25 things vanishing in America, part 2: The ka-ching of the cash register


KaChing - It's a synonym for making money. The sound of the cash register ringing up a sale.

Lots of people still say it, but some of them don't know its origins because they have never heard the real thing.

I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, home of National Cash Register, a company whose brand was synonymous with cash registers. My grandpa, my dad, my aunt, and many of the fathers of my friends worked at what most of us called, "The Cash," Dayton's largest employer during the early- to mid-20th century.

When I was 15, my dad got me a job cashiering for the local department store. It was like playing the piano, Once I knew where the keys were, I touched them quickly and blindly. After I'd punched in all the items, I'd hit the Total bar with my fist.

Originally published