

Cleanup on Aisle 15 -- we have a tray spill.

Quality & Beauty

There was a time when something as mundane as a cash register was made with care, detail, was pleasing to the eye and made to last. What happened? We now have ugly, plastic, disposable things that end up in the trash heap as soon as technology comes up with a newer version. Yes, our modern items are faster and more efficent, but nothing can beat the feel of real wood and brass and the sturdiness of these gorgeous machines. I would love to travel back for a month or so to this era and take in some of the buildings, businesses, shops and homes.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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