AUTOMATION: National Cashes In

When it comes to automation, U.S. department stores still slosh around in the Ice Age. This week the biggest of them all, Manhattan's Macy's, announced a deal with National Cash Register Co. for the first major automated system. Due to start whirring in 1961, the $1,000,000 system will speed Macy's customer-account billing 25-fold. By punching a few buttons on a keyboard, operators can register each of Macy's 40,000 daily charge sales on tape, which is later fed to a computer. It sorts the bills, tots them up, prepares the bills for the...

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