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Locations - United States (Mid-West)

Including the states of Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin. Michigan and Minnesota have their own pages.




ABILENE, Kan. A.E.Bishop & Co. "To enable our large force of clerks to wait on our customers more rapidly, we have put in six stations of Chapman's Cash Railway System, which enables our clerks to send cash from any part of the house to the cashier." Abilene Weekly Reflector, 6 Dec. 1888, Suppl.

AKRON, Ia. Silverberg Bros. "A cash money clip [sic], donated by Lyle Ostermeyer to the Akron Area Museum, .. has ties to the Akron business community... Cash money clips were installed in the Silverberg Bros. Co. general store which was located in the first floor of the Akron Opera House. It was a pully system and somehow they pulled down on one end of it which sent the caeeier box to the cashier's box, which was high up in the back of the store... Abe Silverberg.. opened the general store in Akron in Aug. 15, 1919. Akron Hometower website. [Photograph looks like an Air-Line car.]

ALBION, Neb. J.C. Penney. "When customers purchased items from J. C. Penney stores with balconies—such as stores in Albion, Falls City, Fremont, Kearney, or Scottsbluff—the sales clerk would take the customer’s money and place it with a bill of sale, inside a closed container attached to a cable line. The container would then be cabled up to the balcony overlooking the sales floor, where another associate would retrieve the cash before sending the container back down with a receipt and correct change." Nebraska History blog

APPLETON, Wis. Geenens (dry goods). "A new cable cash system is being installed to give service." Appleton Post Crescent, 17 June 1927, p.1
• "The other Geenens feature which 1930s-something folks remember most vividly (and they always mention it first thing when they're reminiscing) was the overhead cable system of electrified wires that shot little cash cages whizzing madly in a dizzying network from the counters on the first floor to the cashier." Mary Ellen Ducklow. 1930s-something: a nice neighborhood with tall trees. (Appleton, Wis.: Perin, 1993 ) p. 97

ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. O.P.Houghton "has put in his dry goods store a cash railway system. It is operated by means of compressed air and differs from any other system in use in the city." Arkansas City Republican, 19 Mar. 1887

ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. A.A.Newman. "A. A. Newman & Co., have just established the rapid cash railway system in their mammoth dry goods house." Arkansas City Republican 12 Jun. 1886

ASHTABULA, Oh. Carlisle-Allen (dept store), Progress Place. "The cash system was a Lamson pneumatic tube system with the tubes concealed in the false ceiling between the floors." E.Schaeffer: Ashtabula people and places (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2005), p.73

ATCHISON, Ks. J.C.Penneys, 609 North Sixth Street. "Cash registers are replacing Lamson cash carrier systems in all J.C.Penney Co. stores... The Lamson equipment had but few mechanical failures in view of the hard service it has seen... The Atchison store, No. 157 in the Penney system.. was established in 1917 and some think the Lamson system was used from the start... There are 10 stations in the store from where money was sent over the Lamson system to Mrs. Parr in the office. The office is located on a balcony above the main floor. The little cash cups were suspended from a metal holder that was carried along by two little wheels riding on a single strand of piano wire. A second strand of wire, running parallel to the'track' wire, was used to give the equipment rigidity... In addition to the Lamson system, the local Penney store has also had a cable system in operation since November 1950. A continuous moving cable transported cash cups from the shoe, infants wear, work clothing, and ladies ready-to-wear departments to the cashier. This system will also be abolished." Atchison Daily Globe, 3 June 1956, p.16.

BEATRICE, Neb. William Wiebe. "For sale at once... 8 Lamson rapid and two air line cash carrier stations... Reason for selling, have gone out of the retail dry goods business." Omaha Daily Bee, 27 Jul. 1915

BELOIT, Kan. E. & H. Dilworth. "Their store room now occupies 25x132 feet in the basement and main floor, with a shop on the second floor 25x42 feet... A cash railway the entire length of the building, from the front to the cashier's desk, assists in the careful and safe transaction of their large business." American Artisan, 20 Nov. 1886, p. 11

BROOKINGS, S.Dak. Penneys. "Penneys .. was then where Sioux River Bicycles and Fitness is now. In 1958, a Penney's clerk took the $10 bill I handed her, stuffed it in a little metal cup rigged to overhead wires and tracks, pulled a launching lanyard and sent it zipping off to a trusted cashier somewhere in the store's ether." Stubble Mulch website

BURLINGTON, Ia. Schramm (dept. store) Lamson pneumatic tube system. Terminal offered on eBay, 27/5/09.

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

CEDAR FALLS, Ia. Wilson & Williams, Main Street. "Messrs Wilson and Williams have put in the elevated cash railway in their store. It is the same that is used in the stores in big cities and dispenses with cash boys in making change." Waterloo Courier, 27 Dec. 1882, p.5. Photograph of exterior in Brian C.Collins. Cedar Falls, Iowa (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 1998) p.19.

CENTRALIA, Wis. Johnson, Hill & Co. "The celebrated Barr Cash Carrier, which has been in satisfactory use at Johnson, Hill & Co.'s former store during the past two years, has also been put into their new store. The new machine has six carriers - one from each counter and all leading to the cashier's desk in the rear of the center of the building." Centralia Enterprise and Tribune, 14 Nov. 1891, p.11

CHARTER OAK, Ia. The Farmers Store. "Money trolley carrier." Obituary of Leona Pautsch

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

CLINTON, Ia. John D. van Allen, Fifth Avenue and Second Street. "Here, too, is the motor automatically operating the pneumatic tube cash carrier system, the carrier traveling at the rate of 40 feet a second between the various departments and the cashier’s office in the basement. The motor operates at variable speeds, so arranged as to use the minimum amount of electrical current for operating the system always at the same speed. As more carriers are fed into the tube, the motor is accelerated, the power necessary ranging from 1.3 horse-power to 8 horse-power." Clinton Herald, 29 Sep. 1914, p. 4

COFFEYVILLE, Ks. Logan, Snow & Co. "There are about twelve distinct departments in this big double store and a carrier is found in each of them. This innovation in Logan, Snow & Co.'s store affords several advantages. It is a saving of space and will give the clerk full time to look after his or her department, as well as affording all of the clerks ample time and opportunity to give their undivided attention to the many customers that enter tl:e store. Each clerk can now remain in her own deparment, thus assuring the public at all times of the strictest and most courteous attention, as well as enabling the clerks to keep the big stock of goods well in place and in good order." Coffeyville Daily Journal, 19 Apr. 1907, p.1

COLUMBIA, Mo. 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, Mo. 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

CORRECTIONVILLE, Ia. O.A.Cate. "O.A.Cate has once more added to the conveniences by which his clerks are enabled to expeditiously handle his business. A cash railway with four stations has been instaled and now instead of dodging around the ends of counters and through crowds of people to carry your money to the cashier and get your change the clerk puts your bill and his bill into a little silver plated cylinder, pulls a doings [?] and it shoots along overhead to the fair damsel by the cash register who changes your bill and replaces the clerk's bill." Sioux Valley News, 13 Dec. 1900, p.1

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia. Beno's (dept. store). Cable system. Carrier offered for sale on Stamped "2" and "Made by The Lamson Co. U.S.A."
"Everyone seems to remember the Lamson cash system which carried receipts and money to the balcony so change could be given. I spent one summer working in the balcony catching the 'cups'. Beno's opened in 1866 and closed in 1987 after a few years in Midlands Mall. The building at Pearl and Broadway was razed in 1989." C.E.Beno posting to IAPOTTAW-L list, 17 Jul. 2000.

DAVENPORT, Ia. Harned & Von Maur, Harrison/Second Streets. "The fittings of the store are most modern and attractive, including a pneumatic cash system and every convenience and facility for the conduct of a first-class department store." Site was purchased 1899. Harry E. Downer. History of Davenport and Scott County Vol. II. Chicago:Clarke, 1910

DEFIANCE, Ia. F.A.B.Lowe, corner of Clinton and Second Streets. "On Saturday F.A.B.Lowe had a Lamson cash railway apparatus placed in his dry goods store. It is a novel invention and like the telephone, it is rented and not sold... It consists of two lightly constructed tram-ways... Each station has a different sized ball, the largest being at the fatherest end of the tram-way... The introduction of this system saves a great deal of travel in a day in going to and from the cash desk and will prove a soft thing for the clerks who can sit and leisurely pick their teeth or entertain a young lady customer while this novel little railroad is making change." Defiance Democrat, 21 Feb. 1884, p.3

DELAVAN, Wis. Bradley's department store. "A small old-fashioned hometown department store... The store first used a pulley cashier system. The office was on a balcony between the first and second floors." Gazette Extra (Janesville), 23/9/02

DES MOINES, Ia. Harris-Emery. See Court cases

DES MOINES, Ia. New Utica. "The New Utica department store downtown had pneumatic tubes rising from each cash register. The cash from your purchase was placed in a cylinder, then inserted in the tubes and noisily fired - like a torpedo - to a central collection point, such was the urgency to get the money counted and back into the economy. A visit to the New Utica was like a trip to a future century." Bill Bryson. Neither here nor there. London: Black Swan, 1991, p.343

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. Farmer Store. "The popular department store at that time [1940s] was The Farmer Store, which had the old pneumatic tube system that took your money from one floor to the other." Downtown Eau Clare business retention and recruitment

EPWORTH, Ia. Silkers. "Silker's sold groceries and dry goods and there were overhead cables on whih little boxes with bills and change flew to and from the cashier." Ann E. Berthoff: Too late for the frontier: a family chronicle (Philadelphia?:Xlibris, 2004) p.144

EVANSVILLE, Wis. Grange Store, 19 West Main Street. "The balcony held the millinery, coat and suit departments as well as the  office. An overhead cash carrier system was installed between the main  floor and the bookkeeping office.  Many a child and probably some adults stood watching in wonder as the tubes carrying money and sales slips traveled along the overhead cables." Evansville History website

FAIRFIELD, Ia. J.C.Penney. Wire system. Journal-Standard (Freeport, IL) 12/10/08

FALL CREEK, Wis. Mercantile. Pneumatic tube system. "Grannie Annie" posting to Homespun-L, 18 Jan. 02

FALLS CITY, Neb. J.C. Penney. See ALBION: J.C. Penney

FARGO, N.Dak. De Lendrecie's (dept. store). "It was a relic of the 19th century, even in 1966 - the two-story atrium with the mezzanine, the pneumatic tubes whizzing metal pills through tubes, landing in the basket with a whoosh and a plonk." The Bleat website, 1997. Built in 1889 and now offices. "The hiss and thump of a message arriving via pneumatic tube." James Lileks, A rich boyhood in the plain void. American Enterprise, July/Aug. 2004, p.31. Air tubes installed in 1930. Sold to Mercantile Stores Co. in 1955 and moved in 1972. In-Forum website

FARGO, N.Dak. Herbst, 16 Broadway. (New building opened in 1898.) Cable system shown in 1915 photograph of showroom. Trista Raezer and John Hallberg. Herbst Department Store. (Images of America) Charleston SC: Arcadia, 2015, p. 23

FARGO, N.Dak. Moodys, Broadway. "I remember the little cages that carried the money on wires up to the business office for change. I recall the clicking quite clearly." The business moved to the Front Street location at the foot of Broadway in 1884. Moody sold the business in 1940 and in 1961 it became Sgutt-Moodys. The building was razed in 1966. In-Forum 7 Aug. 2004.

starFOND DU LAC, Wis. Ediths, 9 South Main Street. Pneumatic tube system still there in 2004. M.Bennett

FOND DU LAC, Wis. Fitzsimmons & Sons (shoe store). "Extensive improvements are about to be made at the M. Fitzsmmons & Sons shoe store... The plan is to extend the store west to include the room now occupied as a barber shop, making the total length of the store 105 feet... The entire first floor is to be used by M. Fitzsimmons & Sons as their retail sales parlors.  The cashier’s desk and wrapping desk will be located upon an elevated platform in the rear of the store.  A cash carrier system will also be installed." Shoe retailer and Boots and Shoes Weekly, 1905, vol. 53, p.75. (It sounds as though this may have been a parcel carrier too.)

FREMONT, Neb. J.C. Penney. See ALBION: J.C. Penney

GOODLAND, Ks. J.C.Penney. Opened 1 August 1929. "She remembers when the store cashier used a trolley system. A cup was attached to a pulley and was pulled up to a cashier in the upstairs office... It helped with the bookkeeping with only one person doing it for the whole store." Goodland Daily News, 30 Apr. 2002, p.1

GOODLAND, Ks. Wolffs and McCarrolls (clothing store), 1024 Main. "The building featured an upper mezzanine in the shape of a horseshoe. The mezzanine housed displays and the bookkeeping department. The bookkeeping system consisted of a canister, in which clerks would put money and send it up to the bookkeeping department. The bookkeepers would make change and send it back down to the clerk." Sherman County Historical Society website

GREEN BAY, Wis. Cohens, corner of Jefferson and Main Streets. "Pneumatic tubes that whisked the sales slip and customer's money up to the balcony in the back." Green Bay Press-Gazette, 11 Apr. 2004

starHEBRON, N.Dak. Hebron Historical and Art Society, Lincoln Avenue & South Park Street. "We have many unique items such as .. a Lamson cash carrier demonstration." [It is not stated in what way this is unique.] North Dakota tourism website

INDIANOLA, Oh. G.E.Johnson (formerly Barker & Johnson). "His is the largest concern of the kind in Warren County and the store is most modern in all of its appointments. It is steam heated, has a cash carrier system and its counters and showcases are attractive and up-to-date." IAGenWeb website

IOLA, Kan. New York Store, Southwest Cor. Square. "Our new store will have all the modern improvements - cash carrier system." Iola Register, 7 Oct. 1898, p.8

JAMESTOWN, N.D. Pearce & Orlady. "Manager Bennett of the Lamson Store Service Co., of Minneapolis, was in the city yesterday superintending the placing of a new cash carrier system in the big store of Pearce & Orlady. It is a complete device and has stations in nearly every part of the store." Jamestown Weekly Alert, 18 Apr. 1895, p. 7

JANESVILLE, Wis. Chicago Store. See JANESVILLE: F.S.Winslow below.

JANESVILLE, Wis. T.L.Kelly & Co. "The elevated cash railway in full and active operation. No more noise and confusion of cash boys. Order and system prevailing in every department. Goods delivered to purchasers in about half the time required by the old system." Janesville Daily Gazette, 2 Nov. 1882, p.2

JANESVILLE, Wis. New York Store. See JANESVILLE: F.S.Winslow below.

JANESVILLE, Wis. F.S.Winslow. "When the cash railway is put up and the trio [?] of electric lights shine out from the front and interior of his store, F.S.Winslow will have a place that is very well arranged for doing a large business." Janesville Daily Gazette, 14 Oct. 1886, p.4
• "Another 'cash railway' has been put up in the city. Customers of F.S.Winslow's new house have their change brought by automatic messages. Wires run from the cashier's desk to all parts of the store, and suspended from each of these is a cup through the cover of which the wire passes. At each end of the line is a strong spring... There are now three of these railways in Janesville stores, Mr Winslow's and that in the New York Store being somewhat similar, while that in the Chicago Store is on a wholly different plan." Janesville Daily Gazette, 13 Jan. 1887, p.4

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

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Bullene, Moore, Emery & Co. ( "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.
• 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. I'm not sure if this is the same store and how it relates to the above.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Jones. "Mrs Noland worked at the Jones Store in Kansas City as a cashier in the Pneumatic Tube Room." Holton Recorder website

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. 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, Mo. 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, Mo. 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

KEARNEY, Neb. J.C. Penney. See ALBION: J.C. Penney

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. 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

LAWRENCE, Kan. J.C.Penney. Lamson Air-Line system in 1940s-60s until store moved to a new location. Harlan Miller

starLAWRENCE, Kan. Weaver's Department Store, 901 Massachusetts Street. "Weaver's Department Store .. has begun an 18-month remodelling... Still undecided is the fate of Weaver's pneumatic tube system, which transports cash, checks and sales receipts back and forth between the sales counters and the store's bookkeeping department. Flannery said the store is completely computerized with the exception of the tube system but noted that many customers have said they would prefer to see it stay... His son, Joe, .. said the tube system probably is the only one still operating in a retail store in Kansas and 'one of the few west of the Mississippi'. Lawrence Journal-World, 19 July 1987, p. 70
"This small old-fashioned department store ... still uses pneumatic tubes to transport money up to the accounts department and back down with change and receipts." Lawrence Chamber of Commerce website.
• Still in use in 2007. Made by Airmatic Systems Company of Saddle Brook, NJ and installed around 1935. Twelve stations on four floors. Harlan Miller

LINCOLN, Neb. Famous (?) "For sale - Three station air line, cash and package carrier at the Famous corner 13th and O." Nebraska State Journal, 16 Nov. 1910, p.11

LINCOLN, Neb. Herpolsheimer & Co. "Our pneumatic tube system will be in operation in a short time." Courier (Lincoln), 16 Apr. 1898, p.7

LINCOLN, Neb. Ruge and Gundells (dept. store). "She worked after school during high school as a cashier in the basement (money tubes were sent down for change, and she sent the money back to the store floor)." website

McCOOK, Neb. Brown McDonald. "We always hoped her shopping would take her to the J.C. Penney store, the Brown McDonald Store and DeGroff's Department Store... These three stores had what was called a 'Rapid Wire System' that was used in making change for a customer's purchase." Jeanne Boyle Oldweiler. The ant hill challenge: a collection of stories about growing up in southwestern Nebraska during the 1940s and 1950s. (Bloomington IN: AuthorHouse, 2008) p.106. [In the USA they were more likely to be an Air-Line system.]

McCOOK, Neb. DeGroff (dept. store). See McCOOK. Brown McDonald.

McCOOK, Neb. J.C. Penney. See McCOOK. Brown McDonald.

MADISON, Wis. Baron Bros (dept. store) "We have used the Baldwin Flyer for the past ten years or better and are very much satisfied with the service it has given us." Testimonial in Baldwin advertisement, 1925.
A 1929 advertisement offered on eBay included a photograph of the cash desk with about 20 lines.

MANITOWOC, Wis. Schuette Bros. (dept store), 804 Jay Street. Pneumatic tube system made by Kelly of Chicago. Closed 1994. Manitowoc website. Photograph of a terminal on Flickr.

MANNING, Ia. Manning Mercantile Company. September 16, 1898 the Lawrence Block was completed and this and the south half of Union Block was occupied by the Manning Mercantile Company... Among their modern improvements are: a cash carrier system. Manning website

MANNING, Ia. Rober-Wehrmann Co. (dept. store). "A money exchange system ran from the central cashier's office, by means of overhead conveyance wires that carried tubes containing the change or receipts to the various customer stations." Built in 1917. Company went out of business in Feb. 1939. Manning Centenial Book p. 166

MARSHALLTOWN, Ia. J.C.Penneys. "My grandmother got to keep them [pneumatic tube carriers] when they moved the J C Penney store to the mall." Description on eBay, 24/7/06

MEXICO, Mo. "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

MILLERSBURGH, Ohio. Mayers (dry goods merchants). "Various departments of general dry goods, carpets, cloaks, millinery, groceries .. all fitted out with cash-railways". RootsWeb website

MILWAUKEE, Wis. Milway, 3801 Juneau Ave . "Catalogue outlet store with guide wires overhead whizzing (cash?) containers of something to someone else in the store."  Retro Milwaukee website

MILWAUKEE, Wis. Gimbels, Mayfair. Opened 1958. "Pneumatic tubes were used to make change for the cash registers." Paul H. Geenen. Schuster's & Gimbels: Milwaukee's beloved department stores. (Charleston SC: History Press, 2012) p. 67

MILWAUKEE, Wis. James Morgan, Third Street and Grand Avenue. "The furnishing of the store was completed when the Lamson cable cash system was put in. It is operated by steam and is probably the most complete of any now in use. Mr. Morgan stated .. that his firm was undoubtedly the first in the state to use it. In its operation miniature cars carry the change upon a runway of wire cables." Milwaukee Journal, 10 Apr. 1893, p.2

MILWAUKEE, Wis. J.C.Penney. "At 6 tonight.. the Downtown J.C.Penney store permanently closes its doors... There were no cash registers at its counters until it was remodelled in 1961. Instead, clerks wrote out sales slips for every purchase and sent them, by pneumatic tube, to a central cashier in the basement who made change." Milwaukee Journal, 30 Dec. 1983, p.5

MILWAUKEE, Wis. Rich & Silber. "Among the heaviest users [of Lamson carriers]." Lowell Courier, ? Oct 1883

MILWAUKEE, Wis. Schusters, ?Mitchell Street. Pneumatic tube system in 1930s. Don's Depot website

MINOT, N.D. Martin Jacobson has installed a new cash carrier system in his hardware store. Minot Optic, 26 Aug. 1904

MISSOULA, Mont. Valley Mercantile Co. "The Lamson Store Service company of Seattle is installing a trolley cash system in the Valley Mercantile company store that will make the place more metropolitan than ever. Mr. Jack of Seattle is installing the system." Daily Missoulian, 1 Dec. 1912, p. 3

MOUND VALLEY, Ks. Wise Brothers. "One side of the store is devoted to the sale of dry goods and clothing and the other side to groceries and shoes... A cash-carrier system is used, thus requiring the constant attention of a cashier. Five people are employed as clerks." History of Labette County, Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. Hon. Nelson Case (Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1901)

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. The Leader. "The cable cash carrier at The Leader was completed yesterday and placed in service." North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune, 17 Oct. 1916, p.1

OMAHA, Neb. Brandeis. "One of my earliest memories is shopping with my mother at the alrge Brandeis department store in Omaha, Nebraska, and watching that money get put in a tube and whooshed away to some place out of sight. We would wait with our cashier until the carrier reappeared with our receipt and change." Old Stuff website

OMAHA, Neb. Burgess-Nash. Pneumatic tube system with charge authorisers' station. Lamson advertisement in Credit World, vol. 10, no.7, 1922, p.2 with photograph.

OMAHA, Neb. Eiseman, Rodda & Co. "The dry goods house of Eiseman, Rodda & Co., will be greatly improved as soon as the summer dull season comes on... Yesterday [they] were contracting for Lamson's cash railway." Omaha Daily Bee, 3 Jul. 1885, p.6

OSAGE, Ia. Daylight Store, Main Street. Now Terri Lynns (antiques). "Four money chutes.. that went from the main floor up to the office." Replaced by cash registers in 1953. Mitchell County Press - News Online, 18 Jul. 2006

POMONA, Kan. Mindlin Store. "John Krause will soon begin work on an addition to the Mindlin store building... When completed, it will give Mr. Mindlin the finest store room in any county town in Kansas. It is the intention to fit it up with cash carriers, department counters, a resr room for the ladies..." Annals of Pomona, Kansas, 1901

ST LOUIS, Mo. 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, Mo. Penny & Gentles, 5th Street and Franklin Avenue. "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, Mo. Schroeter Bros. (hardware). Wire line carrier used to a cash desk on the balcony. Lamson brochure

ST LOUIS, Mo. 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

SALINA, Kan. E.W.Ober. "Salina cannot praise in too extravagent terms the mammoth palace store of Mr. E.W. Ober - accounted by the best judges to be .. the best equipped general merchandise establishment west of Topeka... An elevated cash railway system will soon be adopted for the whole establishment." Saline County Journal, 12 Nov. 1885

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. J.C. Penney. See ALBION: J.C. Penney

SHAWANO, Wis. Upham & Russell, Main and Green Bay Streets. " In the center of the picture is shown the Cashier's stand, the hub of the cash-carrying system, giving instant service to all parts of the store ... One of the largest and best stocked hardware stores in Northern Wisconsin." Wisconsin Genealogy website

STEVENS POINT, Wis. I.Brills. "I.Brill's Son have put in a new cash railway kown as the Detroit rapid service system. The cash is placed in a round ball which is shot off to the cashier's desk, receiving its momentum from a rubber spring. The carrier travels on a wire and makes the entire distance of the store and back in a few seconds." Stevens Point Gazette 24 Dec. 1887, p.5
"A man from Chicago is here putting in a cash railway system in M.Clifford's and I.Brill's Son's stores." Stevens Point Daily Journal, 9 Sep. 1905, p.5.

STEVENS POINT, Wis. M.Cliffords. See STEVENS POINT. Brills above

WATERLOO, Ia. Hannasch Shoe Co. "For sale - shoe store equipment, cash carrier system". Waterloo Daily Courier, 14 Aug. 1930, p.19

WATERTOWN, Wis. Fischers, 106 West Main Street. "1952 Fischers Complete Remodeling program... A new overhead wire cash system has been installed and will eventually be changed to a pneumatic tube system for greater speed and convenience." Watertown Historical Society website
"That cash system reminded us of the old system in place for many years at Fischer’s Department Store. That system consisted of pneumatic tubes which had cash and the purchase listing quickly whisked up to the office where they were tabulated and the change returned the same way. It was fascinating to watch." Watertown Historical Society website

WATERTOWN, Wis. Schempf Bros, 209-213 E. Main. The leading department store in the city from the late 1840s to closing in 1936. [Quoting from 13 May 1904:] "A new electric cable cash system has just been installed in Schempf's store whereby change can be made from any part of the store to the office and returned. It is one of the finest systems now in use." Watertown Historical Society website

WAUKESHA, Wis. J.C.Penney (dept. store). "Pneumatic tube system speeds Penney service. More than 5,000 feet of tubing links the J.C.Penney department store together. It is the recently installed pneumatic tube cash system.
When a clerk makes a sale, he places the money and sales slip in a small brass "bullet" which speeds through the tubing at 35 feet per second to the cashier's desk. There the correct change is made and sent back to the clerk in a few seconds. The system is powered by a 10 h.p. motor.
Eighteen sending and receiving stations are located throughout the store. At the cashier's desk where all tubes terminate are facilities for four cashiers, assuring the customers of no waiting." The store first opened on 13 June 1940 and re-opened after remodelling and enlargement on 7 April 1949. Waukesha Daily Freeman, 6 Apr. 1949, p.17

WAVERLY, Ia. Penney's (clothing store), 1123 East Bremer Avenue. Opened September 1913. "Lamson Electric Continuous Cash Carriers were installed when the building was new." Waverley Area Development Group website

WEEPING WATER, Neb. Eugene L. Reed's, corner of I and Randolph Streets. "Mr Reed was the first merchant in Weeping Water to have a cash carrier placed in his store, and which for some time was regarded with a great deal of curiosity, being quite an innovation upon the old system." Building was erected in 1868. Portrait and biographical album of Otoe and Cass Counties, Nebraska (Chicago: Chapman Bros, 1889) p.910

WICHITA, Kan. Cole & Jones. "Cole & Jones yesterday placed in their store and have in successful operation the Detroit system of cash carriers." Wichita Eagle, 8 Jul. 1888, p.5

WICHITA, Kan. Henrys Inc. Lamson pneumatic tube system. Lamson brochure, 1952

WICHITA, Kan. A.S.Munson. "Our attention was attracted yesterday morning to the cash railway in Mr. A.S. Munson's dry goods store... The track is a network of wire one end of which is slightly elevated so that a round ball placed upon it will roll along to the end or station where it is deposited in a basket in easy reach of the clerk... Mr. Munson will take pleasure in showing you its peculiar features. It is the only thing of the kind in this part of the state." Daily Eagle (Witchita), 23 May 1884. Later became Munson and McNamara and then McNamara and Company.

WINFIELD, Kan. Calverts, Main Street. "Martha Jean Robinson’s most vivid memory of that store .. was its overhead electric conveyor system which ran from the various departments to the business office on the second-floor balcony. When a payment was made, a clerk would put the cash and a sales slip into a cup, place it on the conveyor and send it to the cashier’s station in the balcony. If change was to be made, it would be returned the same way. Calvert’s was located on the corner of East Eighth and Main. The building burned in February 1984 and 800 Main Place, which now occupies the site, was completed in November 1987." Bill Bottorff's website

WINFIELD, Kan. J.B.Lynn's. "A unique feature of Mr Lynn's splendid store is the elevated cash railway, the most convenient cashier system ever invented." Winfield Courier, 1 Jan. 1885.
J.B.Lynn has had a railroad smash up and all trains are stopped, causing much inconvenience. The stove pipe did it. It fell on the elevated cash railway and broke its back-bone. The patentee's manipulator will be on in a day or so to repair it." Winfield Courier, 25 June 1885
"When a payment was made, a clerk would put the cash and a sales slip into a cup and send it to the cashier's station in the balcony. Bill Bottorff's website

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. Johnson-Hill (food store). "A Lamson pneumatic tube carrier system, with 24 separate cash and sales slip tubes reaching all departments of the store." Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 11 Dec. 1941, p.7

YORK, Neb. Brown McDonald (dept. store). "Where the York State Bank is now, used to be the Brown McDonald Department store. They had .. pneumatic tubes to put customers money in, then it would 'whiz' to the office, and the office would send the change back to the clerk." (Floridagal posting to York News forum, 8/2/05)


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

starVALLEY CITY, N.Dak. Barnes County Historical Society, 315 Central Avenue N. Air Line system. A few missing parts have been remanufactured.Wes Anderson. Photos


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