the American Combination Register
December 25, 2003:  Your intrepid author is rather startled to find this unusual machine beneath his Christmas tree, courtesy of his even more intrepid wife, Tammy.  And what a surprise it is!

What we are looking at here is the
AMERICAN COMBINATION REGISTER, a cash register which falls, design-wise, into my favorite AMOD category but which is decidedly unusual compared to the other machines in our collection.  For starters, it's one of only two slide, or lever index, operated adding machines here -- and for two, it's an honestly rare adding machine mounted upon a drawer which is also clearly identified as a product of the same company.  Most actually are, by the way, but some are not, and something this unusual might be suspected as being a "not."
At left:  What would you mount an American Adding Machine on top of in order to convert it into a cash register?  Naturally, the "American Cash Drawer," a product of the American Can Company, Chicago, Illinois -- as, of course, is the adding machine sitting on top of it.  The drawer is of wood, as is the frame, and four recesses on top accept the feet of the adding machine.  A rod protrudes from the machine bottom, pressing a corresponding button to open the drawer when the right-hand crank is operated.
Now, keep in mind that typewriters are my usual fare, not adding machines.  However, a brief bit of research finds that the American Can Company was formed in 1901, and was the result of the simultaneous merger and / or buyout of some 60 different canning and packaging manufacturers nationwide.  The major player in this consortium was the Norton Bros. Co. of Chicago, which apparently became the main plant in that area for American Can, and may have been the plant at which the unusual American Adding Machines were produced.

Most of the adding machines of this brand are simple non-listing machines, it appears (and that's all I've ever seen in my travels; I look at 'em but skip 'em all.)  This machine is not only a listing adding machine, but has been specially relabeled as part of the factory-built combination.  (Normally, these will just say "American Adding Machine -- American Can Company.") 
Although not in mint condition, the machine is actually pretty good overall, and still works perfectly.  Some interesting detail features are present, too.  The platen is actually made of wood, and the machine has some sort of odd "keyboard divider" added onto its top; you can see two screws sticking out of its ends, one either side, to clamp it onto the machine's top.  Of course, since I don't "do" adding machines, I'm unfamiliar with it, and the instruction label underneath is missing.  The machine also has a large shroud on the rear to contain the tape.   It certainly looks quite unlike any of our other cash registers because of the lever-setting mechanism for each digit.  It's also possibly the oldest cash register we have.  The machine is finished in a brown paint, with a hint of woodgrain in the finish.  I don't fully restore, but only clean, my machines, so after dusting it'll stay the way it is. 
Tammy's pride and joy is her McCaskey register in original trim with oak drawer; but this one is now mine!!
Click "next" to see some other unusual cash registers.
There are some other kinds of machines that we have collected over time; Tammy's assortment of McCaskey Register Company items is already well-known.  We also have some other cash registers, and some adding machines too.  Then there's this assortment of vintage but decidedly non-mainstream sewing machines that we own.  You can see a selection of pages about these other various machines and/or office products on these pages.  THIS PAGE:  The American Combination Register.
Click here to see another cash register page, showing products by Corona / Smith-Corona and the Indiana Cash Drawer Company.  Also on this page:  McCaskey / Victor-McCaskey / Victor.
Click here to get to Tammy's site about all things related to McCaskey Register Company.
Click here to see those vintage sewing machines.  Great styles and lots of color -- nothing black.
Click here to see assorted adding machines and cash registers.