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Locations - Minnesota





ALBERT LEA. Lembke Dry Goods Co., Main Street. Rebuilt after fire in 1908. "From the general arrangement of the department and stock to the rapid noiseless Lampson [sic] electric cash system, it is an example of a thoroughly equipped, modern thriving dry goods store." Freeborn County Historical Museum website Legend 72

ALBERT LEA., Nelson Bros. "Steam heat, Electric Lights and the latest Improved Electric Cash Carriers. The most modern store outside the Twin Cities." Freeborn County Standard, 7 Dec. 1898, p.1

ALBERTA LEA. Ransom & Co. "Ransom & Co. opened their retail grocery department in the Ransom Bros. block to the public last Saturday... The office and cash room is panelled and fitted with glass(?) and all change is therein made, the money and checks all being conveyed there in balls by means of the 'cash railway'... The firm will be known as Ransom & Co. instead of Ransom Bros." Freeborn County Standard, 10 Dec. 1884, p.7

AUSTIN. J.C.Pennys. "I remember that JC Pennys and maybe Kresges had that cable system that shot those cups from the registers where the clerks were up to the cashier." Cecil Monson posting to antique-tractor list, 23 Dec. 02.
"As recently as the 1960s, the old Penney's store in downtown Austin, and the department store in Taylor, TX at the time, had the little cable-car money transporters. There was one cash register on the mezzanine level at the rear of the store with small diameter steel cables radiating out from it to the different sales departments on the street level. When you made a purchase, the clerk would place your money and the sales slip in a little cup and attach it to the carrier mounted on the cable. A mighty tug on a little cable hanging down would propel the carrier with the cup up the cable to the cash register. A little later, the carrier would come sliding back down the cable, bearing your change and receipt. The ceiling area of the store looked like a great spider web, and it was fun to be a kid watching the constant overhead traffic to and from all parts of the store." Jim Stinson posting to Dallas History Message Board, 20 Apr. 2005

BEMIDJI. Schneider Bros., Third Street. "The Schneider Bros. clothing store has been equipped with a new cash carrier system... The volume of business has increased to such an extent that it was necessary to abolish the old style register system" Bemidji Daily Pioneer, 22 Jul. 1905
• "Many other improvements to the store are planned, among them being a cash carrier system." Bemidji Daily Pioneer, 22 Jul. 1905, p. 4

BRAINERD. H.F.Michael. "The H.F. Michael company have their new cash carrier system and it is now in full operation. It is what is known as the Lamson cable system and it works to perfection. The system is operated by a one-eighth horse electric motor located in the basement. By it the cars containing the cash and slip are rapidly whirled from the basement to the desk of the cashier in the balcony of the first floor." Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 Apr. 1908, p. 3

DULUTH. Freimuth (dept. store). "What the pneumatic tube system means to our customers. A Carrier will travel from the farthest department to the Central Desk in less than SEVEN SECONDS. A Cash transaction will go direct to Cashier, a Charge direct to Charge Dept., thus eliminating any delay in service. That items are checked and change counted twice, thus protecting you against error. All transactions will be handled in the consecutive order of their arrival at Central Desk. It eliminates all delay in making change from bills of large denomination. An itemized duplicate of sales slip will be wrapped WITH your merchandise. All charges are authorized from visible and original sales-slip, thus eliminating any possibility of you being charged with another's merchandise. Charges will be handled without publicity. Permits sales person to give entire attention to you and relieves her of necessity of making change. It enables all customers who take their purchases with them to get first service because color of Carrier signifies whether merchandise is to be taken or sent. That your change or charge slip will be returned from Central desk by the time your merchandise is wrapped. Duluth News Tribune, 16 Apr. 1922.
• [after reproducing the above with photograph] " — and what it means to us. The advertisement pictured above shows what the I. Freimuth Department Store, Duluth, Minn., told their customers about the service they would receive with their new Lamson pneumatic tube system. The automatic gravity type central desk is shown in the photograph. Mr. Freimuth tells us as follows what the new system actually accomplishes. Notice particularly what quick charge service it gives. 'In order to thoroughly try out our system we put on a special installation sale with excellent results. The service was very quick and most satisfactory. We tested out a great many carriers from all departments during the day and found that on cash sales carriers were sent to the cash desk and returned to the clerk in fromtwelve to thirty-five seconds. On charges we averaged forty-five seconds. This we consider very good service, in fact, many of our customers were overheard to comment on the speed with which our charge sales were handled. We are now operating almost entirely with the clerk wrap system, where we formerly used inspection wrappers. Previously we have used local floor cashiers for handling special sales. With the new system, however, all transactions were handled in the central desk, making floor cashiers unnecessary. Your new tube system has earned our hearty recommendation. Signed I.Freimuth." Lamson advertisement in Credit World: official organ of the Retail Credit Men's National Association. vol.10, no. 10, 1922, p.2
• Store closed on 18 Oct. 1961 and razed in April 1968. Photos of exterior

DULUTH. Panton and Watson, 128 West Superior Street. Opened 1893. 11,500 square feet with two floors above street level and two below. "It used a Martin Cash Carrier Cable System that carried sales slips and money from departments to a cashier who made change and sent it back in a wire basket." Find A Grave website

GILBERT. Kraker Mercantile Co. Pneumatic tube system between the main floor and the mezzanine office. Kraker/Livergood Emporium website

starLITCHFIELD. Sibley Antiques, 100 N Sibley Avenue. Air Line system. Intact but not in operation. (Wes Anderson). Photograph

LUVERNE. Nelson Brothers. "Nelson Brothers install modern electric cable.." Rock County Herald, 17 Apr. 1914

MINNEAPOLIS. Big Boston Clothing Store. "It was the first to adopt .. the cash railway." Saint Paul Daily Globe, 30 Jan. 1889, p.3

MINNEAPOLIS. Daytons. "My great grandmother-in-law (now in her late eighties) recalls .. wondering at the basket and wire contraption that was there contrived to whisk tender and change from the floor to the cashier, probably in the forties." McClain Looney

MINNEAPOLIS. Donaldsons, Nicollet Ave. and 6th St. "Cash carrying cable is over 2 miles long and runs 690 feet per minute. Minneapolis Journal, 10 Dec. 1904, p.12
"There is no question that in 1903 Amsden himself, then employed by the plaintiff's predecessor in the same business, superintended an installation of cash carrier apparatus in a large department store in Minneapolis, belonging to Donaldson & Co. It is undisputed that a considerable, but not the larger, portion of the apparatus installed was of a high-line type, including five special drop stations, and when completed embodied the above-considered invention of Amsden's subsequent patent." See Court Cases, 1916

OWATONNA. F.H.Joesting, Bridge Street. "  F.H. Joesting of Little Falls rented the Diment building in 1905 to bring to Owatonna a first-class modern and up-to-date department store. The building was formerly occupied by the Hanson Mercantile Company and would be the home for a complete selection of dry goods, dress goods, ladies furnishing, shoes, groceries etc. ... The location of the ready-to-wear department was in the balcony, along with the office and cashier. All transactions and wrapping were done by office personnel. Little baskets were sent up to the balcony on a tight, inclined wire, by pulling a handle on a mechanism. When the package was wrapped, and change was made, the cashier sent the basket back down the inclined wire by giving it a push." Owatonna People's Press, 5/12/10

PIPESTONE. Wilson & Evans Brothers. "The dry goods department of the store of Wilson and Evans Brothers now presents a very citified appearance. A complete system of parcel and cash carriers have been installed. However, the system has only been put on trial, and the proprietors of the store are uncertain about retaining it." Pipestone County Star 25 Nov. 1904

ROCHESTER. Lymans (dept. store). Basket system. Photograph of cloak and suit department at All Posters website.

ST PAUL. Edward F. Mues, 137 Dakota Avenue. "A new addition has been made in new dry goods house .. of the new rapid cash railway system of five stations, the first of the kind on the West side, at an expense of about $350." St Paul Daily Globe, 22 May, 1887, p.7

VIRGINIA. Alexander Reid. "H.Hayden, of Minneapolis, representing the Lamson Consolidated Store Service Company, is in the city this week for the purpose of installing a cash and parcel carrier system in the department store of Alexander Reid & Co. The system is the latest improved pattern, and will make an appreciable improvement to the store. Mr. Hayden expects to have it in working order by Saturday." Virginia Enterprise, 26 Jan. 1906, p.1
"The Reid store .. has three floors icncluding the basement... The wrapping department in the rear, connected with all parts of the store by means of the Lamson air line carrier system .. all blend in a kind of living picture of business efficiency and contentment." Virginia Enterprise, 15 Nov. 1912, p. 13

WINONA. Choate. "Modernization of the H.Choate & Co. store has brought many conveniences to shoppers, but customers will miss the cash railway system and the swivel chairs. Seventy-eight years ago the store installed the latest thing in cash handling - a series of lines snaking up walls and across ceilings. When a customer made a purchase the clerk put the cash in a small cash box, like a miniature railway car, which was sent on a seemingly endless journey to the main office upstairs. The railway system has been replaced by cash registers in each department." Winona Daily News 30 Sept. 1961, p.24

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