THE CASH RAILWAY WEBSITE
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Including the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia
ALBEMARLE, N.C. Hardware store. "I had a job making change in the old hardware store building. They had pneumatic tubes that went from the cash registers back to the central office where they kept all the money." University of Maryland, School of Public Policy website
ASHEVILLE, N.C. Fains dept. store, 15 Biltmore Ave. "The store used pneumatic tubes to send the money and sales slips to the second floor." Closed 1996. Univ. N. Carolina Oral Hist. Register
ASHEVILLE, N.C. McGraw (dry goods), 18 Patton Ave. "One of the few Lamson electric cash carriers to be established in the south has just been placed in .. McGraw Dry Goods Co." Asheville Citizen, 15 Apr. 1914, p.9
ATHENS, Ga. Michael Bros. Pneumatic tube system with automatic central station. Lamson advertisement in Credit World, vol. 10, no. 5, 1922, p.2 with photograph
ATLANTA, Ga. George Muse. Pneumatic tube system with automatic central station. Lamson advertisement in Credit World, vol. 10, no.5, 1922, p.2 with photograph
BAINBRIDGE, Ga. J.M.Floyd. "For sale... 4 station cash carrier system, air line, $20." Atlanta Constitution, 28 May 1908, p.12
BRECKENRIDGE, Ky. Wm. Vest & Sons. "The enterprising firm of Wm. Vest & Sons have just added a new and novel feature to their already good facilities for handling their business. It is the cash carrier system... The money is placed in a little cup, sent whizzing over the wires to the cashier in the rear of the store and in a minute's time it comes whizzing back." Breckenridge News, 19 Dec. 1894, p.5
BRISTOL, Ga. Kings (dept. store). "I also remember the money tubes that they would shoot from all over the store. Seems like there were some loud bells that would ring when the tubes were being sent...???" Betsy in posting to Dog Daze blog, 7/2/10
BURLINGTON, N.C. Sellars (dept. store). "My first job was in the 'tube room' at Sellars Dept. Store in Burlington. Several of us sat in the windowless room and when people made purchases in the store, the money and the sales ticket came up to us in a pneumatic tube." Jbass2 in posting to WRAL blog, 11/1/10
CHARLESTON, S.C. Kerrison Dry Goods Co. Pneumatic tube system with automatic central station. Lamson advertisement in Credit World, vol. 10, no. 5, 1922, p.2 with photograph
CHARLESTON, W.Va. Diamond (dept. store) Built 1927 and now state offices. "Its five floors featured .. a pneumatic tube system to convey cash and receipts between sales stations and the central office." West Virginia Encyclopedia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. J.C.Penny (dept. store), Capitol Street. "A sprinkler system and a Lampson [sic] cash carrier system are being installed. The Charleston store is number 1,479 in the Penny chain, the first having been established in Seattle." Charleston Gazette, 21 Jul. 1935, p.10
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Ed Mellon Clothing, West Trade. Pneumatic tube system. AtHome Charlotte website
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Belks, East Trade Street. Cable system, described and illustrated in Covington. The system was noisy and there were occasional derailments. In 1927, after a $750,000 expansion, the system was replaced with 3.5 miles of pneumatic tubes. Photograph of interior showing Lamson system at Belk website
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Gattling Dry Goods Co. "Recently the Gattling Dry Goods Company have had installed in their store the most modern method of the Lamson System in cable carriers. With this improvement the company is now prepared to carry on its business with greater speed... The new method, the Lamson preferred, .. is their latest invention along this line. The carriers used in this method are propelled along an endless wire by a motor... Mr. George A. Andrews, the inventor of this improved method, has been in Charlotte for the last week stopping at the Mecklenburg hotel. He is on a tour of inspection among the leading cities whose stores use this method." Charlotte News, 9 Apr. 1914, p.2
DANVILLE, Ky. Hub Frankel store. Wire system. "Kind of like a slingshot... They had these little silver cups that ran on a rope." Advocate-Messenger website
DURHAM, N.C. Baldwins dept. store, 107 W. Main Street. Opened in 1911, rebuilt in 1929 after a fire and expanded in 1931. Interior view shows what appears to be a cable system. "Durham's premier department store" - now converted into appartments. "Baldwin also installed a pneumatic tube system throughout the building to transport receipts and other documents from floor to floor." Baldwin Lofts website
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. Chesson's department store, Main Street. "The department store, purchased by the Chesson family in the early 1900s, featured a rare high-speed cord-and-wheel cash carrier, designed to literally transport cash back to an office. That feature will be preserved in the new council headquarters." [It is to be the office of the Pasquotank Arts Council.] Images of Elizabeth City, 2005 and Heartland website.
FAIRMONT, W.Va. J.M. Hartley & Son. "On Thursday, November 20, 1902, the new establishment was thrown open to the public... Ten floors are occupied, eight being devoted to selling... The store is equipped with an elevator and with a cash carrier system, reaching every floor." Bernard L.Butcher. Genealogical and personal history of the Upper Monogahela Valley, West Virginia (Genealogical Publ. Co., 1999) p. 1157
FLORENCE, Ala. Rogers. "Modern in every detail... Pneumatic tube cash system, for speedier service." [In new building.] Alabama Courier, 5 Sep. 1946, p. 10
FORT GAINES, Ga. George Irwin. "For sale - Bar [sic] cash carrier, good as new, run only short time. Geo.R.Irwin, Fort Gaines, Ga." Atlanta Constitution, 20 Apr. 1905, p.16
GREENVILLE, S.C. Bon Marche. "For sale. Four Lamson cash carrier system, practically new." Atlanta Constiution, 17 Aug. 1912, p.10
HICKORY, N.C. Efirds. "When I sold an item, I wrote the information on a ticket... I took the item and ticket to the person at the wrapping desk. She put the ticket and the money in a cylinder and pulled a cord. The vacuum in the pneumatic tube pushed the cylinder to the office where the clerk returned change and marked the ticket paid." Mimi Correll Cerniglia. Mimi and her world. (Authorhouse, 2010) p. 52
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. Bassett & Co., North Main Street. Building opened in 1894. Three stories and basement, 30 X 110 feet. Fifteen salesmen. "The whole store is truly modern .. the parcel and cash carrier being by no means the least of the service." Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 6 Aug. 1897, p.14
HUNTINGTON, W Va. Anderson-Newcomb (dept store). Cable system operating in 1913 and pneumatic tubes in 1937. (Reminiscences)
JENNINGS, La. G.H. Morse and Sons. "G.H.Morse and Sons are putting in a cash carrier system in connection with the three stores with Miss Ida Shear as cash girl." Jennings Daily Record, 24 May 1902
JOHNSON CITY, Ten. Kings (dept. store), South Roan and East Main Streets. "The clerk would place the sales slip and tendered cash or check in a cylinder and place it in one of two tubes. It would then travel by vacuum in a pipe that ran above the store to a cashier who removed it, counted the money, put in the proper change and returned the missile in a second tube to the salesperson’s station.” Johnson City Press, 31/10/11
JOHNSON CITY, Ten. Penneys. "The much-anticipated new ultra-modern Penny's department store opened its doors at 305 E. Main Street in August 1948... Penney's used the suction tube system prevalent in department stores of that era. If a sales clerk needed extra cash or a customer receipt, he or she put money or a sales slip into a tube, placed it in the suction pipe and sent it to the main cashier on the mezzanine level. The person at the other end would fill the request, put it back in a tube, insert it in the suction pipe and return it to the appropriate counter." Bob Cox's Yesteryear website
KINGSPORT, Tenn. Montgomery-Ward. "Montgomery-Ward and Company announced .. that the cash carrier system in the store has been replaced with a speedier and more efficient system." Kingsport Times, 8 Feb. 1938, p.6
KINGSPORT, Tenn. Penneys. "Renewed Penney store will stage reopening tomorrow... One of the many improved [conveniences] of the store is the [installation] of the Lamson Cable Cash System." Kingsport Times, 26 Sep. 1935, p.4
LOUISVILLE, Ky. Belknap Hardware Manufacturing Co. "The eight elevators, the pneumatic tube system .. and automatic conveying machinery .. are practically completed." Hardware Dealers' Magazine, 1 Oct. 1923, p. 34
MAXEY'S, Ga. "A store". Lamson wire carrier. Town(?) "was wiped out by the Bole Weevil in the 30's". "The office had a five bay receiving station which could handle five different points of sale." Sale on Ebay closing 23 Apr. 2006
MIAMI, Fl. Burdines. Pneumatic tube system. Photograph in Hammond
MONROE, Ga. Aycocks. Photograph of Lamson Preferred Cable system in 1924 donated to Monroe Museum. Monroe Museum facebook page, 11/6/15
MOUNT STERLING, Ky. Chiles Thompson Grocery Co., South Maysville Street. Four stories including basement. "A Bar [sic] cash carrier has been provided, making this the most convenient store-room in the State." Mt. Sterling Advocate, 28 Jan. 1896, p. 10
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Grimes and Gilberts. "Wire baskets that carried what you bought on overhead wires to the office to be sacked." E.D.Thompson. Nashville nostalgia. Nashville: Westview, 2003, p.242
NEW ORLEANS, La. Adler, 718-20 and 722 Canal Street. Founded in 1897 and built in 1908. "Adler's is another store that still uses pneumatic tubes in sales transactions." Mary Lou Widmer. New Orleans in the twenties. (Gretna LA: Pelican, 1993), p. 177
NEW ORLEANS, La. Krauss (dept.
store), Canal Street. "Had them [pneumatic tubes] until they closed about
5 years ago." (Posting to alt.religion.kibology, 3 Nov. 2001). Also "RedPop4" in posting to The Fedora Lounge, 20/6/06.
"Krauss still uses pneumatic tubes for sales transactions involving Krauss credit cards and it's not just to keep things 'old-fashioned' looking. It is also fast and efficient. According to manager John Cecil, the tube takes the credit card and sales slip to the Tube Room, where a computer monitor calls up the customer's account number and approves the sale. The receipt is then returned to the department." Mary Lou Widmer. New Orleans in the twenties. (Gretna LA: Pelican, 1993), p. 177
NEWARK, Del. Newark Dept. Store. Pneumatic tube system in 1988. (Posting to misc.consumers.frugal-living, 25 Sep. 2000)
OXFORD, Miss. Neilsons (dept. store), The Square. Used a wire line basket system for many years. Present owner's father, William Lewis Snr., received the baskets. Gene Davidson
PALM BEACH, Fla. Gene Smith. "Gene Smith has installed a new Lampson [sic] cash carrying system in his store on Clematis avenue, which he expects will increase the efficiency of his clerical force... This system is used in many of the modern stores of this city... Four stations have been installed, one being about 75 feet from the cashier's desk." Palm Beach Post, 1 Dec. 1921, p.8
PARIS, Ky. H.M.Collins & Co. "Yesterday placed the Barr Cash Carrier system in their dry goods store. It works perfectly and will be a valued improvement." Bourbon News, 5 Sep. 1899, p. 5
RAYNE, La. Mervine Kahn. "I so well remember putting the money for our purchases in the tubes and sending them upstarirs." Corinne Cook
ST PETERSBURG, Fla. Willson-Chase. "The Willson-Chase company has installed a cable carrier system for communication between the clerk and the office that is a decided feature in St. Petersburg, this being the only one in use here thus far. It is known as the Lamson Preferred Cable Cash Carrier system. Instead of the unsightly overhead flyers, the new system is concealed in the regular furnishings of the store rooms... A feature of the system is that this box goes directly to the cashier's desk in the office, arriving either from the bottom or from above... This system communicates with the office from every floor in the building that is occupied by the company." The Evening Independent (St Petersburg) , 12 Dec. 1914, p. 21
• "The system in the Willson-Chase store is the first Lamson system to be installed in St. Petersburg. The installation is in charge of F.E. Pomroy, of the Atlanta branch of the Lamson company." St Petersburg Daily Times, 13 Dec. 1914, p. 26
SAVANNAH, Ga. Adlers, corner of Bull and Broughton streets. "When we shopped at Adler's, the clerks would put the money in a little glass case and send it upstairs in a tube to the cashier. The tube was similar to what you see nowadays at a bank's drive-in window." Polly Powers Stramm. The Savannah: from Ardsley Park to Twickenham and beyond. (Charleston SC: History Press, 2009)
SAVANNAH, Ga. Hogans (dept. store) "Another treat was watching Grandma write customers' sales slips, take their money, and shoot it up to the accounting department via a vacuum tube. The customer patiently waited until the tube mysteriously reappeared, containing their receipt and change." Dog Daze blogspot 7/2/10
SUMTER, S.C. J.C.Penney. "The JCPenney store downtown had a pneumatic system." The Item (Sumter), 13 Jun. 2002, p. 1B.
SUMTER, S.C. Sumter Dry Goods, SE corner of Main and Liberty. "It used to have a central cashier system that sent a cup along a wire with the receipt and money to the office while the clerk wrapped the package." The Item (Sumter), 13 Jun. 2002, p. 1B.
SUWANEE, Fla. John Brogdon, Main Street. "John Brogdon built what was called 'the largest store between Gainesville and Atlanta' where he sold food, clothing, coffins, farm equipment and practically everything else. The three-story [sic] building, the first in the county, had a pulley system that sent sales slips and money from the first to the third floor, where the cashier worked. Like many wooden buildings on Main Street, the store later burned. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 21 Sep. 2003
TAMPA, Fla. Maas Bros. Pneumatic tube system with automatic central station. Lamson advertisement in Credit World, vol. 10, no.5, 1922, p.2 with photograph
TUPELO, Miss. R.W.Reeds (dept. store), 131 Main Street. Opened in 1905. Pneumatic tube system not in use since blower gave out but tubes still visible. Was still being used in 1970s. Gene Davidson
TUSCALOOSA, Al. Allen & Jamison (hardware), Greensboro Ave. and 7th Street. "One interesting item in the store that will be kept is the pneumatic tube cash system. Remembering this, I can recall how it worked. When I into the store to purchase the yarn I gave the money in cash to the sales lady. She took the money for the yarn and wrapped the receipt around it and then placed it in a small cylinder about the size of a small can of frozen orange juice can. Then she placed the cylinder in the pneumatic tube and pressed a button and the cylinder and money was send zooming up and down to the pneumatic system to a central place where the cashier was located. There were about ten of these tubes.
The cashier was kept busy making change and sent it back to the appropriate department via the tube system. Of course this took a little bit of time, waiting for your change. I have to remember that in those days we did not used credit card or write checks.
Allen & Jemison now will become Tuscaloosa Cultural Arts Center. It will house art galleries, space for rehearsals and other cultural space needs." Alabama Pioneers website
WALTHAM, Fla. J.C.Penny's, corner of Moody and Pine Streets. "Penny's used the Lamson Cash Railway". Waltham Museum website.
WHEELING, W.Va. George M. Snook & Co. (dry
goods), 1110-1114 Main Street. Pneumatic tube system, installed ca. 1902.
• "The building being erected will have five stories and a basement, and will be supplied with steam heat and elevator power, electric light and the pneumatic tube system of cash carrier service, the only one at the present time in the city of Wheeling." Gibson Lamb Cranmer. History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens (1902) p.509.
WHEELING, W.Va. Stone & Thomas (dept. store), 1030 Main Street. (Moved there in early 1950s.) Lamson cash carrier. Power was supplied by two 80 HP engines in the basement which also operated the elevators. (WebRoots.org Genealogy Foundation website)
WHITMIRE, S.C. C.H. Cooper Co. "The store is a big double building... Modern cash register and cash railway system is employed to facilitate business." Herald and News (Newberry SC), 3 Dec. 1915, p.17
WILMINGTON, N.C. Efirds (dept. store). "The cylinder was placed in a pneumatic tube and sent to a central cashier." Ann Hewlett Hutteman. Wilmington, North Carolina, p.36.The building was constructed in 1906 and is now the Self-Help Center.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Morrisetts (dept. store). Store opened around 1900. Wire system still in use when store sold in 1947. The store was a two-storey L-shaped building with the mezzanine at the vertex of the L. The cashier was located on the mezzanine and served both floors. Probably eight lines on each floor. Peter Morrisett
WINTER STREET, Del. Heseltines (later Uhlmans). Pneumatic tube system. Willshigh website
indicates systems which are still there (as far as I know) though they may not be working.