Evolution of POS System Over Decades

POS stands for Point of Sale, and in a modern world running a restaurant or retail business without a POS in place is kind of a wild idea as it only means undocumented or clumsily documented cash exchange and non-supervised cash handling and in a nutshell, chaos.

In today’s post, I thought of delving a little deeper into POS, as in having a look at the evolution of POS system over the decades. I ran the research purely out of curiosity. And I think you will enjoy reading the facts. Afterall, fun of knowledge in indomitable. On a funnier note, that’s how gossip took its birth.


The invention of POS system dates back to the 18th century, when James Ritty, a dealer of whisky, wine and cigar, invented  the “Incorruptible Cashier” in the year 1879. The device,  invented to keep a watch on Ritty’s employees who was allegedly mishandling the cash, used to keep a register of the transactions made at his business.

Ritty patented his invention and sold it to Jacob H. Eckert who later founded a company called National Manufacturing company. Eckert later sold off the company John H. Patterson,  a retail coal shop owner in Coalton, Ohio. Patterson, renamed the company to National Cash Register which have its existence even in present day.


In 1906, Charles F. Kettering, an associate in NCR, developed the first cash register powered by an electric motor. Being liked to electrical power, cash register worked faster and easier to work with which resulted in quickening the sales cycle and thereby made space to accommodate more customers in a given time frame. Since then, several upgradation is made in the device and sold in the market for several decades after that. By the mid of 19th century, cash register became a mandate in retail stores.

In 1970, traditional cash register evolved further and got the boosting of computer. Computerized cash register with the integrated support of credit card terminals and touchscreen displays, electronic registers, barcode scanners and computer-based point of sale systems came into existence.

In the 20th century POS device got new wings and became mobile. We will see the history and evolution of POS going mobile in our next post. Stick to this space and enjoy.

6 thoughts on “Evolution of POS System Over Decades”

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