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Locations - Victoria, Australia

The earliest system in Victoria seems to have been a cash ball system at Foy and Gibson, Melbourne in March 1886, which was claimed to be the first of its kind in the colonies. The Beehive Stores in Bendigo had a "Rowland's" wire system in 1888 and R.L. Young had a Lamson wire system in 1890. The first pneumatic tube system was that installed by Bostedo at Craig, Williamson and Thomas, Melbourne in September 1898 (The installation at Edward Horden in Sydney was in May 1898.) The first one in a provincial town was at S. Meyer of Bendigo in 1908. The first mention of a cable system is at the States Supply Stores in Melbourne in 1903.



Elsternwick, Hattams

Footscray, Forges


ALEXANDRA. Payne and Whitworths. "During the week we made an inspection of Messrs Payne and Whitworth's store, Alexandra, where some of the latest improvements in business convenience have been installed. The first item to strike our notice was the "Rapid Cash Railway" erected by the Lamson Store Company, Melbourne." Alexandra and Yea Standard, 4 Oct. 1912, p.3

ASCOT VALE. Moncur menswear, Union Road. Wire system. Closed around 2000.

ASHBURTON. Mitchell and Turner. "We understand from the replace advertisement of Messrs Mitchell and Turner that they intend installing in their premises a mechanical cash carrier. As this, although much used in larger centres, will be quite an advance in the business methods of Ashburton, we trust that continued success will follow such a progressive spirit." Ashburton Guardian, 21 Mar. 1905, p.2

BAIRNSDALE. Foards Pty. "Cash carriers. Lamson overhead wire system, 15 stations, all in perfect order. May be inspected in position. Price complete with spare parts; £150." The Argus (Melbourne), 5 Mar. 1955, p. 23

BALLARAT. Co-op, Bridge Street. Wire system. On the high wire

BALLARAT. Crockers (drapers), Armstrong Street. Wire system. Business moved into the former Carpet Department premises in 1989. On the high wire

BALLARAT. Harry Davies, "The Block", Sturt Street. "The cash railway system is in force throughout the warehouse." Weekly Times (Melbourne), 26 Feb. 1898, p. 7
• "It has been found necessary to increase the accommodation. This has been done by adding another story to the Doveton street frontage... Overhead is a Lamson's paragon cash railway system, comprising 10 stations." Ballarat Star, 23 Jun. 1899, p. 4
• "An electrical tramway system extablished at Harry Davies and Co's... It is called the 'Lamson' Perfection Cable system, and is designed to supersede the still useful, but rapidly becoming obsolete, ball and tramway system... It consists of an endless cable, driven along a light steel trolly-way by a one horse power electric motor. The cable travels at the rate of 12 miles an hour so that .. the receiving clerk in the ofice has, on a busy day. to be decidedly smart. There is a four-rail track, two for receiving and two for despatching... When the cash-box has been taken from the receiver, and the change placed in it, the box is inserted in a clip, and given a light push. It leaves the clip, and a small grip immediately seizes the cable, which hurries it away down to the proper department, and never lets go its hold until it reaces the 'station', when it stops automatically, and waits to be removed. By an ingenious attachment, when the box approaches one of the numerous pulley wheels installed at turnings or alterations of elevation, it turns over on its side, and gliding past the wheel, picks the cable up on the other side and goes on. Mr Davies has had some 1500 feet of steel rails put through the spacious shop, and there are 20 'stations' in the various departments, 6 receiving stations in the office, and 80 boxes or cars travelling on the trolly-ways. It will thus be seen that the installation is a very complete one; indeed, it is the biggest one in the State. The boxes are built of steel and vulcanised fibre." Ballarat Star, 6 May 1908, p. 3
• "Electric wires fuse... Mr Harry Davies, the well-known draper, suffered the inconvenience of having his lights put out, and his cash railway rendered useless for a time." Ballarat Star, 16 Sep. 1909, p. 4

BALLARAT. Greers (drapers). "For Sale... Shop fittings... Cash Railway." Geelong Advertiser, 23 Jul. 1925, p. 9

BALLARAT. Pratts, Main Street. Wire system. On the high wire

BALLARAT. Snow and Room. "The public have largely visited 'Crawford's' during the week to inspect the new cash railway system, which Messrs Snow and Room are the first to introduce to this city. The railway is a decided success, and we understand that, in addition to a further order from Messrs Snow and Room for more stations, their example is being followed by different firms, and Mr Rowlands' manager is busy fitting up other establishments." Ballarat Star, 29 June 1888, p. 2

BALLARAT. Snows (drapers) Armstrong/Sturt Street. Wire system Now Myers. On the high wire

BALLARAT. James Tyler, Bridge Street. "Mr James Tyler .. has had installed throughout his establishment what is known as the pneumatic cash tube system, and from to-day it will take the place of the old ball system of communication between the counter-hand and the cashier. The installation of the new system, which is an overhead one, has meant the utilisation of two miles of solid drawn 2½ inch brass tubing... The system is made up of 13[?] stations, and the air is formed by the Lamson patent blower, which is driven by a five-horse power motor. The carriers travel at 40 miles an hour and customers will have to wait only a few seconds for their change, whereas under the slow ball system they were delayed sometimes for some minutes. The pneumatic tube system also serves as a ventilator for it draws away all the impure air from the shop and sends back fresh air in its place. In a few places in Melbourne the system has been tried with the greatest success, but Mr Tyler's shop is the only place in Ballarat where it has been installed. The Lamson Store Service Company, of Sydney, instal the service. The whole of the arrangements at Mr Tyler's establishment were carried out under the direction of Mr A. Doyle." Ballarat Star, 12 Jun. 1909, p. 4

BENDIGO (formerly SANDHURST). Beehive Store, Pall Mall. "Messrs Henderson and Goodisson, of the Beehive Stores .. have the honour to be the first up country establishment which has had 'Rowland's Patent Cash Railway System' fitted up... Each department has what is called a station, and whenever the customer completes a purchase the salesman opens a small carriage, places the sale note and the cash inside, then, pulling a handle, away goes the carriage on its journey, to what is called the terminus station... The system consists of nine distinct lines and nine carriages... Each carriage has two grooved wheels, which run on a wire stretched very tightly from the terminus to the department station. On the longest line, which is a little over 100ft, the journey takes about four seconds... The invention has only been introduced in Australia a few months, and already several of them have been fixed in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. The railway at Messrs Henderson and Goodison's has been fixed under the supervision of Mr. E.G. Emery, of Messrs Rowland and Co." Riverine Grazier (Hay), 16 Mar. 1888, p. 4
• "Don't forget to call the next time you are down, if it is only to see the 'Cash Railway'. Riverine Herald, 22 Mar. 1888, p. 3
• "Over three years ago Messrs. Henderon [sic] and Goodisson put in, throughout the Beehive, the 'cash railway', now so familiar to the people of Bendigo. Although at that time 400 yards of railway were put up, the growth of business gradually left the efficiency of the cash railway far behind, for, owing to the impossibility of running the wire system around corners such departments as the tailoring, millinery, furniture, and the Hargreaves street end of the business were left unserved.. At last, however, a system was found which promised to meet all requirements... During the past three weeks the work has been going on and this week it was completed... It is called Lamson's patent, and it is worked by gravitation. The rails are made of ash and suspended near the ceiling, are held, about 2½ inches apart and shod with leather, so there is no noise... The total length of cash railways now in the Beehive is just a few inches short of half a mile." Bendigo Independent, 5 Dec. 1891, p. 2. (This is an unusual history apparently with a wire system first and cash ball system later.)
• "Two different systems of cash railways are at work, one line being the longest in Australia." Bendigo Advertiser, 13 Oct. 1892, p. 2
• "The grand opening of Mr K.O. Henderson's improved Beehive Store premises took place on Saturday afternoon... The Beehive Stores have been fitted with the Lamson pneumatic cash aand document system, which includes three-quarters of a mile of solid brass tubing, leading from 16 outstations to one central cash office. The pneumatic suction is worked by a 5 h.p. motor and a ?? blower, and the carriers travel along the pipes at the rate of 30ft. per second." Bendigo Advertiser, 11 Mar. 1912, p. 3
• "My memories were during the 40's, 50's and sixties. It was a rather old fashioned store with wooden floors and one of those devices that sent your money in carriers along overhead wires to the cashier for change." Rosemary Meadows in posting to AUS-VIC-GOLDFIELDS-L List, 15 May 2005
• "The Bendigo Beehive store ceased trading during the 1980's.  It was never modernised at any time during it's operating days. The produce was displayed as it would have been tens of years before. The floors all squeaked, the merchandising material was antiquated but the service and  products were excellent. The money was sent via a vacuum cylinder which was connected through the ceiling which went directly to the main office. It was not that the staff were not trusted, I don't think - mainly so the staff did not waist [sic] time off the floor, which meant the service would not be met, "Are You Being Served?" tradition." Raine in posting to AUS-VIC-GOLDFIELDS-L List, 17 May 2005.
• Photograph of exterior, 1890. Victoria Museums collection

BENDIGO. Cockings, The Mall. "The new building of Cockings is going to be a fine business establishment... There is installed the Lawson [sic] rapid wire cash carrying system, and it works beautifully." Bendigo Independent, 9 Oct. 1914, p. 6
• "The opening of Cocking's new and up-to-date establishment in Pall Mall, opposite the Post Office, yesterday, attracted an unprecedented rush of patrons... There are a dozen counters connected by the latest model of cash railway with the cash desk." Bendigo Independent, 7 Aug. 1918, p. 4

BENDIGO. Co-operative Distribution Society, View Point. "A shareholder thought the cash railway at View Point, which cost £40 per year, should be abandoned in favor of messenger boys. Then the money would go to the children of shareholders. The General Manager said that the contrivance was a saving to the society." Bendigo Advertiser, 29 Apr. 1905, p. 5

BENDIGO. King's Drapery Store, Willimson Street. "Important sale by auction ... Cash railway complete." The Age (Melbourne), 6 Sep. 1930, p. 2

BENDIGO. S. Myer, Pall Mall. "At the expense of £800 Mr S. Meyer has installed in his extensive emporium the Lamson pneumatic suction cash receiving system. The mechanism of the plant, which includes a 3½ power motor for generating the air current, is on ingenious lines, and although the system is in operation in all the capital cities, it is the first plant fixed in any provincial town in the State. The firm's representative (Mr. L. F. Jackson) has been engaged for some weeks in the installation, and the first trial of it will be given to-day. The air is "pumped" into brass tubes, which traverse every department, and call at no less than 15 'stations.' The takings at the counters are placed in a receptacle— the proper name being a cartridge— which is passed into the tube, and the air current sends it quickly to its destination— the receiving channel in the office. The receptacle is just as expeditiously returned empty. The trip is done from the station in the furthermost portion of the building in half a minute, so it will be readily understood that a great amount of time is saved both to the counter hand and the customer waiting to receive the change. The innovation is a decided improvement of the old system of "overhead railways."Bendigo Independent, 31 Oct. 1908, p. 8
• "A telephone message to Myer's, Pall Mall, gave them a warning early in the day... Mr. E.H.Collett .. said .. The stopping of the power to the machines does not affect us so much as it will in connection with the cash railway system... We will have to place cashiers at several points of the premises." Bendigo Independent, 25 Nov. 1916, p. 8

BEULAH. Cast and Son. "Maintaining their reputation for up-to-dateness, Messrs. Cast and Son have decided to instal the cash railway system throughout their establishment. The work is now being carried out by the Lamson Service Co." Warracknabeal Herald, 31 Aug. 1917, p. 4

BRIGHTON. C.R.O. Temme, Bay Street. "C.R.O. Temme .. has opened up in new premises next the signal box... Cash railways and spacious displays are a feature of this new emporium." Brighton Southern Cross, 16 Feb. 1918, p. 2

CAMPERDOWN. H. Gamson (draper, grocer and general merchant). "Cash railways are established with each department, the whole forming a complete and up-to-date modern store." Camperdown Chronicle, 10 Nov. 1903, p. 3

CAMPERDOWN. George Horsburgh Pty. "For immediate sale by the liquidator... Cash railway system (4 stations), dismantled." Camperdown Chronicle, 14 Sep. 1933, p. 7

CAMPERDOWN. Melbourne Cash Stores (G. Morrison), Manifold St. "The Lampson [sic] Cash Railway which Mr. G. Morrison of the Melbourne Cash Stores in Manifold St. has had fitted up in his establishment. A series of wires run from the cash desk to the various counters... These cash railways have not long been introduced into the colony, and there are only two of them to be found outside of Melbourne: the one in Mr Morrison's establishment and another in Messrs. Younger and Co.'s stores in Warrnambool." Camperdown Chronicle, 13 Oct. 1894, p. 2

CAMPERDOWN. J.H. Robinson and Co. "A complete system of cash railways has been installed in Messrs. J. H. Robinson and Co's. stores." Camperdown Chronicle, 20 Aug. 1908, p. 2

DROUIN. Bell and Macaulays. Wire system approx. 1944. (Photographs of hardware and grocery sections in National Library Digital Collection)

DROUIN. A.R. Henderson and Co. ("The Quality" Store). "The firm has just installed a cash railway, which is proving of great convenience to the assistants... They place a ball containing the docket and cash on the railway and it runs along to the cashier, who returns it with the receipt and change." Gippsland Independent, 1 Sep. 1916, p. 2

EAGLEHAWK. Eagle House (drapery warehouse), High Street. "Extensive unreserved sale by auction of first class shop fixtures .. including .. cash railway system." Bendigo Independent, 14 Aug. 1918, p. 8

FOOTSCRAY. E. Blythe & Co., Nicholson Street. "The extensive additions to Messrs E. Blythe & Co's Cash Drapery business premises .. stand in evidence that we have still other citizens with faith in our importance... Mr Emery of the Belgravia hotel is fitting up his patent cash railway to twenty different stations at the counters." Independent (Footscray), 7 Nov. 1891, p. 2

FOOTSCRAY. Dimelow & Gaylard (Beehive Drapers), Nicholson/Paisley Streets. "Today the above named firm will reopen the premises recently occupied by Mr G.F. Dyson... On the ground floor cash railways have been erected." Independent (Footscray), 14 Mar. 1903, p. 2

FOOTSCRAY. Forges (dept. store), 80-90 Nicholson Street. Lamson pneumatic tube system. Some parts displayed in window when I visited, Sept. 2004: inlet and outlet of a station painted light brown, four carriers on table and two in a wire basket. Carriers numbered 23, 29 and 30 (some alterations) . Photographs

FOOTSCRAY. Imperial Art Palace (E.A. and D. Green), Geelong Road/Barkly street. "Opening Friday next... One notable institution is the Lawson [sic] pneumatic tubes for carrying the cash to the counters." Independent (Footscray), 5 Aug. 1916, p. 3

FOOTSCRAY. Junction Joinery and Timber Mills Pty., Geelong Road/Barkly Street. "Important auction sale. Stock and fittings... Larnson [sic] pneumatic cash tube system." The Argus (Melbourne), 3 Feb. 1923, p. 3

GEELONG. Bright and Hitchcocks (dept store), Moorabool Street. Pneumatic tube system. Walking Melbourne website.
• "At this evening's meeting of the City Council, the committee's recommendations provide for .. laying a pneumatic tube for Messrs. Bright and Hitchcock's across Moorabool-street, underground." Geelong Advertiser, 28 Jul. 1913, p. 2
"The men's department .. has been transferred to premises opposite in Moorabool-street. This out-branch and every selling point in the big establishment are connected with a pneumatic cash carrier. Away at the back of the basement a row of a dozen or more brass tubes are incessantly disgorging the cash cylinders, which are whisked back to the sending points as fast as the cashier can refill them." Ibid. 18 Oct. 1913, p. 3
•"Messrs Bright and Hitchcocks have just installed the latest and most up-to-date system of cash carriers. It is the first installation of the kind in Victoria—there are only two others in Australia one being in the palatial Commonwealth Banking Chambers in Sydney. The Lawson [sic]  Pneumatic Tube Company are the installers of the system, and their representative, Mr. Miller, has personally supervised the erection of the plant in Geelong. Messrs. Bright and Hitchcocks' old system of pneumatic tubes centralised all cash transactions at a cash desk in the basement. This included a service for both shops. The plant consisted of a six horse-power motor and blower for 18 stations. Even when the tubes were not actually in use, there was a consumption of upwards of three break horse-power. Under the new system this is replaced by a variable-speed type of motor and blower, which is so controlled electrically that instead of working at a full speed of 100 revolutions per minute continuously, the blower may work down to 35 revolutions per minute. Where the old power plant was consuming three horse-power the new one is using less than one horse power. The controlling power is so elastic that by simply putting a carrier into the tube the motor speeds up to the amount of air required, and as carriers are added at the various sending points so the plant increases its capacity to accommodate any rush after which it reverts to the minimum speed. With such a plant it is a simple matter to add new stations as required. Already an addition has been made, and the number increased to 19. Another important feature is the silencing foundation chamber on which the blower is fixed. This ensures a very quiet running plant. Situated in the basement in the centre of the building, it is practically noiseless. At the cash desk, under the old system when all the tubes were continuously in action the noise was most objectionable. Now, until a carrier is inserted a tube is out of action altogether. The entry of the carrier releases an electrically-controlled catch. Travelling at a rate of from 2000 to 3000 feet per minute, the carriers can be sent backwards and forwards in the space of a few seconds. Mr. Miller claims that the new system is the most up to date in the world, and it is British." Geelong Advertiser, 12 Mar. 1917, p. 2

GEELONG. A.R. and H.A. Harding, trading as W. Hill and Son (ironmongers), Ryrie Street. "Edwd. G. Gurr [et al.] .. will sell by auction .. Lamson Overhead Cash System." Geelong Advertiser, 25 Sep. 1918, p. 6

GEELONG. Isings (haberdashers), Moorabool/Little Ryrie Street, next to White Hart Hotel. "Had a wire system until the 1970s." Walking Melbourne website

GEELONG. A. Miller (drapers), Moorabool Street. "Messrs A. Miller and Co. .. have just introduced to Geelong the latest description of cash carrier in the shop... The new instrument, which is named 'The Acme cash carrier' is the invention of Messrs R. Reid and H.A. Wheat of Beckett-street, Melbourne, the agents for whom are Messrs N. Guthridge and Co. ... It is known as the overhead wire system, and it is claimed to be a most distinct improvement upon the cash carriers in vogue in many of the large shops and warehouses in populous places... The 'Acme' appliance is a series of coiled wire springs all on one piece of nickel-plated wire which are attached by means of an ornamental framework to a nickelplated rod fastened to the ceiling of the shop and about six feet or seven feet above the floor. A strong wire connects each out-station with the home station or cashier's desk, which is fitted up with similar spring appliances, and there is attached to each wire a nickel-plated wheel and socket, to which is affixed a circular cup which carries the cash or message intended to be transmitted... At the establishment of Messrs Miller and Co. there are three receivers on each side of the shop, that is one for each department... The agents of 'The Acme' either rent the machines or sell them right out." Geelong Advertiser, 30 Aug. 1895, p. 4

GEELONG. Parker and Murphy (drapers and outfitters). "With the translation of their business a few doors higher up the street, Messrs Parker and Murphy .. have stocked the premises with entirely new goods... The cash railways extend throughout the shop." Geelong Advertiser, 11 Sep. 1901, p. 2

GEELONG. Julius Solomon, Moorabool/Malop Strets. "The emporium to be opened today by Mr. Solomon is of record dimensions,,, There is a pneumatic tube system for whisking cash and dockets to the cshier." Geelong Advertiser, 16 Apr. 1913, p. 3

GEELONG. R.L.Young, Moorabool Street. "Assigned estate of R.L. Young, Geelong. For absolute sale, very cheap, four stations cash railways on the premises. Geelong." The Age (Melbourne), 18 Jan. 1905, p. 1

GIPPSLAND. W.D.Leslie & Co. "Leslie was the first Gippsland businessman to organise his store into departments, each operating under a manager, with sales transactions being sped on overhead wires to the centrally located cashier." Australian Dictionary of Biography

GLENFERRIE. Don Store, Railway Station. "We are .. installing pneumatic tube cash carriers." The Reporter (Box Hill), 10 Jan. 1913, p. 2

GLENFERRIE. John Snow and Co. Pty. "Under instructions from John Snow .. who have transferred their retail softgoods business to their Flinders-street emporium... Magnificent shop fittings and fixtures... Lamson pneumatic blower, cylinder and air compressor." The Age (Melbourne), 29 Jul. 1933, p. 2

GLENGARRY. Layton Bros. "Messrs, Layton Bros. are having the Lamson Store cash railway installed in their premises. There will be a station at each counter in drapery, grocery, clothing, and ironmongery departments, and also in the show room. In this system a ball carries the cash and the docket to the cash desk, and returns the receipt and change. It is a large installation." Glengarry, Toongabbie and Central Gippsland Reporter, 16 Jan. 1914, p. 2

GRANTVILLE. Trading Co. "Cash railway, £3 10/- ... Trading Co., Grantville (in liquidation)." The Age (Melbourne), 11 Jun. 1913, p. 3

GUNBOWER. J.D. Treacy. "The cash desk is connected with several portions of the shop by overhead cash railways." Bendigo Advertiser, 14 Aug. 1913, p. 4

KERANG. D. Hawthorne & Co. "Two lines of cash railways, on the same plan as those used in Sydney, have been fitted up." Kerang Times, 9 Dec. 1898, p. 2

KYNETON. Dale's Mutual Drapery Stores. "Cash railway, suitable any store, 3 stations and balls, all fittings complete. No further use; cheap." The Argus (Melbourne), 11 Sep. 1946, p. 24

MELBOURNE. Ackmans, 243-255 Smith Street. "Their well-known and extensive emporium .. will be offered by public auction... The premises are completely serviced with .. Lamson cash tube system." The Argus (Melbourne), 23 Nov. 1938, p. 16

MELBOURNE. Arnold Bros., 151-153 Elizabeth Street. "Important auction clearing sale of .. electric cash railway (4 lines) and docket system, complete... Under instruction of Messrs. Arnold Bros., who have sold these premises and are relinquishing the retail portion of their business." The Age (Melbourne), 1 Aug. 1918, p. 2

MELBOURNE. Ball and Welch, Drummond Street, Carlton. "Probably the most recent, and certainly the most rapid, simple and complete system we have seen has just been introduced in the city by Messrs. Rowlands and Lewis, of 118 Collins-street west... Through the agency of the firm mentioned, it has been fitted up in the extensive establishment of Messrs. Ball and Welch Limited ... Slender steel wires, suspended overhead, stretch between the sale counters and the cashier's box, and upon these wires tiny cars set upon a pair of wheels pass noiselessly along. The Age (Melbourne), 29 Oct. 1886, p. 6

starMELBOURNE. M.Ball & Co. (drapers), 240 Swan Street, Richmond. 100-year old building, occupied by Balls for more than 50 years. Entered a hire purchase agreement with Lamsons on 23 September 1936 for a wire system, but a drawing was also produced for a pneumatic tube system. Miles Lewis, Australian building
• "Melancholy, though, is the news that there are no more parts for the wire catapult system that takes the sales dockets and money in those little brass containers overhead to the cashier high up in the corner. We counted the wires and found almost a dozen. Of those, only about three or four were still operating." The Age, 16 Feb. 1982, p. 11
• "A man, presumably the manager, demonstrating the 'flying fox' wire cash receipt system. Victoria State Library Pictures Catalogue. Operated from 1936 to 1985 and relocated soon afterwards to Dimneys - see below. Miles Lewis, Australian building. Photograph showing about 10 Rapid Wire lines at Miles Lewis website

MELBOURNE. M.Ball & Co. Glenferrie Road, Malvern. Overhead cash carrier. Probably went in mid to late 1960s. Kevin Taig in Trams Down Under Archive, 26/12/05

MELBOURNE. Brooks, Robinson Pty., 59-65 Elizabeth Street. "Lady clerk wanted .. as receiver and attendant of cash (tube system)." The Argus (Melbourne), 29 Mar. 1945, p. 14

MELBOURNE. Buckinghams, Oxford/Riley Streets. "A new cable system of cash railway has been fitted up." The Newsletter (Sydney), 14 Mar. 1903, p. 15

MELBOURNE. Buckley & Nunn, Bourke Street. "Cash railways, complete fittings, 14 stations .. for sale." The Age (Melbourne), 22 Oct. 1907, p. 1
• "Strange mishap with pneumatic tube." See Courtcases.
• "Just when trade was busiest, the lights failed. The cash tubes are worked by electricity and carry cash to the central office from 63 different stations around the store. These stopped, and temporary cashiers had to be put on." The Argus (Melbourne), 3 Jul. 1925, p. 11

MELBOURNE. Canns, Pty., Swanston/Little Collins Streets. "Girl for cash desk, tube system." The Argus (Melbourne), 24 Sep. 1923, p. 1

MELBOURNE. F.W. Cheshire (bookshop), in the basement of 338 Little Collins Street. "Until the late 1960s, also had a wire 'cash railway'. Due to the relatively low ceiling, taller people had to be careful of the cash canister as it whizzed at great speed to and from the central cash desk." Walking Melbourne website

MELBOURNE. Cozens and Harveys, Elizabeth Street, nearly opposite General Post Office. "A patent cash railway communicates from the cashiers' desk, and ascends two stories above the shop, besides traversing the building 'fore and aft'... This .. has the advantage over the 'tramway' in that it has an 'up' and 'down' line, and there is no need to wait, the 'trains' passing each other on elevated 'roads' - one running above the other... Allusion must be made to the Lansom [sic] check and self-adding cash register." North Melbourne Advertiser, 22 May 1891, p. 3

MELBOURNE. Craig, Williamson and Thomas, 276 Collins Street, then 8-22 Elizabeth Street. "Similar machines ['The Acme' wire carriers] have been fitted in the extensive premises of Messrs Craig, Williamson and Co. in Elizabeth-street, Melbourne, the length of the overhead lines being about 80ft." Geelong Advertiser, 30 Aug. 1895, p. 4
• "Lamson Wire Cash Tram System, 6 stations, for Sale, cheap; in full working order. Craig, Williamson & Thomas." The Age (Melbourne), 23 Sep. 1898, p. 8
• "A novelty so far as Australia is concerned wil be the system to be introduced by Messrs. Craig, Williamson and Thomas in the form of the greatly improved method of cash delivery by the operation of electrically-propelled mechanism. Arrangements have been made with the Bostedo (U.S.A.) Package and Cash Carrier Company, which has introduced the system into some important business houses in London and New York, .. to install a plant, which will be operated from a 15 horse-power electric motor. Through the medium of hundreds of brass tubes, the cash received at the various counters will be conveyed at high speed to a central point in the shape of a specially contrived cashier's office... It will cost over £2000 to make the radical change, but on the grounds of security and expedition the money will be well laid out. The Age (Melbourne), 29 Sep. 1898, p. 9
• "It is now a little over ten months since Messrs Craig, Williamson and Thomas's large warehouse in Elizabeth was destroyed by fire... No expense has been spared in fitting up the new warehouse... A novelty has been introduced in the Bostedo pneumatic tube. This invention is in use in many of the large warehouses in England and America, but this is the first of the kind which has been introuduced here." The Herald (Melbourne), 1 Oct. 1898, p. 1
• "Craig's high class shop fittings... Lamson pneumatic tube power unit - 2 large blowers, 28-h.p. and 7¾-h.p. Elect. motors. The Argus (Melbourne), 10 Nov. 1937, p. 18

MELBOURNE. John Danks & Son Pty., 391-403 Bourke Street. "Lamson Engineering Co.'s pneumatic tube system. Complete 20-station set, with approx. 4000ft. tubing. Variable speed motor, D.C., 450 volts, 3.5-H.P. Complete with pulley and side rails (Newtons Ltd., Taunton, England), True circle blower (Lamson, England), Complete with switchboard and controls, together with carriers, odd lengths of tube, and sundries. In sound working order. Being sold only because of alterations to premises. Purchaser must dismantle and remove system. The Argus (Melbourne), 10 Feb. 1951, p. 46

MELBOURNE. Darrods, 290 Bourke Street. "To rent ... 290-2 Bourke St... Cash tube system." The Argus (Melbourne), 12 Jan. 1938, p. 12

MELBOURNE. S.R. Dickinson, 225 Lonsdale Street, opp. Melbourne Hospital. "For sale, cheap, complete Cash Railway, suitable city, suburban or country stores." The Age (Melbourne), 27 Jul. 1932, p. 3

MELBOURNE. (Drapers), 271 Clarendon Street. "Wanted to sell, at 271 Clarendon-Street, South Melbourne, the whole of fixtures and fittings of old established drapery business... Cash Railways." The Age (Melbourne), 24 Oct. 1932, p. 2

MELBOURNE. Fallon's Drapery Corner, Windsor. "During the week, Mr J. Fallon, of Fallon's Drapery Corner, Windsor, has had installed by the Lamson Store Service Co. their new system of carrying the money from the different departments to the cash office for the purpose of giving change... Situated in one of the upstairs offices is an electric motor, which sets in motion endless small cables which traverse the length and breadth of the retail portion of the business premises. These cables run just within arms length of the assistants, and a few feet above the counters; and when a customer has made a ourchase the salesman or saleswoman deposits the bill and money into a box something resembling a miniature tram car, and the box dashes round corners, mounts inclines, rushes along a bit of level track, and eventually darts up a perpendicular shoot, and deposits its load immediately in front of a young lady cash clerk... The new system .. has also given Mr Fallon more floor space in which to carry on his business, as the cash office is now upstairs instead of on the ground floor." Malvern Standard, 24 Aug. 1912, p. 3

MELBOURNE. Federal Emporium (George and George), Collins Street. "Cash railways are being introduced - an improvement upon those used in New York... The gold coin is conveted instantaneously by rail to a central cash receiver... These cash railways are in course of construction throughout the building." Weekly Times (Melbourne), 11 Jun. 1887, p. 7
• "The Collins-street Fire. Transformation of the Famous Equitable Stores into the new Federal Emporium... New cash railways." The Age (Melbourne), 16 Oct. 1889, p. 1

MELBOURNE. Arthur Fenton (Emporium), 143-145 Elizabeth Street. "At Fenton's Emporium... Unreserved sale by auction... Cash railway, cost £200, fitted for 2 floors." The Age (Melbourne), 31 Dec. 1898, p. 4

MELBOURNE. Fitzgerald Bros. (drapers), Errol Street. "The new 'cash railways' recently erected in the premises have given great satisfaction... We have to commend the enterprise of Messrs Fitzgerald Bros. on being the first to introduce them to North Melbourne." North Melbourne Advertiser, 11 Feb. 1888, p. 3
• "For sale, Lamson Ball Cash Railway System, 980 ft. of railway, 19 stations, complete with balls and cages. Can be seen in operation. Will sell sell as one lot or in sections." The Age (Melbourne), 31 Jan. 1920, p. 10
• "Lamson Cash Railway Service, 9 stations and desk, complete. Apply Mr Parry, Fitzgerald Bros." The Herald (Melbourne), 8 Jul. 1933, p. 31

MELBOURNE. Foy and Gibson, Collingwood. "Mark Foy's Collingwood direct special attention to a very ingenious and novel appliance now in use in their warehouse, namely, the Gravity Cash Railway... It is the first of the kind in the colonies and has been invented and patented by Mr McLellan of Albert Park." Herald (Melbourne), 17 Jun. 1886, p. 1
• "A small gravity cash railway has been introduced in the establishment of Messrs. Foy and Gibson, Collingwood, Melbourne. Similar contrivances [presumably Lamson's] are in use in many cities in the United States. This one has been adapted and patented by Mr. J. McLellan of Albert-park. The lines run along all the counters at a height varying from about 7 ft. to 10 ft. from the ground and are suspended from the roof by brass rods. There are in all six lines, the longest of which runs for 105 ft., in which distance a fall of 3 ft. 6 in. is necessary to enable the rolling stock to travel from end to end." Goulburn Herald, 17 Jun. 1886, p. 4
• "Messrs. Foy and Gibson conduct business on strictly cash principles... A most interesting feature of the establishment is the cash gravity railway... It is the invention of an American citizen, but Mr. J. Maclellan, a young Victorian with a turn for mechanic's, has greatly improved upon the original... There are seven lines running into the station and seven out. Over ninety balls are in use, and the lines total about twelve hundred feet in length." Table Talk (Melbourne), 23 Jul. 1886, p. 14
• "Messrs Foy and Gibson, of Collingwood, have an apparatus in their establishment with no less than 64 stations, and the cash run through this - mostly in small sums - during three days of one of their fairs amounted to £10,000." Otago Witness, 16 May 1889, p. 15
• [New building] "Tomorrow is .. the due date for completion of the great building enterprise... In this basement has been placed .. the Lamson service blower for cash tubes... No less than four miles of pneumatic tubing have been used, all Lamson tubes being concealed in columns and ceiling." The Herald (Melbourne), 26 Oct. 1936, p. 32
• "Foy & Gibson Limited require cashiers for their tube room and cash office." The Argus (Melbourne), 9 Nov. 1946, p. 35

MELBOURNE. Gaylards, 214-218 Bourke Street. "Big sale of shop fittings... Complete system of Lamson's Service Cash Railway, 17 stations, to be sold singly or in one lot." The Argus (Melbourne), 13 Oct. 1925, p. 2

MELBOURNE. George and George Pty., Collins Street. "Special cashiers had to be appointed when the cash tubes failed." The Argus (Melbourne), 3 Jul. 1925, p. 11

MELBOURNE. Harcourt & Parry (drapers, clothiers, boot and shoe dealers), 27-37 Park Street, South Melbourne. "Cash taken to office by cash railways, just laid." Record (Emerald Hill), 23 Apr. 1887, p. 2
starMELBOURNE. Hattam Stores, 383 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick. "The old Cash Railway they still have working there" Diary of an average Australian, 1/9/97. Photographs at Miles Lewis website and on Instagram. Video on YouTube

MELBOURNE. Hoopers, Brunswick. "The 'Detroit Cash railway' was operating from 1908, but the Lamson systems seemed to dominate the local market." Footscray Advertiser, Mar. 1908

MELBOURNE. Horsley Bros. and Co., 180 Bourke Street. "Wm. H. Edgar, under instructions from Horsley Bros. and Co., will sell by auction, mirrors, cash railway and desk, [etc.]" The Age (Melbourne), 23 Apr. 1907, p. 2

MELBOURNE. Ivy and Gibson. "At Messrs. Ivy and Gibson's, drapers, of Melbourne, during a fair lasting four days, the sum of £10,000 is said to have been taken along these cash railways." The Week (Brisbane), 1 Dec. 1888, p. 31. (This looks suspiciously like the account of Foy and Gibson above.)

MELBOURNE. M. King and Co. Pty., 194-196 Bourke Street. "The sale includes .. Lamson Paragon Cash System, with electric motor and compressor." The Argus (Melbourne), 7 Oct. 1930, p. 2

MELBOURNE. Kodak, 284 Collins Street. "Wanted to sell... 7-station cash railway... at Kodak's old premises." The Age (Melbourne), 13 Sep. 1935, p. 5
• Photograph of interior with pneumatic tube terminal. Victoria Museums Collections

MELBOURNE. Charles Lane (outfitters), Flinders Lane/ Elizabeth Street. "The establishment is provided with all the most modern equipments, including cash tubes throughout." The Herald (Melbourne), 5 May 1914, p. 2

MELBOURNE. Leviathan Stores, Swanston/Bourke Streets. "The whole building is fitted with the new pneumatic tube cash system... Opens its doors to the public on Friday, 16th May." Punch (Melbourne), 15 May 1913, p. 17

MELBOURNE. London Stores (merger of the London Tailoring Depot and the States Supply Stores) , 343-357 Bourke Street. "Grand opening in four days... Distinctive features of the store... Electric Cash Cable System." The Age, 7 May 1906, p. 2
• "Among the many building projects in Melbourne .. is that of the remodelling and extension of the business premises of the London Stores Limited... The very latest pneumatic tube cash system has been installed throughout." The Herald (Melbourne), 30 Nov. 1911, p. 3

MELBOURNE. Long and Morris. "Re Long and Morris's Cash Railway. As I claim to be the original inventor of the Pneumatic Cash Railway, and having applied for full patent of such I intend to defend such rights... C.J.Polain, Footscray. Independent (Footscray), 13 Aug. 1892, p. 2

MELBOURNE. Lucks Ltd., 183 Bourke Street. "Tenders are invited for the purchase of the business as a going concern or for the assets of Lucks Limited (in voluntary liquidation) consisting of ... Equity in Lamson Pneumatic Tube Service (17 tube installation)... The premises have for many years been well known to the public as a softgoods emporium." The Herald (Melbourne), 23 Mar. 1928, p. 19

MELBOURNE. Ludbrooks Pty., 270-272 Flinders Street. "In consequence of lease having been sold to Hartly Bros... Extensive unreserved auction sale of the fixtures, fittings .. comprising - Lamson's Cash Wire Railway. The Argus (Melbourne), 20 Nov. 1920, p. 4

MELBOURNE. George J. Lynch (clothiers and mercers), 41 Errol Street, North Melbourne. "Sales by Auction... The whole of the fixtures and fittings throughout the shop, including .. Cash Railway." The Argus (Melbourne), 3 Jul. 1926, p. 2

MELBOURNE. Maclellan and Co., Chapel St" reet, Prahran. "Fast-running cash railways have been installed." The Argus (Melbourne), 19 Dec. 1913, p. 14

MELBOURNE. McPhersons, 546 Collins Street. "We require an experienced girl for our pneumatic tube system." The Argus, 4 Dec. 1951, p.16

MELBOURNE. Melville and Mullen, 262 Collins Street. "Auction to-day... Ball race cash carrier." The Argus, 27 Jan. 1922, p.6

starMELBOURNE. Meyers (dept store) 314-336 Bourke Street. Pneumatic tube system. Many tubes remaining in the basement ceiling - about 30 in parallel in one corner - when I visited in Sept. 2004. Also prominent in level 2 ceiling - some cut off. No stations visible.
"The Lamson pneumatic tube cash conveying system was installed in the store in 1914 with the dispatch station in the basement and cash terminal stations on other floors fed by concealed tubing in the walls... The system at Myer consists of a series of embossed ornate chambers and shoots, with chrome-plated cast brass, leather valves, push rods and balancing gear. The system is largely intact, though steel tubing which originally connected to the store's various departments has been cut off at ceiling level. A secondary cash station is still extant in a storage area at the northern end of the fifth floor of the Bourke Street store. This ornate pneumatic tube system is extremely rare and is the only known example of its type to survive in situ in Victoria. Victorian Heritage Register: No. PROV H2100 (17 Mar. 2006). Photographs at Onmydoorstep website , High Riser blog .
Photo of preserved section on top floor on Flickr.
• Video showing a terminal now in the Coles Meyer collection at the Victoria State Library on YouTube. Meyers is reported to have installed over 40 miles of tubing.
• "Meyer's new premises in Bourke-street, Melbourne are nearing completion... There are .. Lamson pneumatic cash service, and the latest electric lighting." Bendigonian, 7 Jul. 1914, p. 7 (quoting The Draper of Australasia)
• "Workmen were engaged today in putting the finishing touches to the extensions to the basement of the Meyer Emporium... The cash tube rooms will be housed in the basement, and the 300 tubes will be linked by 40 miles of pipes with every department in the store. The carriers alone weigh 1½ tons." The Herald (Melbourne), 14 Aug. 1935, p. 20

MELBOURNE. Norman Bros. (printers and stationers) , Elizabeth Street. "H. Vivian Taylor.. invites tenders for purchase and removal of pneumatic tube installation, complete, including 5 H.P. D.C., 460 Volt Motor, Lamson True Circle Blower, Brass Tubing and Fittings." The Age (Melbourne), 25 Jan. 1930, p. 1

MELBOURNE. Parry, 40 Errol Street, North Melbourne. "Wanted to sell... Lamson Cash Railway, 9 stations, complete with desk." The Herald (Melbourne), 5 Jul. 1933, p. 14

MELBOURNE. Payne (drapers), Bourke Street. "Cashier. Wanted, young Girl, respectable, cash railway system." The Age (Melbourne), 23 Jun. 1890, p. 7

MELBOURNE. Rayners Prop.?, 143-146 Elizabeth Street. "Important auction sale of .. fixtures, fittings, &c... Lamson cash railway." The Age (Melbourne), 28 May 1927, p. 2

MELBOURNE. W.M. Richards (bootstore), 115 Swanston Street. "Auction sale of fixtures, fittings and furnishings ... Overhead cash railway and fittings... Under instructions from A.W. Barlow .. who has purchased the business of W.M. Richards and Co. Ltd., bootstore (in liquidation)." The Argus (Melbourne), 6 Aug. 1921, p. 2

MELBOURNE. Ryan's Filters (auto-parts shop), Elizabeth Street. "The [cashier's] desk was connected to the serving counters by a web of steel wire like spokes on a wheel... The receipt and cash was tucked in what appeared to be peanut butter jars, which were screwed into lids, suspended from the wires." Posting to alt.folklore.urban newsgroup, 1/5/01

MELBOURNE. Shannons, Errol Street, North Melbourne. "Cash Railway System, gravitation, 12 stations; £25; worth £200." The Argus (Melbourne), 25 Oct. 1919, p. 26

MELBOURNE. J. and R. Sniders, 318 Flinders Lane. "Sales by Auction... Lamson Paragon Cash Pneumatic Tube System of 7 Stations, Complete; 2¾ h.p. D.C. Westinghouse Electric Motor, 220 Volts, 1560 R.P.M." The Age (Melbourne), 9 Jan. 1926, p. 2

MELBOURNE. States Supply Stores, Bourke/Elisabeth Streets. "One of the latest time-saving contrivances introduced to the notice of the public is a cable cash railway, designed to supresede the various systems now in vogue... The cash-box is affixed to a strong cord cable, and runs on a steel end railway. The cable is driven by a one horse-power electric motor, and the cash-box may be run up inclines and around curves, etc., at the rate of 25 feet a second... The proprietors of the States Supply Stores have had their large establishment .. fitted with the apparatus." The Herald (Melbourne), 31 Mar. 1903, p. 2

MELBOURNE. L. Steinwehr, 37 Swanston Street. "Wanted to sell... Cash railway, cost £30; take £6; immediate removal." The Age (Melbourne), 5 Sep. 1903, p. 19

MELBOURNE. Treadways (drapers), Bourke Street. See court cases.

MELBOURNE. Treadways, Chapel Street, Prahran. "Cashiers, junior or senior, to operate pneumatic tube system." The Argus (Melbourne) 3 Mar. 1949, p.11

MELBOURNE. Walkers (drapers), 206 Glenferrie Road. "Walker's Stores .. have 24 Rapid Wire Cash Carrier Systems, working order; £8 per station, complete." Argus (Melbourne) 28 Sep. 1948, p.9

MELBOURNE. Thomas Warburton Pty., 384 Bourke Street. "Lady required to attend two cash tubes". The Age (Melbourne), 19 Apr. 1950, p. 15

MELBOURNE. Thos. Webb & Sons, 234-236 Collins Street. "On account of demolition of premises... Important auction sale... Lamson's cash tube, with electric motor." The Argus (Melbourne), 22 Feb. 1930, p. 2

MELBOURNE. R.L. Young. "Mr R.L. Young, the well known draper, etc., of Errol street, has recently had his business premises fitted with Lamson's Store Cash Railway, whichis the very latest improvement on the cash boy... The invention hails from America, but at present is in the hands of an English company, who, however, intend to float a colonial venture. Mr Young is the first to introduce this system into this city... The invention .. consists of two lines of aerial rails running from the cash desk to various 'stations' above the counters... One great advantage the invention possesses over the cash wire is that the vballs can be sennt one after another to the cash box, whereas under the wire system the return of the change box had to be awaited ere another journey could be made... In Mr Young's establishment there are 12 stations, 48 balls being in use, 4 of which are frequently sent away one after the other." North Melbourne Advertiser, 20 Jun. 1890, p. 2

MILDURA. W. Bowring & Co. Pty. "For sale - Cash Railway Stations, either single stations or more." Sunraysia Daily, 29 Nov. 1923, p. 4

MILDURA. Wilsons (Busy Corner). "For sale - Cash Railway System, two stations, in perfect working order, for sale cheap." Sunraysia Daily, 25 Nov. 1926, p. 6

MORWELL. Sharpe's Emporium, 190 Commercial Road. Established 1924 and ceased trading 1984. "Before I began work in the shop I remember it used to have a unique system of sending cash to the cashier in the office.  This was a a sort of flying fox arrangement where the money and docket was put in a tube and sent whizzing away overhead to the cashier who would send back the change if required.  We used cash registers by the time I worked there." Pooh's reflections

MOUNT ALEXANDER. E.D. Williams and Son. "The firm of E.D. Williams and Son are keeping well abreast of the times, their latest enterprise being the installation throughout their large premises of the ball system of cash railway... The work of installation has just been completed by the Lamson Store Service Co." Mount Alexander Mail, 17 Jun. 1910, p. 2

NATHALIA. Brown, Corke & Co. "Cash railways communicate from every department to the counting house." Numurkah Leader, 19 Sep. 1902, p. 5

NHILL. James Brown. "Tenders are invited .. for the purchase in one lot, as a going concern, of that old-established general storekeeper's business at Nhill carried on for many years by the late James Brown... Cash Railway System, £25." The Argus (Melbourne). 5 Aug. 1916, p. 23

star PORTLAND. Powerhouse Motor and Car Museum, Corner of Percy and Glenelg Streets. Working wire system. Graeme Bennett

PORTLAND. Thomson, Brake & Co. "New business premises. Opening day to-morrow... The cash railway system is another feature. There are three stations, terminating at an elevated cash desk immediately adjoining the manager's office. This system is the latest improved Premier pattern of the Lawson [sic] supply Co., and works with accuracy and quick despatch." Portland Guardian, 9 Oct. 1907, p. 3

QUEENSCLIFFE. Eddie George department store, Hesse Street. Wire system in 1980s.

RAINBOW. General Store. Rapid wire system. Photograph on Grey Nomads Forum

RICHMOND. M. Ball & Co., Swan Street. "It does remind me of the time we lived in Richmond as children and loved going into Dimmeys, and I think it was called Balls in Swan St. They had the vacuum type cylinders for sending the money to the cashiers office and we were fascinated with them."  Bev Walker in posting to AUS-VIC-GOLDFIELDS-L List, 17 May 2005
• "Balls was on the southwest corner of Swan and Church Streets, Richmond; and did have one of those mechanisms for carrying cash to a central cashier. It may have only closed around the the late 80s (?)." Walking Melbourne website
Photograph of exterior

RICHMOND. Dimelow and Gaylard. "A splendid building, 40 x 220, has been constructed on the site of the old building destroyed by fire... The latest pneumatic cash tubes have been fitted throughout at great expense." Richmond Guardian, 2 Mar. 1907, p. 2

starRICHMOND.Dimmeys, Swan Street. "Preserved remnants" of a wire system. (Douglas Beith). System was relocated from Balls - see above. "When I last visited the store about 3-4 years ago there were still some remnants of the overhead wire system in the eastern side - back half of the store... The cashier was on a podium in the centre - to the east side. Kevin Taig in Trams Down Under Archive, 26/12/05

RICHMOND. Ryans, Elizabeth Street.  "There was a tool and car part type shop up the top of Elizabeth St between Victoria Street and Flemington Road that had that sort of setup. Little canisters would be shot off up a guide wire by a spring powerd gun thing. The money and docket would be sent up by the sales person on the shop floor to cashiers in a high, central booth. Then the change and receipt would glide back down by gravity.  I think the shop may have closed for good during the late 1980's or early 1990's. I remember going there and buying something in the mid 1980's and the system was still in use." Walking Melbourne website

SALE. William Leslie, Foster Street. "In 1888 Leslie commenced business for himself as a general draper in Foster Street, Sale... with sales transactions being sped on overhead wires to the centrally located cashier." Australian Dictionary of Biography

SHEPPARTON. Co-operative Society. "After .. installing a cash railway system at a cost of £75 .. our society .. has shown a small profit." Shepparton Advertiser, 29 Nov. 1940, p. 1

starSWAN HILL. Wire system seen in action "fairly recently" Devonport Times, Jan. 2002

TRARALGON. Layton Bros. "Messrs. Layton Bros. are having the Lamson Store cash railway system installed in their premises. There will be a station at each counter in drapery, grocery, clothing, and ironmongery departments, and also in the show room. In this system a ball carries the cash and sends the docket to the cash desk." Gippsland Farmers' Journal, 16 Jan. 1914, p. 2

WARRNAMBOOL. Swinton and Sons Pty., Timor Street. "A very large portion of the extensive establishment of Swinton and Sons Pty. Ltd. .. has now been practically rebuilt... The elevated cash desk has 15 cash railway carrier wires radiating from it to the various departments." Warrnambool Standard, 19 Dec. 1917, p. 4
• Two carriers from pneumatic tube system now in collection of Warrnambool and District Historical Society. Victorian Collections website

WARRNAMBOOL. Youngers (dept. store), Liebig Street. Claimed to be the first wire system outside Melbourne - see CAMPERDOWN above.
• Rapid Wire car now in the collection of Warrnambool and District Historical Society. Victorian Collections website.

YARRA. Foy and Gibson, Smith Street, Collingwood. One of Australia's earliest department stores (Wikipedia). "A small gravity cash railway has lately been introduced in the establishment of Messrs Foy and Gibson, Smith street, Collingwood. Similar contrivances are in extensive use in many cities in the United States. This one has been adapted and patented by Mr J M'Lellan, of Albert park. The lines run along all the counters at a height varying from about 7 ft. to 10 ft. from the ground and are suspended from the roof by brass rods. There are in all six lines, the longest of which runs for l00 ft., in which distance a fall of 3ft. necessary to enable the rolling stock to travel from end to end.
There are two sets of rails on each line, one taking cash and sale notes up to the cashiers office, the other returning the change and receipts to the salesmen. This is attained by having the gradients suitably arranged. The vehicles are in the form of wooden balls, and the money is kept in the centre of the sphere by springs, in order that the centre of gravity may not be disturbed. The arrangements are most ingenious and seem perfect. By adopting this system the firm has been able to dispense with cash boys, and the business in the cashier's ofiice is carried on with much greater expedition." Argus, 12 June 1886, p. 11
• "Messrs Foy and Gibson .. have an apparatus in their establishment with no less than 64 stations, and the cash run through this .. during three days of one of their fairs amounted to £10,000." Auckland Star, 30 Apr. 1890, p.2
• "
While Francis Foy was absent on a prolonged buying mission, William Gibson, fascinated by the overhead cash-carrier system then coming into favour, installed one in the Smith st premises as a surprise for his partner on his return. However, it was with a wry sort of smile that Francis Foy beheld the new contraption. It was not because he was opposed to innovations. On the contrary, his reputation was that of a man ever on the look-out for new ideas in business. It was that he had not been consulted on a major item of expenditure." The Argus (Melbourne) 18 June 1949, p.5 S



starKORUMBURRA. Coal Creek Heritage Village. Two Rapid Wire lines from the Korumburra Butter Factory (one of the largest in the southern hemisphere) installed in the General Store. Suzanne Conlan

MELBOURNE. Museum of Victoria, Carlton. "Set consists of a Shanghai mechanism, a return trigger mechanism, a trolley with a cash cup, mounting brackets, cable and a turnbuckle... Made by Lamson Engineering Co., Box Hill, Victoria." Australian Museums & Galleries Online website. Not on display when I visited in Sep. 2004.


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