Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Deeper Cash Register Drawers

Narrower drawer slots, and more of them.
  [vote for,

Folks, in my related Idea here, "Currency That Fits" (see link at above right), I suggested that the denominations of currency-bills be changed, so that the Mint could print fewer total bills, and a decent range of denominations could still fit in the available cash register drawers (typically 5, with one reserved for personal checks).

[Robert Kidney] posted an annotation to that Idea, to the effect that increasing the number of slots in cash register drawers could be a simpler solution. The obvious problem with that idea, however, is that the total width of the cash register goes up, and businesses would likely complain about the wasted countertop space.

OK, so here is my variation of that idea: DEEPER and narrower slots for bills in same-width-as-normal cash register drawers. In such deep slots (at least the width of a bill), the bills can be placed edge-down! The slots are made slightly narrower, partly to prevent bills from falling over flat, inside the slots -- and, of course, to provide more total slots in the cash register drawer. If we only gain just one slot this way, then merchants and the Mint both can be glad to handle $2 bills.

Naturally, since no idea is perfect, I have given some thought to the down side of this one. For example, it may be easier to put a bill in (or take one from) the wrong slot, because at first glance all you see are the edges of the bills. A solution to this involves giving each slot an angled bottom, so that the bills are located in the slots at 45 degrees or so. Thus each slot can be about 70% of its normal width (the mathematical sine of 45 degrees), and the faces of the bills can still be easily seen, as they rest at an angle in the slots. Note that this will require slots to be deeper than merely the width of a bill, to allow them to pile up AS they rest in the slot at 45 degrees...

The next-biggest issue that I can think of involves crispy new bills and an increased chance of paper cuts, due to all those exposed bill-edges.

Any others? If that's all, then maybe this Idea should be implemented!

Vernon, Apr 16 2004

A fairly standard cash register tray http://www.kanecal.net/cashdrawer.htm
Very common in the U.S.A. [Vernon, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Vernon, I'm impressed! Yet another idea that took less than an hour to read, and it's a good one to boot! (+)
Freefall, Apr 16 2004

       Agree. A good enough idea if one considers how fortunate one is to get any but the standard four bills or four coins that comprise .99999 of daily transactions in all stores I visit.
dpsyplc, Apr 17 2004

       //A solution to this involves giving each slot an angled bottom, so that the bills are located in the slots at 45 degrees or so. Thus each slot can be about 70% of its normal width (the mathematical sine of 45 degrees),// or perhaps you could label the slots...
whatastrangeperson, Apr 18 2004

       [Toadinnov], while I agree that that link shows something like what I was describing, that particular design will ultimately prove to be cumbersome, because the cashier has to pull out the drawer so far to get at all the bills. There seems to me a good chance of this drawer hitting cashiers in the belly. Meanwhile, I was thinking about the kind of drawer that has one row of 5 coin slots and one row of 5 bill slots (See black tray -- remove-able from drawer -- in link). Making the bill slots deeper would involve making the whole tray deeper, which except for weight at least offers a chance of running out of coins less often. Anyway, if that row of bill slots were narrowed a bit, and held angled bills, then fitting in a sixth slot should be easy.
Vernon, Apr 18 2004

       The issue of being able to tell US bills apart could be easily solved by making different denominations different colours (as every other civilized nation on the planet has done).
waugsqueke, Apr 18 2004

       Bhs (British Home Stores) where I work, or did until Friday, already has this kind of cash drawer, and I can verify that it does work pretty well. :o) And while we're on the subject of identifying different notes, why not make them different sizes (larger for larger denominations) and different colours? Oh look, we already do! ;o) [Edit: sorry, posted at the same time as waugsqueke above with the comment about colours!]
timble, Apr 18 2004

       [waugs], I'd prefer it if denominations were differentiated with varied tactile characteristics so that they could be discerned in the dark. Assorted colors would be fine, too.
bristolz, Apr 18 2004

       Good catch, [Zanzibar] I guess that makes it Finland 5 France nil (again).
bristolz, Apr 18 2004

       [Bristolz], when do you ever handle bills in the dark? This isn't sarcasm. I'm genuinely curious.
spacemoggy, Apr 19 2004

       $5 = sandpaper
$10 = denim
$20 = felt
$50 = leather
$100 = Mylar
AO, Apr 19 2004

       As a variation on the angled-bill-slots idea, consider an orientation like this (cutaway view across slots):
| 1/ 2/ 5/10/20/Ck/|
Although those slashes (slot dividers) are steeper than 45 degrees, you can see that the the stack of $2 bills can be partially UNDER the stack of $1 bills. This will allow the slots to be a little narrower than the approx-70%-of-normal-width, as described in the main Idea, and could perhaps let us sqeeze in a seventh slot.
Vernon, Apr 19 2004

       [space], while you wait for [bris] to tell you about dealings in dark alleyways, I'll mention the benefit to blind bill users.
Worldgineer, Apr 19 2004

       Edge-down cash registers are now the norm in UK supermarkets. Have been for some time now.
calum, Apr 19 2004


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