THE CASH RAILWAY WEBSITE
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BARNSTABLE. A.P.Eagleston, Thatcher's Block, Hyannis. "The cash railway system, of which Miss Nora Buckley is cashier, is a novel attraction." Barnstable Patriot, 13 Apr. 1886, p.2
BOSTON. W.S.Butler. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers] are W.S.Butler & Co., Boston. Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
BOSTON. C.D.Cobb & Bros. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
BOSTON. E.F.Cushman. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
BOSTON. Filenes, Washington and Summer Streets. "Filene's new 1912 store was outfitted with a new Lamson system, whose pneumatic tubes were four inches in diameter. They were big enough to carry watches and jewelry, and Filene's ran the tubes from the jewelry department on the first floor to the watch and clock repair department on the mezzanine." Jan Whitaker. Service and style (St Martins, 2006) p.83
Also see BOSTON. Jordans below.
BOSTON. R.&J.Gilchrist, 587 Winter Street. "We will today introduce the Automatic Cash Railway which we have reason to believe will answer the purpose. The device is essentially a duplex system of inclined grooves connecting the various stations of the clerks at the counters with the cashier's desk, which is centrally located, and hollow balls in which the money is placed, the balls traversing the grooves by force of gravity." Boston Journal, 29 Nov. 1881, p.3.. Photographs of exterior
• "On November 26th, 1921, the Gilchrist Co. in Boston .. did the biggest day's business in its history... The smoothness of the service with the new automatic central station was a surprise to the Gilchrist executives." Lamson advertisement with photograph, Credit World, vol. 10, no. 9, 1922, p.2
BOSTON. Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, 92 Court Street. "At No. 92 Court Street .. is a splendid store and salesroom, 30x81 feet in dimensions... There is every modern convenience here, including the cash railway system." Illustrated Boston: the metropolis of New England (New York: American Publishing and Engraving Co., 1889) p.178
BOSTON. C.F.Hovey, Summer Street "General view main aisle of Hovey's, Boston. Fully equipped with Lamson cable, drop stations." Caption in Story of a Service Idea. Taken over by Jordan Marsh in 1947.
BOSTON. Jordans, Jamaica Plain. "You remember those pneumatic tube systems that carried your cash in a brass cylinder, with a big whoosh , to the main office and then sent back your change and a receipt? (Jordan's, Filene's, Gilchrist's, etc. all had them.) Mahn worked for the largest company in that field, Lansom [sic] Company." Louis Mahn was formerly a manufacturer of baseballs in Jamaica Plain. Jamaica Plain Historical Society website
BOSTON. Jordan Marsh. Said to be probably
the first Lamson installation in ca. 1880 in Abelson. "An early view of Jordan Marsh Company's Pneumatic Tube Cash Desk"
Rain of Glass website. Became Macy's in 1994.
• "Women make change at the terminus of the pneumatic tube system in the basement of Jordan Marsh." Jan Whitaker. Service and style: how the American department store fashioned the middle class. (New York: St Martins, 2006) p.90 (caption to photograph)
BOSTON. S.S.Pierce. Pneumatic tube system. Had a "single power plant, capacity 25 independent stations". Lamson sales brochure
BOSTON. Shepard, Norwell & Co. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
BOSTON. Henry Siegel, Washington and Essex Streets. "Henry Siegel Company's store .. opened to the public Monday, Sept. 11... The tube-room and the women's cloak room will also be located in the basement." Massachusetts Ploughman and New England Journal of Agriculture, 16 Sep. 1905, p. 7
BOSTON. R.H.Stearns & Co. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
BOSTON. R.H.White. Pneumatic tube system. Described as a "mammoth store" and had a "triplicate power plant, capacity 400 independent stations". (Lamson sales brochure)
BROCKTON. Boston Store, Main Street. "The Boston Store has ever been the leader in new ideas... It was the first store to use the Lamson cable cash system." Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, 1 May 1906, p. 4. (Founded in 1890. A new store was being built in 1906 opposite the old store. The owner, James Edgar, was born in Berwickshire.)
CAMBRIDGE. J.H. Corcoran, 587 Massachusetts Avenue. "An important new change at Corcoran's is the cable cash system that is being installed in place of the old ball system." Cambridge Tribune, 15 Sep. 1906
CAMBRIDGE. Louis W. Cutting Co., Central Square. "Our cash cable system is the first of its kind in our city." Cambridge Chronicle, 22 Oct. 1904, p.16
FITCHBURG. Chamberlain & Hunters(?). "A Lamson rapid cash railway is being put into Chamberlain & 'Huntress' new store, the opening of which will have to be delayed." Fitchburg Sentinel, 20 Mar. 1896, p.2
FITCHBURG. Goodnow Co. "The Goodnow company, operators of nine stores, opened the last addition to their list early this morning. Their store in this city, under the opera house, is now ready for business... There are 20 plate glass cases .. and a Lamson cash railway or store service will be shortly installed." Fitchburg Sentinel, 14 Aug. 1902, p.6
FITCHBURG. M.W.Fitz & Co. 178 Main Street. "The Lamson cash carrier is now in operation in our store. This is a mechanical contrivance to carry cash from the salesman to the Cash Desk and return change without the aid of cash boys. All are invited to call and see this marvellous invention." Fitchburg Sentinel, 14 Oct. 1882, p.1
GARDNER. Goodnow Pearson (dept. store). Cable system. See reminiscences
GLOUCESTER. William G. Brown (dry goods), 186-188 Main Street, the "Boston store". "The business premises comprise a finely-appointed, spacious store, with a rapid cash railway system." (J.R.Pringle. History of the town and city of Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts, 1892, p.331). "I can even now hear in my mind the sounds of the sales papers being routed through the air tubes that were located all over the store." Cape Ann website
GREENFIELD. Ann August women's clothing store. Pneumatic tube system up to 1997. Two floors only and "the system was not really used that much." Building since sold. Jeff
HAVERHILL. Simonds & Adams. Pneumatic tube system. Lamson advertisement in Credit World, vol. 10, no. 4, 1921, p.2
HOLYOKE. Thos S. Childs. Baldwin system. "Used them for years and find them satisfactory." Testimonial in Baldwin advertisement, 1925
LAWRENCE. Cross (dry goods). "A small shop on the main commercial street". "After a transaction was completed, cash was deposited in a small brass container, and with a push of a button, it whizzed up to the balcony on overhead wires. We never tired of watching this marvel of technology. Aunt Florence was the cashier. She removed the cash and sales slip from its container, spindled the slip and put the money in a small safe; then she sent the container down for another trip." Andover Townsman 19 Dec 2002
LAWRENCE. Wm. Oswald & Co. (dry goods), 225-235 Essex Street. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
LEXINGTON. Chadwicks, Lexington Street. "In order to see one of these railways today, one only has to visit Chadwicks ... where one is on display." Waltham Museum website.
LOWELL. J.L.Chalifoux, 15 Central Street. "J.L.Chalifoux has ordered the Lamson cash carrier service for his store on Central street." Lowell Daily Courier, 22 Nov. 1883
LOWELL. Keyes, 124-126 Merrimack Street. "The popular and enterprising firm of J.V.Keyes & Co. have found it necessary to furnish their store with the Lamson cash railway of the latest improved system. Their large and increasing business demands more prompt means of serving their customers and handling the cash." Lowell Weekly Sun, 12 June 1886, p.8
LOWELL. Kimball & Co. 93-97 Merrimack Street. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
LOWELL. Oswald & Aldred, 35-37 Central Street. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
LOWELL. Public Market and Packing Company, 72-78 Prescott Street. "The interior of this double establishment is about 150 feet square and employment is given to 20 skilled butchers and grocers... The store keeps a fine line of cheese, butter, eggs... It is also equipped with the Lamson Cash Carrier system." W.H. Goodfellow. The industrial advantages of Lowell, Mass. and environs. (Self-published, 1895) p.94.
LOWELL. Smith Hardware Co., 20 Market St. "Articles for sale... Cash carrier - Lamson rapid system; cheap." Lowell Sun, 18 Jan. 1934, p.71
LOWELL. U.S.Tea Co., 82 Prescott Street. "Stock of U.S.Tea Co. to be cleared out ... on Thursday, Sept. 10th at 2 o'clock p.m. the balance of the bankrupt stock, No. 82 Prescott Street, will be sold at auction. The stock comprises .. cash railway." Lowell Daily Sun, 9 Sep. 1896, p.5
NEWBURYPORT. Fisher & Co., Joy block. "Starting in a motor which was used to operate a cash carrier system, the blaze quickly spread to all parts of the building." Evening News [Providence, R.I.], 24 Feb. 1916, p.8
NORTH ADAMS. Samuel Cully. "M.C. Swazey of New HAven, Conn., inventor of the Acme CAsh Railway system, is in theis city making arrangements for the extension of the system from the present store of Samuel Cully Co. to the new one." North Adams Transcript, 13 Apr. 1896, p.1
NORTHAMPTON. Ann August women's clothing store. Pneumatic tube system up to 1997. Extended over two five-storey buildings. Office and blowers were on top floor . Building is now condominiumized. Jeff. Also Martha Gallagher in alt.folklore.urban newsgroup, 18 April 2001.
SALEM. Almy, Bigelow and Webber. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
SALEM. Daniel Low jewelry and gift store, corner of Washington & Essex Streets, North Shore. "Vestiges of its pneumatic tube system .. appear on the first floor and in another small office." North Shore website
SALEM. It's a Crewel World, 231 Essex Street. "The fixtures are all antique and there is still a Tube System in the store which sends your payment to a central room where the cashier makes the change and sends it back to you in the tubes. They use registers now but can use the tubes." Sharon G. in posting to rec.crafts.textiles.needlework newsgroup, 22/11/96
SPRINGFIELD. Albert Steiger & Co. Pneumatic system with magnetic separator. Lamson advertisement in Chain Store Age, June 1949
SPRINGFIELD. Forbes & Wallace, corner of Main and Vernon Streets. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
UXBRIDGE. Taft Bros. (grocers) "Other [features] being .. the employment of a cash carrier system." Grocer's Magazine, 12 Dec. 1915, p. 20
WALTHAM. J.C. Pennys, corner of Moody and Pine Streets. "Penny's used the 'Lamson Cash Railway.' The purpose of the cash railway was to transport cash from sales clerks on the floor to a central cashiers' office on the upper level. The cash was transported in metal cars along the wires hanging overhead. The office would then record the sale, and send the change and receipt back to the sales clerk in the same manner." Waltham Museum website
WOBURN. J.F.McGraths department store, Main Street. "Overhead apparatus... The small box returned to the department." Old Woburn website
WORCESTER. Denbold & McKay, 482-500 Main Street. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct. 1883
• "One new innovation which attracts the eye is the new Lamson cash cable system, which this house has not leased or hired, but bought outright. This new plant will be run by electricity. In this connection, is one of the finest cash desks in New England." Southbridge Journal, 26 Jul. 1894, p.6
XENIA. Dry goods store. "Here overhead wires were first installed for carrying money to the cashier and the change back again: the clerk at your end hung up her little brass box and pulled a wire, and away it sped, clicking. Later, this same store was the first to change from wires to pneumatic tubes, which worked mysteriously out of sight: you could hear the brass cylinder coming, and turn in time to see it fall, kerchunk, into the basket." Helen Hooven Santmyer. Ohio town (Columbus: Ohio Univ. Press, 1962) p.35
indicates systems which are still there (as far as I know) though they may not be working.