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Locations - California


BAKERSFIELD. Malcolm Brock. Pneumatic tube system with magnetic separator. Lamson advertisement in Chain Store Age, June 1949.

BERKELEY. Hinks. "Your change came swooping down a wire track from the cashier's office." Berkeley Daily Planet, 1 Apr. 2003

CRENSHAW. Broadway Department Store. Grover pneumatic tube system. Grover Bulletin G

EL CENTRO. Varney Bros. & Co., 569-581 Main Street. "The Lamson Electric Cable Cash System is used to handle the rush of business." Imperial Valley Press (El Centro), 27 Feb. 1916, p. 8

EL MONTE. J.C.Pennys. Cash carrier. Ray Clark in posting to Facebook

EURIKA. Russ Market. "In 1853 the late Hon. Joseph Russ established the Russ Market... All of the separtments are connected with a central office by a cash railway system, thus facilitating the prompt rendering of accounts and correctness of bills." History and Business Directory of Humboldt County (Eureka: Hamm, 1890) p.195

FORT BRAGG. Union Lumber Company store, Franklin/Main. "When it was still the Company Store, the store had a cash railway. One of the many old-time photos covering the walls shows the system in action." Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Historical society website

LONG BEACH. C.R. Anthonys. "We had the same pneumatic system for receipts & cash at C.R. Anthony's in Brixby Knolls in Long Beach growing up." Mike in Seattle posting to The Fedora Lounge, 20/6/06
• "Anthony's in Long Beach had it [cash carrier]." Margaret Colleton-Watson in posting to Facebook

LOS ANGELES. N.B. Blackstone, 318-322 South Broadway. "Tomorrow the big concern of N.B.Blackstone will be snugly esconced in its new quarters at the A.P.Johnson building, 318-322 South Broadway... The new firm home is a five-story and basement reinforced concrete structure... A pneumatic tube system has also been installed to expedite the making of change for customers." Herald (Los Angeles) 23 Jan. 1907, p.5

LOS ANGELES. Broadway Department Store, Broadway and Fourth. "Our electric cash railway has been enlarged and improved, so you won't have to wait for change. More than a dozen new cash desks have been installed in various parts of the store to releive the strain on the cash railway system." Los Angeles Herald, 24 Dec. 1901, p.16
Photograph of tube room, 1925.

LOS ANGELES. Bullocks. "Pneumatic tube cash service to hurry change back to you." Los Angeles Herald, 19 Dec. 1909, p. 12

LOS ANGELES. Central Department Store, 609-619 S. Broadway. "Opens Monday, March 25th... Lamson's Cable CAsh Carriers work with greatest speed. Change is made and returned in remarkably short time. Nearly a hundred stations are scattered through the store and tracks penetrate every nook and corner." Los Angeles Herald, 21 Mar. 1907, p.5

LOS ANGELES. Hamburger & Co. One of 25 lessees of the Parcel Carrier in Lamson trade cards of the 1880s. Ephemera Society of America website

LOS ANGELES. May Co., Laurel Plaza. Built in 1955. "There was a similar system at the May Co, Laurel Plaza. The containers would get stuck all the time." Gerry Maitland in Historic Photographs on Facebook

LOS ANGELES. May Co., Wilshire Boulevard. "I remember it [pneumatic tube system] at May Co. Wilshire." Karen Kaye in Historic Photographs on Facebook

LOS ANGELES. J.T.Sheward, 13 and 15 N. Spring Street. "The Bostedo Cash Carrier and Package Comp'y of Chicago, has recently taken out our old cash system and has replaced it with the finest piece of mechanism in the shape of a cash carrier on the continent. Four tracks, one hundred and seventy-five feet each in length, with thirty-four stations, makes the system equal to thirty-four cash boys... The tracks are stationary, and each basket drops in its proper station without friction and without trouble. This improved system gives us improved methods to forward and facilitate the prompt and speedy delivery of all packages." Los Angeles Daily Herald, 4 Jul. 1889, p.8

starMcCLOUD. McCloud River Mercantile Hotel. "We found a picture in the Museum of how the Mercantile looked around the turn of the century and we started bringing that picture back to life.  We found old display cases and the original Lamson Cash Carrier in the basement.  This allowed us to repair and restore old items and reconstruct the missing parts of the store." Website

MODESTO. Gibert & Son. "The cash carrier system in the new stores of Gibert & Son is now being put in by W.L.Owens, a representative of the Lamson Consolidated Company. The system will be used for all the departments of the new stores and is an up-to-date one." Daily Evening News (Modesto) 1 Apr. 1898, p.1

OAKLAND. H.C.Capwell, Broadway and 20th Street. Pneumatic tube system. Carriers offered on eBay, 12 Jun. 2016 and 26 Oct. 2019.
• "I remember .. the pneumatic system that ran all throughout the store and sucked up tubes headed to some mysterious end destination." Department Store Museum website

OAKLAND. Smith Bros., 470(?) 13th Street. "For sale - Lamson pneumatic tube cash carrier system, complete, 5 stations, motor, blower and tubing." Oakland Tribune, 21 Jun. 1919, p.14

OXNARD. J.C.Penney, A Street. Wire system until ca. 1955, when building was pulled down. (Charles Felsenthal)

PALM SPRINGS. I.Magnin. Pneumatic tube system. (Store opened 1932.) Greenspun family bulletin board, 18 Feb. 2005

PASADENA. Broadway Department Store. Grover pneumatic tube system. Grover Bulletin G

PASADENA. Bullocks. Lamson pneumatic tube system. Lamson brochure, 1952

PASADENA. Lieberg's. "Lieberg's in Pasadena had that [pneumatic tubes] in the 1940s." Pattaya James in Historic Photographs on Facebook

PASO ROBLES. Mercantile department store. Pneumatic tube system. Wordydave website

PLACERVILLE. Mierson? "Forty years ago... The Mierson[?] firm have this week installed a Lamson Rapid Cash CArrier, which is another enterprising move and will be a valuable acquisition to the business of the old reliable trading place." Mountain Democrat and Placerville Republican, 19 Apr. 1945, p.2

PLACERVILLE. Shafsky? "The Lamson Cash Carrier Basket system has been installed this week in the Shafsky building by D.Flubacher of San Francisco, an agent of the company. There are nine tracks all running to the cashier's station in the center of the store, which will be in charge of Miss Daisy Bence." Mountain Democrat, 24 Apr. 1909, p.2

SACRAMENTO. C.C.C. , Granger Building. "See the electric cash carriers at the C. C. C. stores. Twenty seconds to get your change." Sacramento Daily Union, 3 Dec. 1896, p.5

SACRAMENTO. Hale's, Ninth/K Streets. "Within a very few days the newest and most improved cable cash system will be in operation... Electricity furnishes the motive power for this system." Record-Union, 1 Nov. 1899, p. 7

SACRAMENTO. Nonpareil, Fifth/J Streets. "We are introducing the Bostedo cash and package carrier! A machine largely in use in the larger dry goods houses of Chicago. It comes highly recommended for its unrivaled usefulness, doing the required work with safety and dispatch. We have, after a two-days' trial, accepted it as satisfactory, and invite the public to inspect this our latest improvement." Sacramento Daily Record, 18 Dec. 1889, p. 1

SACRAMENTO. Weinstocks, just north of Capitol Park. "A much larger department store of several stories and a mezzanine. It .. had a centralized cashier's office. The connection system .. was pneumatic. Money and sales slip would be put into small cylinders which would be placed into the send tube with a sucking snap. An even more distinctive sound would be made when it returned and dropped into a wooden box." "Haversack" in posting to The Fedora Lounge, 20/6/06

SAN FRANCISCO. Newman and Levinson. One of the "seven hundred prominent business houses in the United States using the Ball System" in Lamson trade cards of the 1880s. Ephemera Society of America website

SAN FRANCISCO. Saks Fifth Avenue. Lamson pneumatic tube system. Lamson brochure, 1952

SAN FRANCISCO. White House, Sutter Street and Grant Avenue. "It will have .. pneumatic tubes for cash and an endless belt carrier system for sending packages to the shipping department." San Francisco Call, 12 May 1907, p. 27
• "The pneumatic tube system has been installed on a more elaborate plan than ever before seen in any store in San Francisco. The glistening brass network of pipes radiates from a huge central post in the basement. Here a corps of quick cashiers make change and shoot the tiny coin carriers back to the bundle wrappers at each of the 40 stations almost in the time it takes to tie the strings. A separate system of tubes is also maintained for charge checks, which go to the credit-man of the firm, receive his 'O.K.' and are whizzed back to the clerk in a fraction of a minute." Ibid. 14 Mar. 1909, p. 24

SAN JOSE. Herolds (shoe store), First St. "The sales clerk put the money and the receipt into a round glass and metal cylinder, then he placed the cylinder in a tube that ran along the walls and the ceiling. A moment later we watched as the cylinder soared, faster than lightning, up the side of the walls and sped across the ceiling on its way to the store's upstairs cashier." Willow Glen Resident, 6 March 2002

SAN JOSE. R.O. Shively (Nine Cent Store).  "Last night a dense throng of people blocked the sidewalk in front of Shively’s 9-cent store, and as many as could be accommodated filled the spacious interior, curiously inspecting a feature new to this city, but known in the East as Lamson’s Patent Cash Railway. The cashier’s desk at the rear of the store has been raised some five feet from the floor, so as to overlook the entire establishment. From the desk and connecting with the different departments is a double line of enclosed rail, light and handsome in appearance, with a space of two feet between the two. Small round balls receive the customers’ coin, and being closed by the clerks are by a pulley attachment quickly and noiselessly transmitted to the cashier, who makes the change and returns it by the same medium to the clerk. Ingeniously constructed switches prevent confusion in sending and receiving, and it was the unanimous verdict of all observers that the invention is one calculated to be of great service as regards the saving of both time and labor." San Jose Mercury-News, 25 Jul. 1884, p. 2

SAN LUIS OBISPO. Riley's (dept. store), Chorro Street between Marsh and Higuera. "Pneumatic tube system connecting sales clerk's stations with cashiers on the second floor. I remember it from the 1960's. The store closed in 1993; I don't know how long the tube system lasted." Clem Dickey

SAN LUIS OBISPO. Sinsheimer Brothers, 849 Monterey Street. "Longterm residents of the city still remember the overhead 'Lamson' money carrier system, a cords-and-pulleys network by which the salesclerks sent cash to the office located on the upper level at the back of the store." History of San Luis website.

SANTA ANA.  Vandermasts (dept. store) 118 W. 4th Street. The building now houses Don Roberto Jeweler's ... I remember the air tubes that sent the transactions up to the accounting department, and you change came back the same way. All transactions were handled with a sales book, and no registers. Orange County Memories website

SANTA CRUZ. Sea Side Store. "The cash railway at the Sea Side Store is attracting much attention." Santa Cruz Sentinel, 17 Dec. 1887, p. 3

 SANTA MONICA. Hensheys (dept. store). "Santa Monica is prime shopping territory... Santa Monica used to have one venerable, old-fashioned but well-loved department store - Henshey's - the kind of store where, right to the end, your money and the handwritten order slip were sent via a vacuum tube to the cashier on another floor. Everyone hated to see it go." Robert and Phyllis White. Hollywood & the best of Los Angeles alive! Edison NJ: Hunter, 2002, p.439

STOCKTON. Ruhl-Goodell (hardware). "Two features that will appeal strongly to the public are the system of .. brass signs .. and the cash-carrier system." Opened 24 May. Pacific Hardware Journal , June 1913

VAN NUYS. J.C.Penney, 6454 Van Nuys Blvd. "Modern innovative skill has been utilized in the new Van Nuys J.C.Penney store in a scientific time-saving method to speed up cash transactions. That is through the pneumatic tube system... Opening of the store tomorrow and Friday... It's all done with air pressure supplied from a huge blower on the roof." Van Nuys News, 12 May 1949, p.60
• "Elimination of the pneumatic tube system for money changing will give the store a fresh new appearance." Valley News [Van Nuys], 1 Jan. 1961, p.4

VENTURA. J.C. Penney. "Cash transactions were done with cables." Facebook

WALKERTON. Stephen Brothers, "center of main business block"."Overhead, above the counters, was a double wire track system, between which were suspended small wooden containers called cups. The tracks went from full length of the store on each side and ended at the cashier's office, up three steps at the back of the store. For years, Miss Mary McIntee was the cashier... The cup was then twisted into the overhead receiver on the track. The clerk pulled a dangling handle which operated a spring that sent the container flying along the track to Miss McIntee's office." Southwestern Ontario website

WILLOW GLEN. Herolds (shoes), First Street. Pneumatic tube system in 1940s/50s with "a round glass and metal cylinder". Willow Glen Resident, 6 Mar. 2002

starindicates systems which are still there (as far as I know) though they may not be working.