This week we have chosen the Paymaster Canadian Series X-900 for our artifact of the week. In the mid-twentieth century, Paymaster became synonymous with most cheque-writing machines. The Paymaster company was founded some time in the 1930s and its machines found their way to many businesses. The machine could be set to an amount as high as $99,999.99, though generally the far left column was ignored when producing paycheques. T.B. Hirschberg, president of Paymaster, was the assignee on a patent for a new cheque-writing device developed by Arthur G. Rindfleisch.
Variations on this original Rindflebisch Paymaster were still used in offices up into the 1980s and 1990s.
Our particular Paymaster, was patented in Canada in 1962 and is similar to the X-550 model, the only difference is that it is a 7 column cheque writer with an electronic alarm system. The alarm system prevented theft and the illegal making of cheques with a business' Paymaster. The anti-theft alarm system was powered by battery and required the user to turn a key to lock the machine. Once locked, if the paymaster was lifted an alarm would sound, signalling a theft.
To operate the device, all you needed to do was set it to the desired amount, slide the blank cheque into the slot at the bottom, and pull the lever. You can find more information about Paymaster machines and the coroporation at the Made-in-Chicago Museum website and come into the museum to try creating a cheque for yourself.
Image obtained from https://www.madeinchicagomuseum.com/single-post/2015/12/22/Paymaster-Check-Machine-by-Paymaster-Corp-1960s
Back in 2017 our staff wrote a new post each week about a different artifact from our Museum collection. We no longer keep up this tradition as we have moved on to other projects, but we have left them on our site for interest's sake. Enjoy this sneak peek of our Museum and make sure to stop on by to see more!