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Including the states of Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
ABILENE, Kan. A.E.Bishop & Co. "To enable our large force of clerks to wait on our customers more rapidly, we have put in six stations of Chapman's Cash Railway System, which enables our clerks to send cash from any part of the house to the cashier." Abilene Weekly Reflector, 6 Dec. 1888, Suppl.
ADRIAN, Mich. Metcalfs (dry goods). "At Metcalf's dry goods store in 1884 and A.B. Park's dry goods store in 1885 a new and interesting way of handling sales was installed. Both stores put in a cash railway system with long lines running up to the office." Charles N. Lindquist. Adrian, the city that worked: a history of Adrian, Michigan, 1825-2000. (Adrian: Lenawee County Historical Society, 2004) p. 89
ADRIAN, Mich. A.B. Parks (dry goods). See Adrian. Metcalfs
AKRON, Oh. M. O'Neil. Lamson pneumatic tube system. Lamson brochure, 1952
AKRON, Oh. Silverberg Bros. "A cash money clip [sic], donated by Lyle Ostermeyer to the Akron Area Museum, .. has ties to the Akron business community... Cash money clips were installed in the Silverberg Bros. Co. general store which was located in the first floor of the Akron Opera House. It was a pully system and somehow they pulled down on one end of it which sent the caeeier box to the cashier's box, which was high up in the back of the store... Abe Silverberg.. opened the general store in Akron in Ahug. 15, 1919. Akron Hometower website. [Photograph looks like an Air-Line car.]
ALBERTA LEA, Min. Ransom & Co. "Ransom & Co. opened their retail grocery department in the Ransom Bros. block to the public last Saturday... The office and cash room is panelled and fitted with glass(?) and all change is therein made, the money and checks all being conveyed there in balls by means of the 'cash railway'... The firm will be known as Ransom & Co. instead of Ransom Bros." Freeborn County Standard, 10 Dec. 1884, p.7
ALBION. J.C. Penney. "When customers purchased items from J. C. Penney stores with balconies—such as stores in Albion, Falls City, Fremont, Kearney, or Scottsbluff—the sales clerk would take the customer’s money and place it with a bill of sale, inside a closed container attached to a cable line. The container would then be cabled up to the balcony overlooking the sales floor, where another associate would retrieve the cash before sending the container back down with a receipt and correct change." Nebraska History blog
ANN ARBOR, Mich. Muehlig (dry goods), Main Street. "Bertha
Muehlig received many honors in recognition of her services to the people of
Ann Arbor... The store retained the interior decor and services of the beginning
of the century, including a spring operated cash carrier system which was probably
the last of its kind in the state." Ann Arbor Historic District Commission:
Historic buildings, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1992, p.106
APPLETON, Wis. Geenens (dry goods). "A new cable cash system is being installed to give service." Appleton Post Crescent, 17 June 1927, p.1
ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. O.P.Houghton "has put in his dry goods store a cash railway system. It is operated by means of compressed air and differs from any other system in use in the city." Arkansas City Republican, 19 Mar. 1887
ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. A.A.Newman. "A. A. Newman & Co., have just established the rapid cash railway system in their mammoth dry goods house." Arkansas City Republican 12 Jun. 1886
ASHTABULA, Oh. Carlisle-Allen (dept store), Progress Place. "The cash system was a Lamson pneumatic tube system with the tubes concealed in the false ceiling between the floors." E.Schaeffer: Ashtabula people and places (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2005), p.73
ATCHISON, Ks. J.C.Penneys, 609 North Sixth Street. "Cash registers are replacing Lamson cash carrier systems in all J.C.Penney Co. stores... The Lamson equipment had but few mechanical failures in view of the hard service it has seen... The Atchison store, No. 157 in the Penney system.. was established in 1917 and some think the Lamson system was used from the start... There are 10 stations in the store from where money was sent over the Lamson system to Mrs. Parr in the office. The office is located on a balcony above the main floor. The little cash cups were suspended from a metal holder that was carried along by two little wheels riding on a single strand of piano wire. A second strand of wire, running parallel to the'track' wire, was used to give the equipment rigidity... In addition to the Lamson system, the local Penney store has also had a cable system in operation since November 1950. A continuous moving cable transported cash cups from the shoe, infants wear, work clothing, and ladies ready-to-wear departments to the cashier. This system will also be abolished." Atchison Daily Globe, 3 June 1956, p.16.
AUSTIN, Min. J.C.Pennys. "I
remember that JC Pennys and maybe Kresges had that cable system that shot those
cups from the registers where the clerks were up to the cashier." Cecil
Monson posting to antique-tractor list, 23 Dec. 02.
BAY CITY, Mich. Bay City cash store. Overhead wire system in mid-1950s. Steve Gorton
BAY CITY, Mich. Wendlands. Pneumatic tube system in mid-1950s. Steve Gorton
BEATRICE, Neb. William Wiebe. "For sale at once... 8 Lamson rapid and two air line cash carrier stations... Reason for selling, have gone out of the retail dry goods business." Omaha Daily Bee, 27 Jul. 1915
BEMIDJI, Minn. Schneider Bros., Third Street. "The Schneider Bros. clothing store has been equipped with a new cash carrier system... The volume of business has increased to such an extent that it was necessary to abolish the old style register system" Bemidji Daily Pioneer, 22 Jul. 1905
BISMARK, Oh. Choctaw Lumber Co., Commissary store. Lamson Air-Line system serving all departments. Lamson brochure
BROOKINGS, S.Dak. Penneys. "Penneys .. was then where Sioux River Bicycles and Fitness is now. In 1958, a Penney's clerk took the $10 bill I handed her, stuffed it in a little metal cup rigged to overhead wires and tracks, pulled a launching lanyard and sent it zipping off to a trusted cashier somewhere in the store's ether." Stubble Mulch website
BUCYRUS, Oh. Bauomels (women's clothing). Wire carrier. In operation in 1978 when CBS News did a piece about it. Randy Hertzer
BURLINGTON, Ia. Schramm (dept. store) Lamson pneumatic tube system. Terminal offered on eBay, 27/5/09.
BUTLER, Mo. Levey's (clothing store). Shop opened in 1876 and closed in 2003. Lamson wire system installed in 1906 and there until the shop closed. Carrier has "R-488" stamped on it. Re-erected in museum at Adrian. (T.Hall)
CAINSVILLE, Mo. G.R.Wilson. In 1904. G. R. Wilson and son erected a commodious two story building on the N.E. corner of the square. The lower floor was occupied by the G R. Wilson and Son Dry Goods and was modern in every respect and equipped with a cash carrier system, very new to Cainsville. Harrison County Bicentennial History, 1976
CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind. Morris & Krahl. "We, the undersigned, will sell the following at auction in the Boyd Room, formerly occupied by Morris & Krahl, in Cambridge City, on Monday Night, April 17... one Cash Carrier System (4 way). Cambridge City Tribune, 13/4/1933
CANTON, Oh. A downtown dept. store. Pneumatic tube system. See reminiscences.
CANTON, Oh. W.R. Zollinger, Market and Fifth Streets. "The palatial new store of W.R. Zollinger & Co. .. in the Fowell block .. was thrown open to the public at 7 o'clock Thursday night... One of the features of the store is the Lamson cable carrier with which the store is equipped. Operating from a central desk in the rear of the first floor for the basement, first and second, twenty-two stations in all." Stark County Democrat, 2 Oct. 1900, p.5
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. Buckner Ragsdale. "I remember the wire trolley cash cups... The cash and price ticket was put in a cup, twisted to a metal cap, pull a rope to latch to the always traveling wire rope trolley, the cashier would make change and send back. No money on the floor, no cash drawers to balance with the staff below!" Don Neumeyer in posting to Cape Girardeau website, 23/12/11
CARTHAGE, Mo. Millers (men's clothing) Town Square. Basket system from early 1900s to 1970s. Gene Davidson
CEDAR FALLS, Ia. Wilson & Williams, Main Street. "Messrs Wilson and Williams have put in the elevated cash railway in their store. It is the same that is used in the stores in big cities and dispenses with cash boys in making change." Waterloo Courier, 27 Dec. 1882, p.5. Photograph of exterior in Brian C.Collins. Cedar Falls, Iowa (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 1998) p.19.
CENTRALIA, Wis. Johnson, Hill & Co. "The celebrated Barr Cash Carrier, which has been in satisfactory use at Johnson, Hill & Co.'s former store during the past two years, has also been put into their new store. The new machine has six carriers - one from each counter and all leading to the cashier's desk in the rear of the center of the building." Centralia Enterprise and Tribune, 14 Nov. 1891, p.11
CHARTER OAK, Ia. The Farmers Store. "Money trolley carrier." Obituary of Leona Pautsch
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. The New York Store, 501 Locust. Overhead cash carriers. Shop had 60-odd departments. Livingstone County History website
CINCINNATI, Oh. John Shillito. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
CLEVELAND, Oh. Halles (dept store). "For many years Halle's featured an elaborate system of vacuum tubes. Instead of processing monetary transactions on the sales floor as is standard today, cash and sales slips were sent back and forth via a pneumatic tube system to a centralized office in the building and back to the sales floor." Christopher Faircloth. Cleveland's department stores (Charleston SC: Arcadia, 2009), p.58 with photograph
CLEVELAND, Oh. Taylor, Killpatrick & Co. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
CLINTON, Ia. John D. van Allen, Fifth Avenue and Second Street. "Here, too, is the motor automatically operating the pneumatic tube cash carrier system, the carrier traveling at the rate of 40 feet a second between the various departments and the cashier’s office in the basement. The motor operates at variable speeds, so arranged as to use the minimum amount of electrical current for operating the system always at the same speed. As more carriers are fed into the tube, the motor is accelerated, the power necessary ranging from 1.3 horse-power to 8 horse-power." Clinton Herald, 29 Sep. 1914, p. 4
COLUMBIA, Mo. Kress Wholesale Company, 1025 E. Broadway. Built in 1910 to serve as a Kress 'Five and Ten Cent' store. Remodelled ca. 1946 for the Mehomay Furniture Co. "The office and cashier stations were located in a balcony near the back of the showroom. As was the case for many of the stores in the area at that time, the Kress store used a 'Lamson' system, which involved having sales clerks send cash up to the cashiers in small containers attached to wires. The cashiers would make the required change and send the cup back down to the floor." U.S. Department of the Interior. National register of historic places
CORINTH, Mo. Rubel (dept. store), corner of Fillimore and Cruise Streets. Built in 1873-4 and demolished in spring 1961. "Proceeding through the first floor of the store, a child would next notice the wire baskets with leather pouches holding sales tickets and cash flying overhead suspended on a wire network which carried them to the second floor. The 'central cashier' handles the transactions, making change and returning the baskets to the clerks below." Corinth information database
COLDWATER, Mi. J.B.Branch (dept. store), 34 West Chicago. "I was always amazed at the cash carriers... I will always remember that little brass cup that carried money from one area of the store to another." Northwoods Coffee website
CORRECTIONVILLE, Ia. O.A.Cate. "O.A.Cate has once more added to the conveniences by which his clerks are enabled to expeditiously handle his business. A cash railway with four stations has been instaled and now instead of dodging around the ends of counters and through crowds of people to carry your money to the cashier and get your change the clerk puts your bill and his bill into a little silver plated cylinder, pulls a doings [?] and it shoots along overhead to the fair damsel by the cash register who changes your bill and replaces the clerk's bill." Sioux Valley News, 13 Dec. 1900, p.1
CORUNNA, Mich. Leitner Bros. (dry goods). Paid $500 in settlement of an accident to a young lady who lost an arm in an accident with their cash carrier. Corunna Journal, 14 July 1904
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia. Beno's (dept. store). Cable system. Carrier offered for sale on Etsy.com. Stamped "2" and "Made by The Lamson Co. U.S.A."
COURTHOUSE SQUARE, Monroe Co., Ind. J.C.Penney's department store. Pneumatic tube system. Senior Cybernet website
DAVENPORT, Ia. Harned & Von Maur, Harrison/Second Streets. "The fittings of the store are most modern and attractive, including a pneumatic cash system and every convenience and facility for the conduct of a first-class department store." Site was purchased 1899. Harry E. Downer. History of Davenport and Scott County Vol. II. Chicago:Clarke, 1910
DEFIANCE, Ia. F.A.B.Lowe, corner of Clinton and Second Streets. "On Saturday F.A.B.Lowe had a Lamson cash railway apparatus placed in his dry goods store. It is a novel invention and like the telephone, it is rented and not sold... It consists of two lightly constructed tram-ways... Each station has a different sized ball, the largest being at the fatherest end of the tram-way... The introduction of this system saves a great deal of travel in a day in going to and from the cash desk and will prove a soft thing for the clerks who can sit and leisurely pick their teeth or entertain a young lady customer while this novel little railroad is making change." Defiance Democrat, 21 Feb. 1884, p.3
DELAVAN, Wis. Bradley's department store. "A small old-fashioned hometown department store... The store first used a pulley cashier system. The office was on a balcony between the first and second floors." Gazette Extra (Janesville), 23/9/02
DELAWARE, Oh. Heseltines (later Uhlmans), Winter Street. Pneumatic tube system. Cashier was on first floor. Willis High School website
DES MOINES, Ia. Harris-Emery. See Court cases
DES MOINES, Ia. New Utica. "The New Utica department store downtown had pneumatic tubes rising from each cash register. The cash from your purchase was placed in a cylinder, then inserted in the tubes and noisily fired - like a torpedo - to a central collection point, such was the urgency to get the money counted and back into the economy. A visit to the New Utica was like a trip to a future century." Bill Bryson. Neither here nor there. London: Black Swan, 1991, p.343
DETROIT, Mich. J.L.Hudson Co. "She
went to work for the J.L.Hudson Co. to help support her parents during the Depression.
She worked in the tube room, where customers sent cash through pneumatic tubes
for change and receipts." Detroit
Free Press, 25 Aug. 2003
DETROIT, Mich. Henry A. Sarbinowski.Sarbinowski's store was divided into three departments: shoes, dry goods, ladies and men's furnishings... From where the cashier sat in a balcony, or Henry A. Sarbinowski when he relieved the cashier on duty, one could see at a glance three sections of the store. The cash was sent to the main office in small cylindrical tubes on overhead trolleys. This, though an efficient method at that time, is enough to date the store. By pulling a small handle on a cord, the clerk would send the cylindrical tube to the cashier, who removed the cash and sales slip, returning the change, if any. There were many of these "vehicles" to tend to. Rupert Conrad, Ruth Conrad and Clifford A. Bennett. The art and reflection of Rupert Conrad: the naked dawn. (New Tork: Cornwall, 1990) p.52
DETROIT, Mich. Taylor-Woolfenden, 165-169 Woodward Avenue. "Retail offices and the Lamson cash cable system were also given a place." Detroit Free Press, 7 May 1899, p.6
DULUTH, Min. Freimuth (dept. store). "What the pneumatic tube system means to our customers. A Carrier will travel from the farthest department to the Central Desk in less than SEVEN SECONDS. A Cash transaction will go direct to Cashier, a Charge direct to Charge Dept., thus eliminating any delay in service. That items are checked and change counted twice, thus protecting you against error. All transactions will be handled in the consecutive order of their arrival at Central Desk. It eliminates all delay in making change from bills of large denomination. An itemized duplicate of sales slip will be wrapped WITH your merchandise. All charges are authorized from visible and original sales-slip, thus eliminating any possibility of you being charged with another's merchandise. Charges will be handled without publicity. Permits sales person to give entire attention to you and relieves her of necessity of making change. It enables all customers who take their purchases with them to get first service because color of Carrier signifies whether merchandise is to be taken or sent. That your change or charge slip will be returned from Central desk by the time your merchandise is wrapped. Duluth News Tribune, 16 Apr. 1922.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. Farmer Store. "The popular department store at that time [1940s] was The Farmer Store, which had the old pneumatic tube system that took your money from one floor to the other." Downtown Eau Clare business retention and recruitment
EPWORTH, Ia. Silkers. "Silker's sold groceries and dry goods and there were overhead cables on whih little boxes with bills and change flew to and from the cashier." Ann E. Berthoff: Too late for the frontier: a family chronicle (Philadelphia?:Xlibris, 2004) p.144
EVANSVILLE, In. Bon Marche. Lamson pneumatic system. Lamson brochure, 1952
EVANSVILLE, Wis. Grange Store, 19 West Main Street. "The balcony held the millinery, coat and suit departments as well as the office. An overhead cash carrier system was installed between the main floor and the bookkeeping office. Many a child and probably some adults stood watching in wonder as the tubes carrying money and sales slips traveled along the overhead cables." Evansville History website
FAIRFIELD, Ia. J.C.Penney. Wire system. Journal-Standard (Freeport, IL) 12/10/08
FALL CREEK, Wis. Mercantile. Pneumatic tube system. "Grannie Annie" posting to Homespun-L, 18 Jan. 02
FALLS CITY, Neb. J.C. Penney. See ALBION: J.C. Penney
FARGO, N.Dak. De Lendrecie's (dept. store). "It was a relic of the 19th century, even in 1966 - the two-story atrium with the mezzanine, the pneumatic tubes whizzing metal pills through tubes, landing in the basket with a whoosh and a plonk." The Bleat website, 1997. Built in 1889 and now offices. "The hiss and thump of a message arriving via pneumatic tube." James Lileks, A rich boyhood in the plain void. American Enterprise, July/Aug. 2004, p.31. Air tubes installed in 1930. Sold to Mercantile Stores Co. in 1955 and moved in 1972. In-Forum website
FARGO, N.Dak. Moodys, Broadway. "I remember the little cages that carried the money on wires up to the business office for change. I recall the clicking quite clearly." The business moved to the Front Street location at the foot of Broadway in 1884. Moody sold the business in 1940 and in 1961 it became Sgutt-Moodys. The building was razed in 1966. In-Forum 7 Aug. 2004.
FINDLAY, Oh. J.S.Patterson (dept. store), 418 South Main Street. Lamson pneumatic tube system in use until 1982. Gene Davidson
FOND DU LAC, Wis. Ediths, 9 South Main Street. Pneumatic tube system still there in 2004. M.Bennett
FORT WAYNE, In. S.Chasaka & Co. "A reporter of the Sentinel happened to be passing Chasaka's dry goods store in the Certia block... Busily at work was Mr J.W.Hoffman, of the Holbrook Manufacturing Company, Chicago, engaged in getting the apparatus in working order. This firm are the owners and builders of the 'Lamson Cash Carrier System', which has obtained its first introduction in Indiana through Messrs. Chasaka & Co. This arrangement consists of a lofty trestle work running parallel to the ceiling, and provided with the necessary switches, etc. The money is placed in a polished wooden ball which opens in the middle, placed in a receiver which is hoisted to the trestle work by a cord which runs on pulleys. The ball is discharged upon the plane and is given an impetus by a gentle descent...
FREMONT, Neb. J.C. Penney. See ALBION: J.C. Penney
FRENCH LICK, In. Star Store. Overhead tube system connecting to wire-enclosed office in centre of store. In 1942 the assistants had cash registers but used the tube system for change and approval of orders or credit. Beatty Family Newsletter
GILBERT, Minn. Kraker Mercantile Co. Pneumatic tube system between the main floor and the mezzanine office. Kraker/Livergood Emporium website
GOODLAND, Ks. J.C.Penney. Opened 1 August 1929. "She remembers when the store cashier used a trolley system. A cup was attached to a pulley and was pulled up to a cashier in the upstairs office... It helped with the bookkeeping with only one person doing it for the whole store." Goodland Daily News, 30 Apr. 2002, p.1
GOODLAND, Ks. Wolffs and McCarrolls (clothing store), 1024 Main. "The building featured an upper mezzanine in the shape of a horseshoe. The mezzanine housed displays and the bookkeeping department. The bookkeeping system consisted of a canister, in which clerks would put money and send it up to the bookkeeping department. The bookkeepers would make change and send it back down to the clerk." Sherman County Historical Society website
GREEN BAY, Wis. Cohens, corner of Jefferson and Main Streets. "Pneumatic tubes that whisked the sales slip and customer's money up to the balcony in the back." Green Bay Press-Gazette, 11 Apr. 2004
HUDSON, Oh. Buss store. "Retail shopping was confined to the west side of Main Street beginning with the Buss Store at the south end (site of today's Hudson Square Building.) It was a cavernous place of three floors ... Fred's sister Gussie .. presided in a mezzanine floor as cashier. Through her thick-lensed spectacles, she surveyed the downstairs sales room... She received the cash from transactions via whizzing overhead trolley and, after carefully counting the change, despatched it to her brother by the same noisy apparatus." Grace Goulder Izant. Hudson's heritage:a chronicle of the founding and the flowering of the village of Hudson, Ohio (Kent,Oh.:Kent State Univ. Press, 1985), p.247
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. Lauries. "Laurie's animating feature was a brightly nickled overhead railway connecting all the counters with the cash desk. The cables ran constantly, with a clacking that anticipated purchases - efficiently acknowledged. When you bought your calico, your money was put into a little car and went whizzing away across the ceiling." Charlotte Cathcart. Indianapolis from our old corner. (Indianapolis Hist. Soc., 1965), p. 44
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind . Stouts Shoes, Massachusetts Avenue. Baldwin Flyer basket system made by J.L.Baldwin Conveyor Co. in 1928 and said by them to be the only one in active use. The store dates from 1886. Indianapolis Star 27 July 2003 and Inc.com magazine, 15 Sep. 1998. Close-up of a car from wire level on Historic Indianapolis website. Photographs from Gene Davidson.
INDIANOLA, Oh. G.E.Johnson (formerly Barker & Johnson). "His is the largest concern of the kind in Warren County and the store is most modern in all of its appointments. It is steam heated, has a cash carrier system and its counters and showcases are attractive and up-to-date." IAGenWeb website
IOLA, Kan. New York Store, Southwest Cor. Square. "Our new store will have all the modern improvements - cash carrier system." Iola Register, 7 Oct. 1898, p.8
IRONTON, Oh. D.C.Davies, Second and Lawrence streets. "The largest mechanical carry-cash system .. where overhead wires came through the walls of the three large rooms - the dry goods department, the ready-to-wear and the millinery department." Herald Dispatch, 21 Jan 1996
IRONTON, Oh. H.J.Keiser & Sons. "The package baskets on a wire were first used in Ironton at the H.J.Keiser & Sons Dry Goods in 1902. That store was the middle room of the arcade building, with twin entrances on Second and Third Streets." Herald Dispatch, 21 Jan 1996
IRONTON, Oh. One Price Clothing House (OPCH). "Mr Brumberg has put up a new contraption .. which saves many steps for the clerks. It is a cash and carry wire apparatus in the store that makes change for the clerks making sales without having to walk to the office. By springing a lever, a little metal box suspended from wheels shoots on a wire with money to the office where the bookkeeper makes correct change and shoots back the money. Customers in the busy stores see the little containers buzzing overhead like birds. Our town is getting more like New York every day." Lawrence Register, 1 Sep. 1887
IRONWOOD, Mich. O'Donnell-Seamens (dept store). "The installation of a pneumatic cash carrier tube system has been completed at the O'Donnell-Seamens department store. The new equipment, the first of its type in the Upper Peninsula, was installed by local workmen under the supervision of a company man." Ironwood Daily Globe, 23 Jun 1958, p.4, "20 years ago"
JACKSON, Mich. L.H. Field (dept. store), 201 W. Michigan Ave. "Beginning in 1916, cash and receipts from the store’s various counters were transported to the main office through an overhead cash system that used a railway and metal containers." Mlive website. In 1929, Field’s became part of the Hahn Department stores, which reorganized in 1933 to become part of Allied Stores Corp.
JANESVILLE, Wis. Chicago Store. See JANESVILLE: F.S.Winslow below.
JANESVILLE, Wis. T.L.Kelly & Co. "The elevated cash railway in full and active operation. No more noise and confusion of cash boys. Order and system prevailing in every department. Goods delivered to purchasers in about half the time required by the old system." Janesville Daily Gazette, 2 Nov. 1882, p.2
JANESVILLE, Wis. New York Store. See JANESVILLE: F.S.Winslow below.
JANESVILLE, Wis. F.S.Winslow. "When the cash railway is put up and the trio [?] of electric lights shine out from the front and interior of his store, F.S.Winslow will have a place that is very well arranged for doing a large business." Janesville Daily Gazette, 14 Oct. 1886, p.4
JASPER, Mo. Conrad Mercantile Co. "Conrad Mercantile Co. and R.L. Roberts & Son have fitted out their stores with an up-to-date cash-carrier system." Jasper News, 12 Dec. 1912
JASPER, Mo. R.L. Roberts & Son. See JASPER. Conrad Mercantile Co.
JOPLIN, Mo. Newmans (dept. store). Opened 1910. Postcard photographs of millinery and men's clothing departments with basket system on Missouri Digital Heritage website
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Bullene, Moore, Emery &
Co. ( "dry goods palace"), 11th, Grand Avenue and Walnut Street. "This
store threw open its doors to the public this morning... Undoubtedly the most
most novel feature in the fixtures of the store is the pneumatic tube system
used for conveying the cash from one department to the central station... There
are thirty-five stations in the building, one for each department. The clerk
puts the cash ticket and the money in a little brass cup which fits the tube,
and placing the cup in the mouth of the tube it is sucked up through the opening
and almost before she can wink the money drops out of the other end, at the
central station, where the necessary change is made, put back in the cup and
again whisked through the tube to the station from which it came. This all can
be done in less than a minute of time from any part of any floor to the central
City Star, 22 Sept. 1890. The store closed in 1968.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Jones. "Mrs Noland worked at the Jones Store in Kansas City as a cashier in the Pneumatic Tube Room." Holton Recorder website
KANSAS CITY, Mo. The Model (clothiers, shoers, hatters and furnishers), 10th and Main Streets. "Midway between the first and second floors the cashier's desk is situated, to which run six tracks of cash cable system, one from each floor." Kansas City Journal, 8 Sep. 1895, p.5
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Owl Drug Store. Wire system. Photograph at All Posters website.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. George B. Peck Dry Goods Co., Main Street. Until 1901 was Doggett Store Co. "Before the store installed overhead wires carrying baskets with purchase and money, young boys and girls were employed to run with these items to a central cashier." Store closed 1964. Kansas City Times, 12 Sep. 1970
KANSAS CITY, Mo. John Taylor's Dry Goods Co. Overhead wire basket system. Taylors was founded in 1881 and taken over by Macys in 1947. Kansas City Times, 24 March 1978. Postcard showing silk department at Kansas City Library website.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Weavers. "From the pneumatic tube system it uses to process transactions to the chief executive who goes by Joe, everything in Weaver's 140-year history speaks of traditional, high-quality customer service." Kansas City Star, 8 Sep. 1998, p. D1
KEARNEY, Neb. J.C. Penney. See ALBION: J.C. Penney
KIRKSVILLE, Mo. Doneghy. "Bankrupt sale of Doneghy stock... Cash carriers and all other fixtures and furniture for sale!" Weekly Graphic (Kirksville), 30 Aug. 1895
LAKE MILLS, Oh. Gene's Place, 101 N. Mill. "Built in 1891; originally a grocery; utilized the metropolitan cash system by installing cash carriers that traveled to the balcony on a wire to the cashier's office." History of Downtown Lake Mills
LANCASTER, Oh. Hickles (dept. store). "Hickle's .. situated on the side of Main Street, and slightly more than halfway between Broad and Columbus Streets .. opened in 1900, presented a more old-fashioned look than Wiseman's... Little change boxes clattered and banged their way from the sales clerks to the central cashier upstairs - and back again - pulled along by a continuously moving cord inside a narrow, caged causeway. David R. Contosta. Lancaster, Ohio, 1800-2000: frontier town to Edge City. Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press, 1999, p.215. (Original source: Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, sesquicentennial ed. 3 June 1950, p. A-30)
LANCASTER, Oh. Wisemans. "Wiseman's was diagonally across Main Street from Hickle's, on the north side of the commercial thoroughfare... In 1946 Wiseman began an extensive remodeling of the store... Its nearly silent pneumatic tubes swished customers' money from sales counters to the cashier's booth on the mezzanine level. Wiseman's was thought to have a higher quality of merchandise than Hickle's. David R. Contosta. Lancaster, Ohio, 1800-2000: frontier town to Edge City. Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press, 1999, p.215
LANSING, Mich. Knapps store. Original store opened in early 1900s in Washington Avenue. By 1937 had moved to a new location. (Wikipedia). Pneumatic tube system. (Carrier offered on eBay, Apr. 2009) See Knapp, J.W. in References
LAWRENCE, Kan. J.C.Penney. Lamson Air-Line system in 1940s-60s until store moved to a new location. Harlan Miller
Kan. Weaver's Department Store, 901 Massachusetts Street. "Weaver's Department Store .. has begun an 18-month remodelling... Still undecided is the fate of Weaver's pneumatic tube system, which transports cash, checks and sales receipts back and forth between the sales counters and the store's bookkeeping department. Flannery said the store is completely computerized with the exception of the tube system but noted that many customers have said they would prefer to see it stay... His son, Joe, .. said the tube system probably is the only one still operating in a retail store in Kansas and 'one of the few west of the Mississippi'. Lawrence Journal-World, 19 July 1987, p. 70
LINCOLN, Neb. Famous (?) "For sale - Three station air line, cash and package carrier at the Famous corner 13th and O." Nebraska State Journal, 16 Nov. 1910, p.11
LINCOLN, Neb. Herpolsheimer & Co. "Our pneumatic tube system will be in operation in a short time." Courier (Lincoln), 16 Apr. 1898, p.7
LINCOLN, Neb. Ruge and Gundells (dept. store). "She worked after school during high school as a cashier in the basement (money tubes were sent down for change, and she sent the money back to the store floor)." Ancestry.com website
LITCHFIELD, Minn. Sibley Antiques, 100 N Sibley Avenue. Air Line system. Intact but not in operation. (Wes Anderson). Photograph
LUVERNE, Minn. Nelson Brothers. "Nelson Brothers install modern electric cable.." Rock County Herald, 17 Apr. 1914
McCOOK, Neb. Brown McDonald. "We always hoped her shopping would take her to the J.C. Penney store, the Brown McDonald Store and DeGroff's Department Store... These three stores had what was called a 'Rapid Wire System' that was used in making change for a customer's purchase." Jeanne Boyle Oldweiler. The ant hill challenge: a collection of stories about growing up in southwestern Nebraska during the 1940s and 1950s. (Bloomington IN: AuthorHouse, 2008) p.106. [In the USA they were more likely to be an Air-Line system.]
McCOOK, Neb. DeGroff (dept. store). See McCOOK. Brown McDonald.
McCOOK, Neb. J.C. Penney. See McCOOK. Brown McDonald.
MADISON, Wis. Baron Brothers. "We have used the Baldwin Flyer for the past ten years or better and are very much satisfied with the service it has given us." Testimonial in Baldwin advertisement, 1925
MANNING, Ia. Manning Mercantile Company. September 16, 1898 the Lawrence Block was completed and this and the south half of Union Block was occupied by the Manning Mercantile Company... Among their modern improvements are: a cash carrier system. Manning website
MANNING, Ia. Rober-Wehrmann Co. (dept. store). "A money exchange system ran from the central cashier's office, by means of overhead conveyance wires that carried tubes containing the change or receipts to the various customer stations." Built in 1917. Company went out of business in Feb. 1939. Manning Centenial Book p. 166
MANSFIELD, Oh. Kobacker (dept. store), 32 N. Main Street. Cash carrier system. Gene Davidson
MANSFIELD, Oh. Lantels? "The same performances .. have occurred several times in the Boston store and also at Lentels[?] where there are cash package carriers." Mansfield News, 12 Dec. 1903, p.5
MANSFIELD, Oh. J.C.Penney, 18 Park Avenue West. Lamson Preferred Wire line System throughout the entire store. Central receiving station was upstairs. In use to ca. 1959. Gene Davidson
MANSFIELD, Oh. H.L.Reed (dept store), 28 N. Main Street. "Like a conveyor, made of leather. The tubes or cups would clamp onto it. The belt went round the store continuously and conveyed the carriers to the cash office... When the trolley canisters would come in, they would 'back up' on the belt until the lead one was released by her to go back down into the store shopping area...Cash and charge transactions were handled. Shop was in use until 1990s but the system had gone by the 1960s." Gene Davidson
MARION, Oh. Marion Bazar. "The rear balcony is devoted to the marking department, cashier's desk, etc., the store having been provided with the new cash carrier service." Marion Star, 9 Nov. 1895, p.5
MARSHALLTOWN, Ia. J.C.Penneys. "My grandmother got to keep them [pneumatic tube carriers] when they moved the J C Penney store to the mall." Description on eBay, 24/7/06
MEXICO, Mo. "The store downtown that had the track system in it that you put your money into a small carrier and it took it by track to the upstairs office, and your change was sent back to you the same way." Audrain County Historical Society website
MILLERSBURGH, Ohio. Mayers (dry goods merchants). "Various departments of general dry goods, carpets, cloaks, millinery, groceries .. all fitted out with cash-railways". RootsWeb website
MILWAUKEE, Wis. Milway, 3801 Juneau Ave . "Catalogue outlet store with guide wires overhead whizzing (cash?) containers of something to someone else in the store." Retro Milwaukee website
MILWAUKEE, Wis. James Morgan, Third Street and Grand Avenue. "The furnishing of the store was completed when the Lamson cable cash system was put in. It is operated by steam and is probably the most complete of any now in use. Mr. Morgan stated .. that his firm was undoubtedly the first in the state to use it. In its operation miniature cars carry the change upon a runway of wire cables." Milwaukee Journal, 10 Apr. 1893, p.2
MILWAUKEE, Wis. J.C.Penney. "At 6 tonight.. the Downtown J.C.Penney store permanently closes its doors... There were no cash registers at its counters until it was remodelled in 1961. Instead, clerks wrote out sales slips for every purchase and sent them, by pneumatic tube, to a central cashier in the basement who made change." Milwaukee Journal, 30 Dec. 1983, p.5
MILWAUKEE, Wis. Rich & Silber. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct 1883
MILWAUKEE, Wis. Schusters, ?Mitchell Street. Pneumatic tube system in 1930s. Don's Depot website
MINNEAPOLIS, Min. Big Boston Clothing Store. "It was the first to adopt .. the cash railway." Saint Paul Daily Globe, 30 Jan. 1889, p.3
MOUND VALLEY, Ks. Wise Brothers. "One side of the store is devoted to the sale of dry goods and clothing and the other side to groceries and shoes... A cash-carrier system is used, thus requiring the constant attention of a cashier. Five people are employed as clerks." History of Labette County, Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. Hon. Nelson Case (Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1901)
NEGAUNEE, Mich. Lowenstein (dept. store) 334 Iron St. Built in 1916 by Joseph Lowenstein. "A whole network of wire baskets accessing the entire 6,000 square foot retail floor". The cashier sat in the 'Crow's Nest' - a little balcony built onto the wall. After the death of the last remaining Lowenstein son/daughter, the building was purchased by Don and Anne Michelsen as a music shop. Part is now an antiques market. Also photograph on Flickr.
NORTH MANCHESTER, In. Lew Urschel (dry goods). "When you bought, the charge slip and your money went zinging to a dim back balcony where an office girl recorded the sale and sent your change back down the humming wires. Later this charming system was discarded for more efficient cash registers." Newsletter of North Manchester Historical Society XXV (2) May 1998
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. The Leader. "The cable cash carrier at The Leader was completed yesterday and placed in service." North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune, 17 Oct. 1916, p.1
OMAHA, Neb. Brandeis. "One of my earliest memories is shopping with my mother at the alrge Brandeis department store in Omaha, Nebraska, and watching that money get put in a tube and whooshed away to some place out of sight. We would wait with our cashier until the carrier reappeared with our receipt and change." Old Stuff website
OMAHA, Neb. Burgess-Nash. Pneumatic tube system with charge authorisers' station. Lamson advertisement in Credit World, vol. 10, no.7, 1922, p.2 with photograph.
OMAHA, Neb. Eiseman, Rodda & Co. "The dry goods house of Eiseman, Rodda & Co., will be greatly improved as soon as the summer dull season comes on... Yesterday [they] were contracting for Lamson's cash railway." Omaha Daily Bee, 3 Jul. 1885, p.6
OSAGE, Ia. Daylight Store, Main Street. Now Terri Lynns (antiques). "Four money chutes.. that went from the main floor up to the office." Replaced by cash registers in 1953. Mitchell County Press - News Online, 18 Jul. 2006
OWATONNA, Minn. F.H.Joesting, Bridge Street. " F.H. Joesting of Little Falls rented the Diment building in 1905 to bring to Owatonna a first-class modern and up-to-date department store. The building was formerly occupied by the Hanson Mercantile Company and would be the home for a complete selection of dry goods, dress goods, ladies furnishing, shoes, groceries etc. ... The location of the ready-to-wear department was in the balcony, along with the office and cashier. All transactions and wrapping were done by office personnel. Little baskets were sent up to the balcony on a tight, inclined wire, by pulling a handle on a mechanism. When the package was wrapped, and change was made, the cashier sent the basket back down the inclined wire by giving it a push." Owatonna People's Press, 5/12/10
PERU, Ind. Sengers Dry Goods Co., 51 N Broadway Street. Cable system. Building now houses the Miami County Museum which has a small display with two cars but not the carrier system. Photograph held by the museum shows the cashier's desk with at least seven lines coming in. Gene Davidson and Miami County Museum
PIGEON, Mich. A. Hirshberg & Son. "The new store of A. Hirshberg & Son at Pigeon is undoubtedly the best arranged and most complete... The establishment has a thoroughly metropolitan air from the spacious shop windows .. to the cashier's desk where the cash carrier system ends." Huron County Republican, 1901 - photograph of interior but not very clear.
PIPESTONE, Minn. Wilson & Evans Brothers. "The dry goods department of the store of Wilson and Evans Brothers now presents a very citified appearance. A complete system of parcel and cash carriers have been installed. However, the system has only been put on trial, and the proprietors of the store are uncertain about retaining it." Pipestone County Star 25 Nov. 1904
POMONA, Kan. Mindlin Store. "John Krause will soon begin work on an addition to the Mindlin store building... When completed, it will give Mr. Mindlin the finest store room in any county town in Kansas. It is the intention to fit it up with cash carriers, department counters, a resr room for the ladies..." Annals of Pomona, Kansas, 1901
PORTLAND, Ind. Bimel Block. "As a kid in the 50's I loved to watch in wonder as the little cash basket would whiz up to the ceiling on a wire-pulley system and disappear into the cashier's window." Vintage Portland Post Cards. Building erected 1896-8.
PORTLAND, Ind. Weiler Brothers (dept. store). "The current 44,000 square foot Art Deco Weiler Brothers Department Store building located at perhaps the most prominent business corner in downtown Portland, Indiana, was designed by .. Walter Scholer and was constructed in 1926... The department store actually occupied only the basement and first floor of the building... The building was also well known for its Lamson cash carrier system used by the store clerks to transport cash and sales slip to a central cashier on the mezzanine level. Parts of this system are scheduled for restoration by J & P Custom Plating of Portland and will be re-installed in the building for historians to admire. Unfortunately, much of the system was damaged by years of neglect and flooding in the basement of the building where most of the equipment was stored... The John Jay Center for Learning acquired ownership of the Weiler building in February of 2004." Flickr website with four photographs of cable system parts including "the end of the line" at the cash office.
PORTSMOUTH, Oh. J.C.Penney, 315-7 Chillicote Street. "Later J.C.Penney and other department stores adopted the Lampson [sic] basket method and still later the widely used pneumatic tubes system to handle cash. Pneumatic tubes were still in use as late as 1940." Portsmouth Daily Times, 28 Mar. 1992, p.16
ROCHESTER, Ind. Big Store, North Side, Public Square. "George Wallace has purchased the cash carrier apparatus of E.H.Murray and will install it in his big store north of the court house." Rochester Sentinel, 11/4/1907.
ROCHESTER, Minn. Lymans (dept. store). Basket system. Photograph of cloak and suit department at All Posters website.
ROCKVILLE, Ind. The Elephant, 13-14 Ohio Street. "The largest clothing and furnishing-goods store in the place... He [Edward Brubeck] also has a cashier, and uses the Standard Cash Carrier system. Portrait and biographical record: Montgomery, Parke & Fountain counties, Indiana (Chapman Bros., 1893)
SAGINAW, Mich. J.W.Ippel (dry goods), Court & Michigan. Moved into building in 1905. "The dry goods store had wooden floors and overhead tracks that made a clicking sound throughout the store. Along the tracks ran cash cars carrying sales receipts and money to the office. The cash car then returned to the sales clerk and customer with change. In 1948 the system was replaced with pneumatic tubes. The building was destroyed by fire on January 29, 2002. Roberta Morey: Saginaw in vintage postcards (Charleston, SC:Arcadia, 2004)
SAGINAW, Mich. Morley Bros. "I can still see the money, and the bill whooshing through the pneumatic tube to the cashier's office in Morley Brothers." Conovercourt posting to Urban Ohio Forum, 29/9/08
ST LOUIS, Mo. Schroeter Bros. (hardware). Wire line carrier used to a cash desk on the balcony. Lamson brochure
ST LOUIS, Mo. Scruggs Vandervoort & Barney. "Lamson brass pneumatic tube from the store Scruggs Vandervoort & Barney ... Once privately owned, they were absorbed into the Denver Dry Goods Company. DDG was merged into and became part of the Foley's nameplate after a May Company Conversion." Caption in Retail Memories blog
ST PAUL, Min. Edward F. Mues, 137 Dakota Avenue. "A new addition has been made in new dry goods house .. of the new rapid cash railway system of five stations, the first of the kind on the West side, at an expense of about $350." St Paul Daily Globe, 22 May, 1887, p.7
SALINA, Kan. E.W.Ober. "Salina cannot praise in too extravagent terms the mammoth palace store of Mr. E.W. Ober - accounted by the best judges to be .. the best equipped general merchandise establishment west of Topeka... An elevated cash railway system will soon be adopted for the whole establishment." Saline County Journal, 12 Nov. 1885
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. J.C. Penney. See ALBION: J.C. Penney
STEVENS POINT, Wis. I.Brills. "I.Brill's Son have put in a new cash railway kown as the Detroit rapid service system. The cash is placed in a round ball which is shot off to the cashier's desk, receiving its momentum from a rubber spring. The carrier travels on a wire and makes the entire distance of the store and back in a few seconds." Stevens Point Gazette 24 Dec. 1887, p.5
STEVENS POINT, Wis. M.Cliffords. See STEVENS POINT above
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. A.Herz, 646-652 Wabash Avenue. Built 1906-7. Pneumatic tube system. Wabash Valley Profile
TOLEDO, Oh. Earl A. Hulce. "We are so well satisfied that, if we could not get another Flyer, you could not buy ours back for five times its cost. It is perfect.' (Testimonial in Baldwin advertisement, 1925)
TOLEDO, Oh. Grocery Company. "The Lamson Consolidated Store Service Company on November 15, 1911, executed a contract, in terms of a lease, under which the Store Service Company installed a cable cash carrier system in the store of the Grocery Company in Toledo, Ohio." American Annotated Cases, 1916, p.946
TOLEDO, Oh. Morehouse-Martens. Pneumatic tube system with credit authorisation station. Lamson advertisement in Credit World, vol. 10, no.2, 1921, p.2 with photograph
TOLEDO, Oh. Tiedkes. "I remember that [a cash carrier] in Toledo at Tiedkes Department Store." Dr W in posting to Yahoo UK Answers
WATERLOO, Ia. Hannasch Shoe Co. "For sale - shoe store equipment, cash carrier system". Waterloo Daily Courier, 14 Aug. 1930, p.19
WAUKESHA, Wis. J.C.Penney (dept. store). "Pneumatic tube system speeds Penney service. More than 5,000 feet of tubing links the J.C.Penney department store together. It is the recently installed pneumatic tube cash system.
WAVERLY, Ia. Penney's (clothing store), 1123 East Bremer Avenue. Opened September 1913. "Lamson Electric Continuous Cash Carriers were installed when the building was new." Waverley Area Development Group website
WEEPING WATER, Neb. Eugene L. Reed's, corner of I and Randolph Streets. "Mr Reed was the first merchant in Weeping Water to have a cash carrier placed in his store, and which for some time was regarded with a great deal of curiosity, being quite an innovation upon the old system." Building was erected in 1868. Portrait and biographical album of Otoe and Cass Counties, Nebraska (Chicago: Chapman Bros, 1889) p.910
WICHITA, Kan. Cole & Jones. "Cole & Jones yesterday placed in their store and have in successful operation the Detroit system of cash carriers." Wichita Eagle, 8 Jul. 1888, p.5
WICHITA, Kan. Henrys Inc. Lamson pneumatic tube system. Lamson brochure, 1952
WICHITA, Kan. A.S.Munson. "Our attention was attracted yesterday morning to the cash railway in Mr. A.S. Munson's dry goods store... The track is a network of wire one end of which is slightly elevated so that a round ball placed upon it will roll along to the end or station where it is deposited in a basket in easy reach of the clerk... Mr. Munson will take pleasure in showing you its peculiar features. It is the only thing of the kind in this part of the state." Daily Eagle (Witchita), 23 May 1884. Later became Munson and McNamara and then McNamara and Company.
WINFIELD, Kan. Calverts, Main Street. "Martha Jean Robinson’s most vivid memory of that store .. was its overhead electric conveyor system which ran from the various departments to the business office on the second-floor balcony. When a payment was made, a clerk would put the cash and a sales slip into a cup, place it on the conveyor and send it to the cashier’s station in the balcony. If change was to be made, it would be returned the same way. Calvert’s was located on the corner of East Eighth and Main. The building burned in February 1984 and 800 Main Place, which now occupies the site, was completed in November 1987." Bill Bottorff's website
WINFIELD, Kan. J.B.Lynn's. "A unique
feature of Mr Lynn's splendid store is the elevated cash railway, the most convenient
cashier system ever invented." Winfield Courier, 1 Jan. 1885.
WINONA, Minn. Choate. "Modernization of the H.Choate & Co. store has brought many conveniences to shoppers, but customers will miss the cash railway system and the swivel chairs. Seventy-eight years ago the store installed the latest thing in cash handling - a series of lines snaking up walls and across ceilings. When a customer made a purchase the clerk put the cash in a small cash box, like a miniature railway car, which was sent on a seemingly endless journey to the main office upstairs. The railway system has been replaced by cash registers in each department." Winona Daily News 30 Sept. 1961, p.24
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. Johnson-Hill (food store). "A Lamson pneumatic tube carrier system, with 24 separate cash and sales slip tubes reaching all departments of the store." Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 11 Dec. 1941, p.7
WOOSTER, Oh. Ackers. Pneumatic tube system. Shop has now gone. Gene Davidson
WOOSTER, Oh. Freedlanders (dept. store), 125 West Liberty Street. Lamson pneumatic tube system in use to approx. 1960s. Store closed on 21 February 2009 after 125 years in business. Gene Davidson. Photograph of exterior at Daily Record website. Some parts offered on eBay, March 2009.
YORK, Neb. Brown McDonald (dept. store). "Where the York State Bank is now, used to be the Brown McDonald Department store. They had .. pneumatic tubes to put customers money in, then it would 'whiz' to the office, and the office would send the change back to the clerk." (Floridagal posting to York News forum, 8/2/05)
YOUNGSTOWN, Oh. Strouss-Hirshberg, Federal Street. "Aside from handling sales transactions, the pneumatic tube system in Strouss-Hirshberg's is designed to carry messages from department to department." Also had Lamson belt conveyors. Youngstown Daily Vindicator, 1 Nov. 1926, p.10 (announcing opening of new building)
ADRIAN, Mo. Western Missouri Antique Tractor and Machinery Association. Air-Line system from Levys shop in Butler re-erected in old general store. Photos
PERU, Ind. Miami County Museum, 51 N Broadway Street. See PERU above.
indicates systems which are still there (as far as I know) though they may not be working.