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Photo taken by J.R. Manning
Edward Julius Brandt, the youngest son of the home's builder, Frederick William Brandt, worked as a cashier at the Bank of Watertown in the late 19th Century. Mr. Brandt was tasked with numerous cashiering tasks, including preparing payrolls for a large railroad.
Mr. Brandt was concerned with the amount of coinage that was handled and the potential for errors. A tinkerer who had built several mechanical devices in his spare time, Mr. Brandt began to conceive a coin-handling machine. In 1895, he built a prototype that automatically dispensed the least number of coins required to reach a sum, and it soon was in use in the bank. (According to the Watertown Historical Society, the machine was still in use as late as 1921.)
Mr. Brandt went on to found Brandt, Incorporated in Watertown. Brandt, Inc. built coin dispensers and went on to build coin sorters, cash counters, coin rollers and other high-speed money handling machinery. The company has changed owners several times since the Brandt-Quirk family sold their interests in the company, but the plant still operates in Watertown as part of the Tolaris family of cash-handling machines.