Keeping Employees Honest

From soon after the first cash transaction, employers have been keeping an eye on employees to make sure they stay honest.

Along the way — they’ve gotten some help from technology.

Carillon Historical Park – Dayton

Nope. Not a camera and recording system from the 21st century. This fine device has it’s roots firmly in the 19th century. With invention and patent issued in 1879 the idea of a cash register (they were expensive), did not gain popularity until several years after the Patterson brothers purchased the original company in 1884. They gave it a new name — perhaps you’ve heard of National Cash Register.

Accurate records tend to keep sticky fingers out of the till.

New Dreams, a sweet romance set prior to the cash register’s invention, includes characters with varying degrees of stickiness and their fingers — and varying attitudes toward thievery.


March 18, 1931

Or perhaps it’s July 23, 1929

It all depends on the web site you visit. I obtained the first date from a today-in-history site. The second came up in an article used in researching the item for this blog.

So here’s to things they agree upon. And to the men in the readership.

Colonel Jacob Schick retired from the US Army in 1910 and returned to service during WWI. In the interim years he lived in Alaska. During a long winter and while recovering from illness he developed the concept of a “dry shaver”. After the war he tried to take the dry shaver but it failed to generate interest.

Colonel Schick impresses me as a person with a sharp mind, able to use concepts from one piece of machinery and apply it to one with a different function in society. Thus  – the Magazine Repeating Razor – which took theory from the repeating rifle to store shaving blades in the handle, ready to move into position without dangerous handling with the fingers.

He didn’t give up on the dry shaver. In either 1929 or 1931 (that’s where the date conflict arises) he obtained a patent for an electric shaver. It met with only modest success in the early years. But he operated his own factory and improved models gained wider acceptance.

So gentlemen: the next time you face the mirror in the morning, whether you prefer wet or dry shaving (manual or electric) think of Jacob Schick and his improvements to grooming methods.

A nice smooth shaved chin is much more pleasant for the lady to cup in her hand before the kiss.  (Okay. My romance writer is showing again.)