This Day in Pop Culture for November 4

The first cash register was patented on November 4, 1879.

The First Cash Register is Invented

James Jabob Ritty opened his first saloon in Dayton, Ohio in 1871 and billed himself as a “dealer in pure whiskies, fine wines and cigars.” While his business was successful, Ritty discovered that some of his employees were pocketing customer’s money instead of depositing the cash. For years he struggled to find a way to better record his cash transactions. While on a steamship trip to Europe in 1878, Ritty was fascinated with a mechanism that counted how many times the ship’s propeller made a full circle. When he got home, he and his brother began working on the first cash register and on this day in 1879 the device was patented as “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier.” Soon, the pair opened a small factory manufacturing cash registers but kept the saloon open as well. The second business wasn’t as successful and created too much stress for the Rittys. The brothers sold the second business to a group of investors who created the National Manufacturing Company which was renamed The National Cash Register Company in 1884 and today is better known as NCR.

Jeff Probst was born on November 4, 1961.

Jeff Probst is Born

Long before hosting CBS’ Survivor,” Jeffrey Lee Probst was born on this day in 1961 in Wichita, Kansas but he grew up in Bellevue, Washington. One of his first jobs was working as a producer and narrator of marketing videos. For a few years he served as host of the Ernst Home and Garden Show, a local Seattle program but he made it to the big time in 2000 hosting the first season of Survivor. A little known fact is that Probst became an ordained minister by the Universal Life Church Monastery a year before so that he could remarry his parents celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary. He also officiated the marriage Jen Fischer (The Office).

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