Apr 02 2017

The Troubles of a Merchant and How to Stop Them – 1917 N.C.R Promotional Film

YouTube is full of interesting historic films of all types. I’ve been on quite the binge of old 1950’s and earlier informational films (I have no idea why, I’ve just been watching a bunch of them) and one popped up in my feed from 1917 – A film produced by NCR, one of the worlds leading manufacturers of cash registers and other money handling machines, demonstrating common problems of store owners in 1917, and in the end showing how one of their early Cash Register systems would solve these problems and make life easier for everyone involved.

It’s crazy to watch this film knowing it was 100 years ago. Odd little quirks get to you, such as the men’s hair styles not seeming all that dated, contrasted with the almost Titanic-esq clothing styles some of the women in the video had. Seeing things that are even problems today in retail mixed in with things that you probably have never even thought about as a probable issue really puts things in perspective.

It’s funny, I hate dealing with cash registers and all that type of stuff, but as machines I’m as interested in them as I am anything we have designed to make our lives easier. While this film only focuses on the practical benefits of such, even that, being contrasted with the “way things were” before the benefits of those then-new machines became so commonplace we couldn’t think of our day to day retail experience without them.

I might share more videos like this as time passes – there are quirks about them that will certainly help those who take the time to watch them appreciate the shopping experience we have today compared to even 50 years ago, let alone 100.

Keep in mind, this is from 1917. It’s a silent film, and the pacing is odd – I don’t know what music would have gone along with it, if any, but the slice of time that the film is is more than interesting enough for someone who appreciates history.


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