20th Century S Roll Top Desk

20th Century S Roll Top Desk

20th Century S Roll Top Desk

Thea asks: What can you tell me about this desk?

AW says: This is a very good quality late 2oth Century S Roll Top Desk. The clear crisp lines on the edges tell us it’s age, although it’s an excellent work which respected the style and construction of earlier period desks.

The condition is excellent and it’s a solid oak piece, not veneered. It’s a good home model, which have more styling than the commercial counterparts. For example: beveled drawer fronts, banks that go all the way to the floor on either side as opposed to beingĀ  set on feet, and a nice S-roll, where commercial models are often of the plainer C-Roll variety.

Retail value: $1,200

Wholesale: $500

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What’s it worth? Appraisal of McCaskey Register co. oak desk

Donna asks: 

This
is a desk from my mother.  It is 55″ in length and 33″ in width.  It
was manufactured by the McCaskey Regester Co. Alliance Ohio.  It is worn
on the drawers and marks on the inlay on the top.  Please let me know
if you need further information. 

Thank you in advance.  Donna

AW says:

Hello Donna,

This is an oak office desk
circa 1910-1930. As you’ve shown in pics here, the top is cleverly used
for files and it has an uncommon but very practical blueprint.

This
would look great in an antique shop to display vintage office items,
old fountain pens, inkwells etc. That said, the market value will be on
the lower side because it’s not something the average homeowner or
apartment dweller is likely to use to furnish their home.

Keywords:

  • Mcaskey Register co.
  • oak office desk
  • file cabinet co

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The History of McCaskey

The McCaskey Register Company came into
being at 321 Rush Street Alliance, Ohio in 1903.  It was the brain child
of Perry A. McCaskey.  He wanted to make account keeping less
frustrating for himself and hopefully his future customers.  His
creation, the “one writing” credit register.

P.A. McCaskey bought
321 Rush Street when it was simply a blacksmith shop.  He converted it
to his first factory which later became Plant No.1.  He started with a
capital of only $30,000 and by the 1950’s it had grown to a $3,000,000
investment.  McCaskey however had left the company shortly after 1908 to
pursue other avenues.

The company was growing so rapidly by 1904
that additions were added to the plant for the next three years. 
Offices were also opened in Canton, Ohio and Canada in 1908, England in
1920; a plant in Boston Massachusetts was built somewhere between 1908
and 1913 to print the many various forms required for the McCaskey
Accounting System.

In 1914 the McCaskey Safe Register was
introduced; it was insulated and fire proof.  This innovation was
brought about by a fire caused by spontaneous combustion of varnish in
1908.  The fire destroyed a large stock of wood registers so a change
was needed.  This same year McCaskey took over the American Case and
Register Company located in Salem, Ohio, after a string of lawsuits
against the latter company for patent infringements.

In 1912
production began on the first electric powered register.  The first
McCaskey Cash Register System came in 1922.  With all of this production
including 1,000 salesbooks a day it was necessary to build another
plant.  Plant 2 is located at 2435 South Union Avenue in Alliance, Ohio
and was a million dollar project.

In 1927 salesbooks were being
produced at a rate of 2,500,000 books a month vs. sales of 1,000 a day
in 1912.  During the depression McCaskey refused to give in.  They
produced new products such as a golf machine in the thirties.  (Details
of this machine are unknown.)  A plastic cash drawer (presumably
Bakelite) came out in 1933 and a register made for gas stations only
came out in 1939. (See products page for more details.)  They even
furnished cash registers for all the state liquor stores.

With
materials is short supply after World War II McCaskey had to cut to
minimum production.  They merged with Business Systems Inc. retaining
the McCaskey name and then were later bought by the Victor Adding
Machine Company in 1953.  We have seen some machines with the Victor
McCaskey name on them but eventually the McCaskey name disappeared.

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