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NCR Corporation

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NCR Corporation is a technology company, specialising in point-of-sale and similar devices (financial self service and retail store automation), business consumables, and high powered database and transaction processing systems. In 2001 the company made a profit of $142 million on revenues of $5,917 million.


The company origins are as the National Manufacturing Company of Dayton, Ohio which was established to manufacture and sell the 1879 invention of James Ritty[?] - the first mechanical cash register. In 1884 the company and the patents were bought by John Henry Patterson[?] and the firm was renamed the National Cash Register Company. He formed it into one of the first modern American companies, introducing new aggressive sales methods and business techniques. His methods combined with legal attacks to fight off, bankrupt or buy-out the eighty plus competitors of the early years. In 1912 the company was found guilty of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, having control of 95% of the U.S. market. Patterson established the first sales training school in 1893. He also introduced a comprehensive social welfare program for his factory workers. Other significant figures in the early history of the company were Charles F. Kettering[?] and Edward A. Deeds[?].

The company soon expanded and became multi-national in 1888. It had sold 1 million machines by 1911 and had almost 6,000 employees. Two million units were sold by 1922. Indicative of a certain conservatism, the Class 2000 bank posting machine, introduced in 1922 remained in production until 1973.

The company manufactured shell fuzes and aircraft instrumentation during WW I, and aero-engines, bomb sights and code-breaking machines during WW II.

Building on the wartime experience the company became a major force in new technology post-war. Following the acquisition of Computer Research Corporation[?] in 1952 the company created a specialised electronics division in 1953. The company introduced its first electronic machine, the Class 29 Post-Tronic, a bank machine utilising magnetic-strip technology in 1956. With GE the company manufactured its first transistor based computer in 1957, the NCR 304. Also in the 1950s NCR introduced MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition[?]). The company's first all intergrated circuit computer was the Century 100 of 1968.

The company changed its name to NCR Corporation in 1974. The company became involved in open systems architecture, producing its first such system, the UNIX powered Tower 16/32 in 1982. 100,000 Tower systems were sold. However the company was in poor financial shape

In 1991 the company was bought by AT&T for $7.4 billion. It was joined with Teradata Corporation in the same year. In 1994 it was renamed AT&T Global Information Solutions, but in 1995 AT&T decided to spin-off the company and in 1996 its name was changed back to NCR prior to its emergence as an independent company on January 1, 1997.

NCR expanded beyond hardware with an wide-spread acquisition strategy, but still introduced new massively-parallel systems, the System 3000 series.


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