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Belfast News-Letter, 1 August 1885
The introduction of the Lamson cash railway into the large retail drapery and mercantile concerns of this kingdom is a step by which merchants and the general public must feel largely benefitted. The cash boy has up till very recently been part and parcel of the machinery of these concerns...
To the Americans is again due the credit of this new departure, the inventor in this case being a merchant in Lowell, Mass. From them the idea has been taken up in Britain, and now many of the leading houses, especially in the drapery trade, are enjoying the benefits of what is recognised as the most perfect means of passing cash yet in operation. The Messrs. Arnott & Co. have been the first to use it in both England and Scotland, their magnificent premises in Jamaica Street, Glasgow, having been furnished with the appliance. Their well-known firm in Bridge Street, Belfast, has followed the example, and for the last few days workmen have been engaged in laying the railway. The arrangement is most ingenious but, when exained, is simplicity itself.
It consists of a series of elevated railways suspended above the warehouse counters in lines radiating from the central cashier's desk to the different departments. The rails are wooden, with an upper covering of leather, and supported by a circular wire frame to ensure the safe passage of the noiseless "carriages". To prevent collisions, there are two tracks, one of which is inclined towards the cashier's desk (which is situated aloft, and forms no obstruction on the ground floor), with a fall of five sixteenths of an inch to the foot, and the other has the opposite gradient, with a view to deliver the message at the various counters. The cash and cheque are placed in a ball which divides in half to receive them and closes so securely as to prevent anything dropping out; the salesman places the ball in a miniature lift which, by the use of a cord, deposits it on the line on which it rolls away to the cashier. On arriving at its destination, it is emptied, the change returned, then elevated to the down line and, by the judicious arrangement of the junctions and switches, it can be dropped at any portion of the house. The latter function seems the more difficult, but the balls differ in size, which enables them automatically, when they reach a particular gate or trap, to open it and drop down.
The system is noiseless, saves time, and works with unerring regularity. We had the pleasure with many others of witnessing it in operation yesterday, and in all its varied movements it gave the greatest satisfaction. The employees, with but a slight effort, have mastered its working, and, with a complete staff of intelligent officials and the permanent way in proper condition, it will doubtless, in the saving of time and...