J.W. Allinson

Letter to NCR in 1885


The First Active Agent outside of the USA was J.W.Allinson, a Publican and Wine Merchant of the American Bar, Lorne Street, Liverpool, who saw a Cash register on a visit to Chicago and wrote the following testimonial to the company:-


Dayton, U.S.A.

June 9, 1885.



When I first saw one of your Self-adding Wheel Cash Registers at Hannah & Hoggs when in Chicago in Feb'y last, I was so impressed with its utility that, as you know (after ascertaining whether they could be adapted to the currency of this country), I ordered one, which has duly arrived and more than answers my expectations, the only regret being that I had not seen and had one here years ago.

For a day or two mistakes occurred, owing to carelessness, etc., but my people and the "machine" as they term it now, thoroughly understand each other and there is but one opinion-that despite the insular prejudice to "Yankee Inventions" they are bound to come into general use in this country.

A Cash Register is indeed "invaluable to every business man."
Yours truly,

J. W. Allinson.

The first Cash Registers to be used in Great Britain were at the refreshment stands at the International Exposition, Liverpool.1886

In 1885 J.W. Allinson had become the first Active sales Agent in Great Britain in his home town of Liverpool. In 1886 he was appointed sales agent for Great Britain, France, Belgium and Holland. One of his first actions was to open a London Office in 1886 which was established in one room at 95 The Strand under the name of the "National Cash Register Till Co"..


In the mid-to-late 1880's Innovative sales techniques were instituted: guaranteed sales territories, quota and point systems, sales conventions, conservative dress. Also, advertising, direct-mail, publications for agents, customers and employees were instituted on a massive scale.

An expansion of the Business meant more room was required and in 1889 Allinson moved his showroom to 376 The Strand where Class 3 No. 20583 was sold in 1890. This Cash Register, the oldest known Register in Great Britain, was purchased for the NCR Heritage Collection by Ian Ormerod in 1991 from the same company that bought the Register from NCR in 1890. This register was in use in the same Company Office for 101 years.

In 1891 Allinson's territory was limited to Great Britain

In the summer of 1895 Patterson arrived in England terminating the Contract of J.W.Allinson and setting up the National Cash Register Company Limited with a working capital of £5000. 

Allinsons first customer of a cash register in the UK was at Ma Egertons bar in Liverpool, then called 'The Eagle'.