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Letterhead of Dart Cash Carrier Co. Ltd.

This company was established by William Alfred Edwards, a Midlands grocer, to market his simple gravity carrier patented in 1918. In 1921 the company was based in Peel Street, Stoke-on-Trent and was advertising for staff (Staffordshire Sentinel, 26 Sep. 1921, p. 6). Edwards introduced a number of other designs including one using a spring to propel the car. The company was later based at Booth Street. In 1934 he was still a director together with E.Norton and J.F.Venner. There was a Southern Representative in Peacehaven and an office at 8 D'Olier Street, Dublin. Further patents were taken out in 1935 and 1938 (with Frank Machin). In 1935 the company advertised its "modern factory premises" on Booth Street with 8,000 square feet of workshop space on the ground floor for sale, contemplating removal to a better location. Staffordshire Sentinel, 12 July 1935, p. 3.

Rev Harold Burton gave this account of the "metal cup on a pulley system" in the Staffordshire Sentinel, 17 Sep. 1987, p.12: "They were made by the Dart Cash Carrier Company, off Lonsdale Street, Stoke... From 1924 to 1927, I worked for Messrs W.E. Cotton, brassfounders and engineers, of Bryan Street, Hanley... We cast the cups and the rest of the pulley system. One of my jobs was to cut the small pulleys from mild steel rod. Mr Cotton tested each wheel personally and woe betide me if there were many which did not run true. It was a fascinating system for children to watch in a shop."

Dart systems were especially popular with Co-operative societies. "The Burslem Co-operative Society was the first customer of the installing company, and since that time over 800 individual Societies and branches have been served with a total of well over 6,000 stations. The headquarters of the Co-operative Wholesale Society in Manchester has a huge installation of the Dart Company's pneumatic system." Staffordshire Sentinel, 23 Sep. 1932, p. 9. The grocery and provision department of Burslem Co-op's new emporium in 1932 was fitted up with the "Dart-Excel Overhead Flexible Cable System." Ibid. (I thik this may have been the cleaning system.)

Lamsons bought a 51% stake in the firm in 1927 and became sole owner in 1948.

As well as pneumatic tube carriers, the firm made ventilation and cleaning systems. There was an advertisement for its "Centralised vacuum cleaning system" in the Staffordshire Sentinel, 28 Jan. 1931. At the outbreak of the second World War Dart was advertising ventilation and gas filtration systems for air raid shelters. Staffordshire Sentinel, 26 Oct. 1939, p. 3. The company extended "sincere greetings for 1941" to their friends in the Staffordshire Sentinel on 28 December 1940, p. 2 and their address was Campbell Road. In 1954 they were advertising for a mechanic to maintain overhead wire and pneumatic tube systems in the Liverpool area. Liverpool Echo, 27 Feb. 1954, p. 9. Edwards retired as Managing Director of Dart in 1954 and then started the Trentside Engineering Co. of Stoke. He died in 1959. Staffordshire Sentinel, 17 Sep. 1959, p. 7

Mr Ronald F. Chalklin, formerly company secretary of Metal Constructions Ltd., was appointed managing director in 1968. Birmingham Daily Post (Wolverhampton edition) 11 Sep. 1968, p. 2. The Sentinel of 1 January 2004 (p.11) had an article about Jessie Shaw who "spent 44 years as a clerk with the old Dart Cash Carrier Company in Stoke."

The following advertisement for a manager appeared in the Guardian on 29 November 1973, p.26:"This challenging job needs a manager... He must, as soon as possible, take responsibility for moving Lamson Engineering to a new location, assume responsibility for the total personnel function of two companies, Lamson Engineering and its subsidiary Dart Cash Carrier Company Limited, both moving to new premises in the North Staffordshire area."

Dart's move was reported in the Staffordshire Sentinel, 30 Jun. 1975, p. 13: "For over 50 years Dart Cash have manufactured in Stoke pneumatic tube systems, centralised vacuum cleaning systems - and more recently - belt conveyors and document lifts. A new factory for Dart at Victoria Road Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent opens in the Jubilee Year of the City of Stoke-on-Trent... Other similar equipment is now being built for their associate company, Lamson Engineering, also for other companies in the Lamson Industries Group."

The Staffordshire Sentinel, 5 Oct. 1987, p. 6 mentioned "The Dart Cash Carrier Company (nowadays Dartcash Engineering Ltd. of City Road, Fenton)." It was then making components for the car industry.

The Dartcash company was dissolved on 28 October 2003.

Dart carriage at Bromsgrove Museum

This is a photograph of the system in Brosmgrove Museum. It came from Harry Coopers of Willenhall which closed around 1988. The propelling spring is mounted on the horizontal rod and is stretched by means of the pull-cord. The car is pulled back as well until it is released by the trigger latch.

The construction looks very crude compared with Lamsons' and Gipes' equipment.

Dart  propulsion at Bromsgrove Museum

The other propulsion at the Bromsgrove Museum display.

Dart installed many wire systems in West Midland co-op stores (see Williams)

Cash office at Lichfield Coop

This 1955 photograph of the cashier's office was taken at the Wolverhampton Cooperative Society's Lichfield Street Emporium. Ms Bowman (on the left) commented that when the men came from Stoke to repair the system it seemed like another world - Stoke was so far away!

One of the 83 counter terminals at Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative Society and one of the hose connection points of the centralised vacuum cleaning system also supplied by Dart.

Pneumatic tube terminal from advertisement in Staffordshire Sentinel, 23 Sep. 1932, p. 9

Dartcash's factory in Stoke on Trent, 1991. Photograph courtesy of John Liffen

There is a copy of a 1947 advertisement by Dart for their pneumatic despatch system on the website.