Chow Family Cash Register

The Cash Register
The Cash Register

This cash register has been in my family for almost a hundred years; since my great-grandparents opened a general store in Mississippi. At the time, it was known as the smaller register - which was better suited for children working in the store. Although it is pretty rusty now, it was beautiful when first acquired-- complete gold paint and complex engravings. My grandmother particularly fell in love with it (even at the age of 5), and has managed to hold to it all these years! My grandmother loves to tell stories about her youth, and the machine has always served as a way to connect the two of us. I love hearing everything that happened in the store and learning about what my relatives were like when they were my age and working. 

Of course, the register holds a lot of personal significance for me, as it is a reminder of how hard my family worked for a better life. I also think the cash register represents the progression of our family - my grandmother had 6 siblings, who had over 20 children, and now over 15 grandchildren. We are a big family, but hard work and togetherness have always brought us together. So far, the register has traveled from the family store to the familial home (still in Mississippi), to my grandmother’s home in Miami, Florida. She even drove it from Mississippi - that’s how important it is to our family’s past, as it is a physical representation of their commitment to economic prosperity. I look forward to sharing stories about it with my children one day. 

Place(s): Mississippi

– Micaela Cacho-Negrete

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant