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Locations - Missouri

The first system in St Louis (and probably the state) was at Penny & Gentles in 1882.




BUTLER. Levey's (clothing store). Shop opened in 1876 and closed in 2003. Lamson wire system installed in 1906 and there until the shop closed. Carrier has "R-488" stamped on it. Re-erected in museum at Adrian. (T.Hall)

CAINSVILLE. G.R.Wilson. In 1904. G. R. Wilson and son erected a commodious two story building on the N.E. corner of the square.  The lower floor was occupied by the G R. Wilson and Son Dry Goods and was modern in every respect and equipped with a cash carrier system, very new to Cainsville. Harrison County Bicentennial History, 1976

CAPE GIRARDEAU. Bartels Merc. Co., 430 Broadway. "A new Lamson carrier, or cash exchange system, operating from a central office, was placed in use today at the Bartels Merc. Co. store... To facilitate the operation of the system the store's office has been moved from the main floor to a space on the mezzanine. Southeast Missourian, 14 Jun. 1939, p. 6

CAPE GIRARDEAU. Buckner Ragsdale. "I remember the wire trolley cash cups... The cash and price ticket was put in a cup, twisted to a metal cap, pull a rope to latch to the always traveling wire rope trolley, the cashier would make change and send back. No money on the floor, no cash drawers to balance with the staff below!" Don Neumeyer in posting to Cape Girardeau website, 23/12/11

CARTHAGE. Millers (men's clothing) Town Square. Basket system from early 1900s to 1970s. Gene Davidson

CHILLICOTHE. The New York Store, 501 Locust. Overhead cash carriers. Shop had 60-odd departments. Livingstone County History website

COLUMBIA. Kress Wholesale Company, 1025 E. Broadway. Built in 1910 to serve as a Kress 'Five and Ten Cent' store. Remodelled ca. 1946 for the Mehomay Furniture Co. "The office and cashier stations were located in a balcony near the back of the showroom. As was the case for many of the stores in the area at that time, the Kress store used a 'Lamson' system, which involved having sales clerks send cash up to the cashiers in small containers attached to wires. The cashiers would make the required change and send the cup back down to the floor." U.S. Department of the Interior. National register of historic places

CORINTH. Rubel (dept. store), corner of Fillimore and Cruise Streets. Built in 1873-4 and demolished in spring 1961. "Proceeding through the first floor of the store, a child would next notice the wire baskets with leather pouches holding sales tickets and cash flying overhead suspended on a wire network which carried them to the second floor. The 'central cashier' handles the transactions, making change and returning the baskets to the clerks below." Corinth information database

IRONTON. Lopez Store Co. "The Spring Millinery Opening at Lopez Store Co.'s last Saturday was an out-of-the-way event for this town... The click and whiz of the 'cash' trolley was incessant." Iron County Register, 31 Mar. 1910, p. 5

JACKSON. Stedman & Co. "Among the recent improvements made in the store of Messrs. Stedman & Co.. is the introduction to the Jackson public of the Lamson Parcel Carrier, which is a system intended to do away with cash boys and other mediums of communication between the salesman and the cashier. This system consists of steel wires running from convenient stations in his commodious store to the cashier's desk and bundle counter. On these wires are suspended on grooved wheels, wire nbskets large enough to hold bundles of usual size, and in these baskets are little tin boxes for the cash. When a purchase is made the article purchased is placed in the basket, as is the money to pay for it, and the basket is then elevated to the wire running from the station being used, by pulling a cord which not only lifts the basket, but changes the inclination of the wire and starts the basket on a down grade to the bundle counter, where the bill is checked off and the goods wrapped up and shipped over the same lin to the point from which they were received, accompanied by the 'change' if any be due. The store of stedman & Co. has nine of these stations located at convenient points." The Clarion (Jackson), 23 Jun. 1886, p. 3

JACKSON. E. and S. Virden "have made a progressive addition to their handsome store - the Lamson Cash Railway." The Clarion (Jackson), 19 May 1886, p. 3

JASPER. Conrad Mercantile Co. "The Conrad Mercantile Co. and R.L. Roberts and Son will install in a few days the Lawson [sic] Air-Line Cash Car, a cash carrier system that is in use in many up-to-date business houses." Jasper News, 7 Nov. 1912, p. 8

JASPER. R.L. Roberts & Son. See JASPER. Conrad Mercantile Co.

JOPLIN. Newmans (dept. store). Opened 1910. Postcard photographs of millinery and men's clothing departments with basket system on Missouri Digital Heritage website

KANSAS CITY. Emery Bird Thayer (Bullene, Moore, Emery & Co. until 1890s), "dry goods palace". 11th, Grand Avenue and Walnut Street. "This store threw open its doors to the public this morning... Undoubtedly the most most novel feature in the fixtures of the store is the pneumatic tube system used for conveying the cash from one department to the central station... There are thirty-five stations in the building, one for each department. The clerk puts the cash ticket and the money in a little brass cup which fits the tube, and placing the cup in the mouth of the tube it is sucked up through the opening and almost before she can wink the money drops out of the other end, at the central station, where the necessary change is made, put back in the cup and again whisked through the tube to the station from which it came. This all can be done in less than a minute of time from any part of any floor to the central station." Kansas City Star, 22 Sept. 1890. The store closed in 1968.
• "I  remember these at Emery, Bird, and Thayer -- years and years ago." Charla Staples Blankenship in posting to Historic Photographs on Facebook
• In 2007, two Baldwin Flyer propulsions and a car from the "old Emery Bird Thayer department store in downtown Kansas City" were offered for sale on eBay.

KANSAS CITY. Jones Dry Goods Co., 6th/Main Streets. "Our splendid Pneumatic Cash Tube system gives the most rapid service to your purchases." Kansas City Journal, 7 Oct. 1896, p. 6
• "Mrs Noland worked at the Jones Store in Kansas City as a cashier in the Pneumatic Tube Room." Holton Recorder website

KANSAS CITY. The Model (clothiers, shoers, hatters and furnishers), 10th and Main Streets. "Midway between the first and second floors the cashier's desk is situated, to which run six tracks of cash cable system, one from each floor." Kansas City Journal, 8 Sep. 1895, p.5

KANSAS CITY. Owl Drug Store. Wire system. Photograph at All Posters website.

KANSAS CITY. George B. Peck Dry Goods Co., Main Street. Until 1901 was Doggett Store Co. "Before the store installed overhead wires carrying baskets with purchase and money, young boys and girls were employed to run with these items to a central cashier." Store closed 1964. Kansas City Times, 12 Sep. 1970

KANSAS CITY. John Taylor's Dry Goods Co. Overhead wire basket system. Taylors was founded in 1881 and taken over by Macys in 1947. Kansas City Times, 24 March 1978. Postcard showing silk department at Kansas City Library website.

KANSAS CITY. Weavers. "From the pneumatic tube system it uses to process transactions to the chief executive who goes by Joe, everything in Weaver's 140-year history speaks of traditional, high-quality customer service." Kansas City Star, 8 Sep. 1998, p. D1

KIRKSVILLE. Doneghy. "The Doneghy house was the pioneer cash house in Kirksville... As time went on the cash boy was discarded and the cash railway system that quietly and rapidly does the work of half a dozen boys took his place." Weekly Graphic, 27 Feb. 1891
"Bankrupt sale of Doneghy stock... Cash carriers and all other fixtures and furniture for sale!" Weekly Graphic (Kirksville), 30 Aug. 1895

MEXICO. "The store downtown that had the track system in it that you put your money into a small carrier and it took it by track to the upstairs office, and your change was sent back to you the same way." Audrain County Historical Society website

ST LOUIS. Famous and Barr Dry Goods Co., Railway Exchange Building bounded by Olive, Locust, 6th and 7th streets. The company ocupied the first seven floors of the 21 storey building. "In the general office is a pneumatic tube system, in which two cartridges are used, one for cash and the other for charge accounts... The sub-basement, housing the pneumatic tube blowers .. is thirty-two feet below the street level." Construction News, 6 Dec. 1913, p. 9
• "The cash tube system is the largest ever installed in the United States." Electrical Workers Journal, Dec. 1913, p. 1187

ST LOUIS. May, 6th Street/Washington Avenue. "One of the new features which attracts marked attention is the wrapping and pneumatic tube cash system... A cashier's desk and wrapping counter are situated side by side in the middle of each floor." St Louis Republic, 22 April 1904, p. 5

ST LOUIS. Meyer. "At Broadway and Washington, auction sale of entire fixtures, etc., of the Meyer store, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 1904 ... air line cash carriers. St Louis Republic, 21 Feb. 1904, part III, p. 5

ST LOUIS. J.C. Penny, 14th Street. Cash carrier. Bob Proost in posting to Facebook

ST LOUIS. Penny & Gentles, 5th Street/Franklin Avenue. [From St Louis Evening Chronicle] "The railway is a frame track of about five inches in width. The rails, made of stout half inch white ash, are suspended from the ceiling... Nine balls can roll on one track by means of an ingenious switch, which throws the ball where it belongs, this being done by the size of the ball... Eleven stations were in operation Saturday and everything worked well." Public Ledger (Memphis Tenn.), 3 Aug. 1882, p. 2
• "We observe from a copy of the St Louis Daily Globe Democrat a long description of what is called the 'Lamson Automatic Cash Carrier System', which they style as 'A Decided Novelty', and calculated to do away entirely with cash boys in large business establishments. The description in question alludes to one of the 'cash carriers' now in operation at the store of Penny & Gentles... This is the first one that has been put up in the city of St Louis... The scheme has an upper and a lower track, each consisting of two rails of hardwood about three quarters of an inch square and a few inches apart. The tracks are used to carry wooden balls to and from the cashier's desk... The rails have narrow strips of leather tacked on their upper inner corner, so that the ball may run noiselessly... Upon the inside of each portion of the ball there is a tin disk, with a spiral spring beneath it, both of which press toward the middle, and thus keep the centre of gravity of the ball where it properly belongs when money is placed in it, otherwise the balls would not roll evenly. There can be as many as seven different sizes of balls, but at Penny & Gentles there are but two... Each track can have from one to seven stations, and where there is more than one station some method must of course be provided to have each ball stop just where it should. A very ingenious device performs this service. At each station there is a detached portion of track about eighteen inches long, which is held on a pivot about one-third of its length from the rear end... The 'cash carrier' just put up at Penny & Gentle's possesses a feature not in use at any other store in the country. It is a switch system. It operates on the same plan as the switches in use on street railroads, only the balls themselves turn the switches... The balls turn the switch on their return journey by touching a hanging lever, just as they do in dropping into their proper sections." Falkirk Herald, 30 Sep. 1882, p.4

ST LOUIS. Schroeter Bros. (hardware). Wire line carrier used to a cash desk on the balcony. Lamson brochure

ST LOUIS. Scruggs Vandervoort & Barney. "Lamson brass pneumatic tube from the store Scruggs Vandervoort & Barney ... Once privately owned, they were absorbed into the Denver Dry Goods Company. DDG was merged into and became part of the Foley's nameplate after a May Company Conversion." Caption in Retail Memories blog

SCRANTON. J.D. Clark. "Those who visited our store during the week preceding Christmas .. witnessed the phenominal trade we were enjoying - fifteen clerks, a 5-station cash railway." Pascagoula Democrat-Star, 5 Jan. 1894, p. 3


starADRIAN. Western Missouri Antique Tractor and Machinery Association. Air-Line system from Levys shop in Butler re-erected in old general store. Photos

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