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Locations - Illinois



LeBaron & Miller, Freeport

Marshall Field, Chicago

CHAMPAIGN. Blums Inc. Lamson pneumatic tube system. Lamson brochure, 1952

CHAMPAIGN. Lewis (dept store). "Lewis' and Willis' had the "tracks" to send your money to the office and the change came back the same way." Champaign High School Lendales website

CHAMPAIGN. Willis (dept store). See above.

CHICAGO. J. M. Carroll & Co. Baldwin carrier. Advertisement in Merchant's Record and Shop Window, Feb. 1913, p.1

CHICAGO. Carson, Pirie & Co. "It [cash railway] has been in use for a year." Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel, 1 Aug. 1882

CHICAGO. City of Paris store. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct 1883

CHICAGO. Clapp. "Mr Clapp has an electric cash railway in his store, which is the best evidence of his enterprise as a business man. The house is substantial and transacts a large business." Daily Inter Ocean, 24 Jan. 1885, p.9

CHICAGO. Clark & Barlow (hardware), Lake Street. Baldwin Flyer system before the building was razed for the State of Illinois building. Documentary film (8 mins, 16 mm) in collection of Chicago Historical Society. Business dates back to 1894 and moved to River North in 1980.

CHICAGO. Helbing's (dept store), 105th and Ewing. "Overhead trolley baskets that would transport cash from various departments to the cashier's desk up front". South East Historical Scoiety News, vol. 16, no. 2 (Oct. 2002)

CHICAGO. I. Magnin. The Newark Department Store in Newark, DE had a pneumatic tube system for payments and receipts .. as did the I. Magnin's in Chicago--on Michigan Ave., across from Water Tower Place. It was well into the [19]80s. Project-Wombat-Open mailing list, 13/3/12

CHICAGO. Mandal Bros. "The Lamson Cash Railway company received two important orders for the system Saturday... The other is from Mandal Bros. of Chicago and will call for 80 stations." Lowell Daily Courier, 13 Jul. 1885, p.8

CHICAGO. Marshall Field, State and Washington Streets. "It [cash railway] has been in use for a year." Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel, 1 Aug. 1882
• Pneumatic tube system installed in 1893. (Pasermadjian). Photo of Helen Sarros, "queen of the mighty basement console", working the new system in Chicago Sun-Times, 26 Nov. 1947
• "A pneumatic cash carrier system was installed for the first time in the new 1902 building. " Chicago Dry Goods Reporter, 11 Oct. 1902, p.35 in Robert W. Twyman History of Marshall Field & Co. 1852-1906. (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1954) p.200
• Baldwin carrier according to advertisement in Merchant's Record and Shop Window, Feb. 1913, p.1

CHICAGO. Schesinger & Mayer, N.E. corner of State and Madison Streets. "Many difficulties were encountered in shifting and readjusting the .. cash conveyor tubes ." Carol R. Bolon. The nature of Frank Lloyd Wright. Papers presented at a symposium organised to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988) p. 165

CHICAGO. Sea, Willoughby, Hill & Co. "It has been in use for a year." Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel, 1 Aug. 1882

CHICAGO. Sears, Lawrence Avenue. "On November 2, 1925, Sears opened two new retail stores, one on Lawrence Avenue, and the other on 79th Street in Chicago. Today, these two stores represent the oldest, continuously operated stores in the Sears retail store system. Both stores were built under the old style model of retail stores. They were two story [sic] buildings... Money and receipts were sent from the sales floor to the office via pneumatic tubes." Sears Archives website. The earlier mail-order business had a pneumatic tube system in 1906. Capsule Pipelines website. There is a photograph of "Part of tube central for service at Sears, Roebuck & Co., Chigago" in Story of a Service Idea, 1912.

CHICAGO. Sears, 79th Street. See above.

CHICAGO. Andrew S. Thomas. Baldwin carrier. Advertisement in Merchant's Record and Shop Window, Feb. 1913, p.1

DANVILLE. Gelinos. "The claimant [Lamson Company] .. agrees to furnish to the bankrupt .. installed in its store, a Preferred Cable Cash System, to be held and used for a term of ten years .. the cost of installation and the value of the use being fixed at partial payments of $63 per quarter." In re Gelino's, 43 F.2d832 (1930), District Court, E.D. Illinois

DECATUR. Arcade Department Store, 123-137 North Main Street. "The store is equipped with the new and improved Lamson Cable Carrier System, the only one in operation in this part of the state. Running through the entire three rooms to a central cash station... It will interest man, woman and child... Marvellous mechanical contrivance." Decatur Daily Review, 14 Sep. 1904, p.5

DECATUR. Linn & Scruggs. "Yesterday afternoon the Bostedo Package and Cash Carrier system was put in use at the establishment of the Lin & Scruggs Dry Goods and Carpet company." Daily Review (Decatur), 19 Feb. 1893, p.5. Suffered a major fire in 1914 but rebuilt.

DIXON. A.W.IJotTmaun (dry goods). "Workmen are today replacing the Acme cash railway system in the A.W.IJotTmaun dry goods store." Dixon Evening Telegraph, 4 Oct. 1889, p.2 [The copy is not clear.]

DOWNERS GROVE. McAllister. "McAllister's Department Store was for clothing, underwear, socks and yard goods. But the overhead pneumatic tube was the most fascinating thing to watch. When a sale was made, the clerk sent the canister flying up to the office on the second floor where some unknown presence made change and "shot" it back down to the counter where the customer was chatting with the clerk." Downers Grove Public Library website

ELGIN. Joseph Speiss. Pneumatic system with magnetic separator. Lamson advertisement in Chain Store Age, June 1949

ELGIN. Theodore F. Swann, Du Page and Spring Streets (now Commerce Building). "The first Elgin merchant to introduce the 'cash railway system'." Elgin History website

ERIE. Burchell. "Robert L. Burchell, dealer in dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, hats and caps, notions, groceries and queensware... In 1868 he came to Erie and opened a dry-goods store... He employs in his store eight clerks and a bookkeeper, and has put in the Lampson [sic] Cash Railway System." Portrait & biographical album of Whiteside County, Illinois (Chicago: Chapman, 1885)

starFREEPORT. E & W [Ennenga & Wagner] Clothing House, 9 W.Main Street. "Before the days of cash registers in stores, money was put in a cup, then clipped to a wire and propelled to a cashier's desk usually on a balcony of a store. E & W had such a constant running track. Then the money was put in a cup and sent upstairs to where the boys department was. Here the cashier would take care of the money and send the change back in the cup. Tom Ennenga described his cash carrier as 'a sling shot-driven carrier with rollers on a wire'. His system was in use from before 1920 until the store closed the last day of July in 1990." Zoominfo website
• The store is now LeBaron & Miller Interiors. In 2008 the Baldwin Flyer was unpacked, renovated, and re-erected. Photographs - also in Journal-Standard (Freeport) , 12/10/08.

GALESBURG. O.T.Johnson (dept. store). Pneumatic tube system. Email from Lawrence Martin, 5/1/02.

KEWANEE. C.A.Shilton (dry goods: boots, shoes and notions). Corner of Third and Tremont Streets. Two-wire system (Air-Line? - though mentions a "strong steel spring"). "There was one station at the head of the right counter and one at the head of the left and two more in the shoe department and a couple midway in the establishment and possibly one at the head of the long stairs." Earle A.Shilton. Boots, shoes and notions. (Chicago Literary Club, 1955) p.14

LASALLE. Blakely ( dept. store). Basket system. (Joliet Public Library website)

McLEANSBORO. Grand Leader store. "They have the National cash register and Barr cash carrier systems." McLeansboro Illustrated, 25 May 1900 (special supplement to the McLeansboro Times)

MINONK. Vissering Mercantile Exchange. Pneumatic tube system. Mononktalk website

MOUNT VERNON. Mammoth. "The Mammoth had a cool pneumatic tube that would take your money and send it to the banker, kind of like Deal or no Deal... It would poof back to you with the correct change and green stamps." On the QT blogspot
• "The money tubes and the beautiful staircase at the Mammoth Department Store." Facebook: Jefferson County Historical Society

OLNEY. J.C.Penney. "In the JC Penney's store, a cashier sat high on a balcony. All counters had a wire and spring gearing mechanism with leather pouches that telescoped to enclose change. The clerk would enclose the cash and sales slip in a pouch and trigger it to the cashier." Olney Memories blog

PANA. The Leader. "New fixtures are being put in the hat and men's furnishing goods departments of "The Leader", Pana, Ill., and the firm will use an overhead wire system for handling the cash." Clothier and Furnisher, 1887?, p.45

PEORIA. Schipper & Block. "Schipper & Block's store fixtures for sale... One Lamson cable system; one Lamson basket carrier system; 36 stations." Minneapolis Journal, 18 Oct. 1905, p. 16

QUINCY. Tenk (hardware). Lamson Air-Line system. Photograph in Lamson brochure shows cash desk in the centre of a long narrow store.

STREATOR. Cooperative Society. "We employ .. eight clerks in the store and two teamsters to deliver goods, and have lately put in a patent cash-carrier." Amos G. Warner: Three phases of cooperation in the west. Publications of Amer. Econ. Ass. 2(1) 1887, p.78

WALNUT. Burchell Bros. "He employs in his store eight clerks and a bookkeeper, and has put in the Lampson Cash Railway System." Tampico Historical Society website


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