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Locations - West Australia





One of the earliest systems was Boan Brothers of Perth, probably from when they opened in 1895. They installed the first pneumatic tube system in the State (and second largest in Australasia) in 1906. The first cable system was stated to be at Hicks & Co., Freemantle in 1904: the parts had to be imported from England.

ALBANY. Drew, Robinson and Co. "Wanted. Girl for cash desk (tubes)." Albany Advertiser, 2 Mar. 1927, p. 2

BOULDER. Brennan Bros. "The cash railway system is in vogue between the cash vbox and the various counters." Kalgoorlie Miner, 24 Dec. 1902, p. 4

BUNBURY. E.M. Clarke. "The raison d'etre of the visit was to look into the working of a cash railway service which Mr. Clarke has installed... It is what is known as the cup system... A cash office has been erected in the main shop near the office and at this is situated the terminus of the four cash lines. One line leads from one end of the grocery counter to the cashier's box and another from the other end. Two lines run from the drapery side, one from each counter... It is the only cash system in use in the South West." Southern Times (Bunbury), 23 Mar. 1907, p. 5

BUNBURY. Thomas Hayward, Wollaston Street. "Yesterday our representative was invited to visit the old and well-known establishment of Thos. Hayward and Son .. and witness the inauguration at this popular warehouse of the Lamson electric cable system which has been installed during the past fortnight by Mr. H.C. Cambridge, the engineer for the Lamson Store Service Co., of Sydney... The system is on the lines of an electric car service, worked on an endless rope, and driven by a one-horse-power motor, the drive being direct off the motor on to a counter shaft. The counter shaft travels at the rate of 265 revolutions per minute... The cars run at the rate of about 1,000 feet per minute. " Bunbury Herald, 4 Feb. 1911, p. 4
" For sale: Lamson cash carrier System, 14 complete cash carrier units (overhead wire system), good order, inquiries and inspection invited. Thos. Hayward Pty Ltd. Bunbury." West Australian, 20 Sep. 1948, p.24

COOLGARDIE. Mutual Stores, Bayley Street. "In the shop in Bayley-street a Lamson's cash railway has just been installed by Mr. Wright, the representative of Lamson's Co. in Sydney. It is the first cash railway on the goldfields. Mr. Wright has erected a large number in Perth and Fremantle. There are six stations at the various counters, and the balls travel the length of the shop and back in half a minute. From the cash desk to the office the Rapid system is installed for conveting messages as well as cash." Western Australian Goldfields Courier, 1 Aug. 1896, p. 16

starCUE. Bells Emporium, Austin Street. Rapid Wire system. "A fine example of a country store which remains much as it was in its early days, complete with a now inoperative overhead money transfer system." Mount Magnet website. Photographs at Vintage Caravan blog

FREEMANTLE. Bradshaws. "The largest, most modern and most imposing addition to the mercantile houses of Freemantle is the recently completed departmental store erected in Adelaide-street by Messrs. Bradshaw, Ltd... The conunters are fitted throughout with the Standard pneumatic tube system, installed by Lamson's Store Service Co., of Sydney. This cash system .. is the only one of its kind in Freemantle." West Australian, 30 Mar. 1914, p. 8

FREMANTLE. R.B. Carter and Co., 48-50 Market Street. "Offers are invited for .. cash trolley system." Western Australian, 20 Nov. 1935, p. 11

FREMANTLE. Fisher Beard (drapers), Adelaide Street. "Immense clearing sale... Lamson pneumatic cash carrier, with 11 stations and complete with motor and blower."  West Australian, 29 Sep. 1928, p.3

FREEMANTLE. Greater Bradshaw's, Adelaide Street. "Monster auction sale... Lampson [sic] pneumatic dispatch tube cash system of seventeen stands, complete with office, tills, electric motor and blower." West Australian, 7 Aug. 1935, p. 21

FREEMANTLE. Hicks and Lissiman (White House), 97-99 High Street. "We (Hicks and Lissiman) are building new premises in High-street... We are having a temporary system known as the Premier or Catapult to begin with, but quite a new system, and the very latest, known as the Cable system will be installed in our new premises in about three months, as it will take that time for the plant to arrive from England." Daily News (Perth), 26 Jan. 1904, p. 3
• "Messrs J.A. Hicks and Co. .. invite the public to inspect the new cash system that is now installed there. The system is America's latest invention... Any one who has travelled on the Melbourne trams knows how the cars grip an endless cable that is constantly moving... This is precisely the principle of the Perfection Cable cash system now working so splendidly and satisfactorily at the 'White House'. " The Guardian (Claremont), 29 Oct. 1904, p. 2
"The general up-to-dateness of the emporium is never more clearly shown than in the working of Lampson's [sic] perfection cable cash system. In fact there is no other example of the system in Western Australia, and no better in the world, it being America's latest invention in cash systems." W.A. Record, 6 May 1905, p. 15

FREEMANTLE. M. Higham & Sons. "The installation of an 'American Cash Railway' in Fremantle at the establishment of Messrs. M. Higham & Sons, corner of High and Market-streets, took place yesterday... Each seller is provided with a hollow sphere which screws together in the centre. Into this ball the cash received at the counter is placed." West Australian (Perth). 30 Dec. 1892, p. 4

FREEMANTLE. New Economic Ltd. (drapers), 111-119 High Street. "Tenders are invited... Lamson pneumatic cash tube system, complete." West Australian (Perth), 26 Jun. 1931, p. 2
• "Liquidation sale .. new National cash tube system, with motor, complete." West Australian (Perth), 22 Jul. 1931, p. 10

GERALDTON. Alexander & Co. (importer, draper, grocer, etc.), Marine Terrace. "The merry hum of the cash railway is quite refreshing." Geraldton Advertiser, 30 Dec. 1895, p. 4

GERALDTON. The Big Store (Frank Green and Co.). "A cash railway is being placed in position overhead, experts having come up from Perth to instal it. As this is the first time the convenience has been seen in Geraldton, it is creating some interest, particularly among those who have not seen the apparatus working in Perth." Geraldton Express, 16 Dec. 1910, p. 3

GERALDTON. A.T. Davies. "For sale .. cash railway .. and abundance of other things." Geraldton Guardian, 9 Dec. 1922, p. 3

GUILDFORD. Colonial Stores. "The principle of pneumatic despatch is not new, but its application has been so much improved that it is now practically perfect. With characteristic enterprise, Mr. Wm. Padbury, of Guildford, has adopted this up-to-date system, the latest installation in Western Australia being at the Colonial Stores. It has been put in by the Lamson Store Service Co., Ltd., Sydney, under the supervision of their representative engineer, Mr. H. C. Cambridge... Throughout the system the air is constantly being exhausted so that a vacuum of 2in. is maintained... In Mr. Padbury's system there are 8 separate stations, while the vacuum is maintained by a 3.5 h.p. electric motor driving a blower, exhausting 210 cubic feet of air per minute. Special cylinders carry messages to the heads of the firm or the proprietor. Rings round the cylinders may be turned to show certain numbers corresponding with the private number of the person for whom the message is intended. These, on arrival at the central station, are dropped into the tube bearing the number indicated.
The system .. has already been installed in several other premises in Perth, notably Boan Bros., Brennan Bros., Chas. Moore, and Bon Marche." Swan Express (Midland Junction), 9 Jun. 1911, p. 3
• Padbury Stores Ltd. [presumably the same business] made application for the installation at their premises of a power meter for current to enable their working a pneumatic tube cash-carrying system. The motor to be used was of 2-horse power and 220 volts." Ibid., 14 Jul. 1916, p. 5

KALGOORLIE. Brennan Bros., Hannan Street. "Messrs Brennan Bros' new store will be completed about November 7... The inside store will have eight counters, and will be fitted up with the cash railway system, with eight stations." Kalgoorlie Miner, 3 Sep. 1898, p. 4
•"The firm have installed the only 'cash railway' on the Goldfields." Evening Star (Boulder), 27 Sep. 1901, p. 2
• "Largest and most magnificent emporium on the fields... One of the most remarkable of the new departures made by Brennan Bros. in their extended premises is the foot-power pneumatic tube cash patent... By a slight pressure of the foot, the receptacle containing the cash can be sent at almost lightning speed through a brass tube. Angles, height, and distance form no obstacle to the successful working of the instrument... It is a comparatively recent invention and only a few of the leading firms in the Eastern States have as yet adopted it. Brennan Bros. have been the first to introduce it to Westralia. The Sun (Kalgoorlie), 13 Sep. 1903, p. 11
• "The dockets reaching the desk nearest to every quarter of the hour .. will have the money order enclosed .. on return from the desk through the medium of the cash railway." Kalgoorlie Miner, 17 Jul. 1907, p. 1
• "Sale of one of Kalgoorlie's leading business premises... B. Leslie .. will sell, on the premises .. cash railway to all counters." Kalgoorlie Miner, 17 May 1930, p. 7

KALGOORLIE. R.D. McKenzie, corner of Hannan and Maritana streets. "The installation of the Lamson Perfection Cable System at the new and extensive premises of Messrs. R. D. McKenzie and Co., Ltd., at the corner of Hannan and Maritana streets, Kalgoorlie, furnishes evidence of a convincing nature that the management have determined to do all that lies in their power to facilitate the speedy transaction of business in their large establishment. Several hundred feet of tramways for the conveyance of cash from the counters of the various departments on the ground floor to the receiving office in the centre of the upstairs showrooms, traverse the place in all directions. Altogether, apart from the usefulness of the system, the tramways lend a decidedly ornamental effect to the interior arrangements of the commodious shops. The fittings for the due carrying of the cables and trams consist in the main of malleable steel polished to the utmost degree of nicety. Customers who choose to watch the movements of the assistants at the counters when it is desired that cash should be despatched to the receiving office and change sent back in return, will not take long to discover that the system is really anadaptation of the principles for working the cable trams with which the inhabitants of Melbourne, Sydney, and other big centres of population have become familiar. Probably the one exception is that the passenger trams are not called upon to execute the seemingly wild manoeuvres of the cash trams, which pass rapidly around corners, upstairs and downstairs, out into the far beyond, and back again in an incredibly short space of time, and with the greatest of ease and celerity. All the travelling is accomplished without noise, bustle or confusion. Everything runs like clockwork. The apparatus is distinguished by its simplicity. The small army of assistants at Messrs. McKenzie and Co.'s find no difficulty in its manipulation.
Three lines of endless cable have been installed in the building. They are operated by a one horse-power electric motor, which is enclosed in a polished cabinet adjoining the cash office upstairs. The motor sets moving a belt, which carries along to a counter-shaft under the cash clerk's desk. Wheels are attached to the counter-shaft. The endless cables 'begin' upon them. An assistant at a counter in any one of the shops on the ground floor may wish to forward cash to and get change back from the receiving office. He puts the cash in a specially constructed box and places the latter on a cable-car, touches a lever and the thing is off to the cashier, who opens the box, takes out the contents, puts in the change, and gives the car a little push. Before a stuttering man could say 'Jack Robinson' the change reaches the counter, and is handed to the waiting customer. The only limit to the system is that the apparatus does not perform the duty of a lightning calculator or deposit the change gently and politely in the customer's pocket.
Mr. R. D. McKenzie, the managing director, who was determined upon securing a thoroughly efficient mechanical aid to the quick despatch of business, was very much impressed by the wonderful time-saving capabilities of the Lamson Perfection Cable System. Hence the present installation. Consider for one moment the speed at which the contrivance runs on an ordinary work day at the establishment. A box travels along the cable at the rate of 21ft. per second — or, say, a distance of 100 yards is negotiated in a little more than 14 seconds. It is stated that in the course of business at Messrs. McKenzie and Co.'s the time occupied in despatching the box and receiving change in return is much under the half-minute,' and more often than not the feat is gone through in 20 seconds. As has been mentioned there are three cables on the premises. They all communicate with the receiving office. No. 1 line has three 'home stations,' with six cars; No. 2 line, two stations, with four cars; and No. 3 line, three stations, with six cars.
The system has been installed by Mr. W. G. Haslett, an engineering representative of the Lamps and Stores [sic] Service Company, 234 Clarence-street, Sydney." Kalgoorlie Miner, 19 May 1905, p.6

KALGOORLIE. Montgomery Brothers, Hannan Street. "In 1902 they established a store in Kalgoorlie... Montgomery's operated as an emprorium, stocking furnishings, manchester and clothing. The distinctive interior featured an arched canopy supported on cast iron columns. It operated a Lampson [sic] Rapid-Wire Service with ten lines; a flying fox system of cash service, used before cash registers... This building has operated as a restaurant since 1998 and has adopted the name Monty's." Kalgoorlie Tourism Brochure
• "Yesterday afternoon the additions to Montgomery Bros.' Colosseum stores, at the corner of Hannan and Porter streets, were formally opened... A cash railway system, now en route from Sydney [is] to be installed." Kalgoorlie Miner, 12 Oct. 1906, p. 6
•"Montgomery Bros was also famous for the system they used to organise their money, it was called The Lamson Rapid Wire System, named after the inventor... There were many other stores that had this system, but here in Kalgoorlie, Montgomery’s were only one of three that only had one centre cash point." Open website

KATANNING. Central Store (William Rogers), Clive Street. "Central Store improvements. - Lamson and Co's Cash Railway has just been installed throughout the Central Store, and is expected to be in full running early next week." Great Southern Herald (Katanning), 1 Oct. 1910, p. 2

KATANNING. Richardsons. "At the invitation of Messrs. Richardson and Co. a large number of ladies inspected their newly rearrayed departments, following on the addition of the new wing to their extensive business premises. Great interest was manifested in the spacious showrooms and millinery department, and in the new installation of Lamson's rapid cash carrier. " West Australian, 4 Oct. 1910, p.5

MOORA. Wm. Padbury Ltd. "Mr Jas. Male, J.P., manager of the Moora branch of Wm. Padbury Ltd., is about to sever his connection with the town... Mr Nale has seen many improvements effected .. cash railway, etc., having been installed." Midlands Advertiser (Moora), 2 Jan. 1914

MOORA. W.S. Ralston. "It is our pleasing duty to announce extensive additions to these enterprising stores... All the latest improvements, including a Lawson [sic] cash railway." Midlands Advertiser (Moora), 1 Aug. 1913, p. 6

NARROGIN. Narrogin Trading and Agency Co. "Owing to certain alterations in the premises, the Narrogin Trading and Agency Co. has found it necessary to install the Lamson cash ball tramway system... Mr. Cullen, the managing director, is to be congratulated on this latest enterprise which, we might add, has entailed an outlay of about £60." Narrogin Observer, 13 Jul. 1912, p. 2

NORTHAM. Beehive. "The catapult system of cash railways has been installed, and twelve large handsome counters are a feature in the fittings." Northam Advertiser, 4 Jun. 1913, p. 2

NORTHAM. Universal Providers (W.H. Foreman). "B.M. Solomon, Auctioneer, will offer by public auction .. general plant consisting of .. cash register, cash railway." Northam Advertiser, 17 Dec. 1924, p. 2

PEMBERTON. State Saw Mills. "Tenders are invited for purchase and removal of Cash Carrier System installed at our Pemberton Store." West Australian, 19 Jan. 1953, p.20

PERTH. Boan Bros (dept. store), Murray Street/Wellington Street. Opened 1895, enlarged 1905 and acquired by Coles Myer in 1984.). "There are no delays in the cash railway system in operation in the premises of Boan Bros." [Perth] Daily News, 23 May 1896, p. 4
• "One of the great attractions to-day will be the opening of the pneumatic tube system for carrying the cash from the customer to the office. As usual, Boan Bros. are first in the field with any novelty for the convenience of their customers, also in facilitating business. This is the second largest plant in Australasia, the tubing alone being about three miles in length, and the cash is driven through by a 20-horse-power electric motor, at the rate of 25 feet per second." West Australian, 21 Jul. 1906, p. 3
• "Visit Boan Bros.' new emporium and watch 18 cashiers at work on the latest system for lifting cash." Southern Times (Bumbury), 9 Aug. 1906, p. 4
• "The new premises of Messrs. Boan Bros., in Perth, have now been open for business for about ten days... The opening of the biggest store in Western Australia has furnished an excuse for another shopping tour... The building comprises six floors... The pneumatic money tube installation, by which al the money taken is sent to one centre and the change returned with much despatch, is the second largest in the Commonwealth." Western Mail (Perth), 22 Nov.1912, p. 46
"There are two pneumatic cash systems in operation right throughout the Emporium, doing speedy and most efficient work." [Perth] Daily News, 5 Oct. 1917, p. 19
• "In Perth, at present, the main topic of interest as far as buildings are concerned is the construction of the mammoth additions to the already distinctive emporium of Boans Ltd. .. The pneumatic tube system, as at present installed, is to operate, and already work has been commenced on improving and augmenting the existing apparatus." [Perth] Sunday Times, 17 Feb. 1935, p. 12
• "The new portion is more modern internally than the older section... Cash tubes have been hidden between floors; in the old building these run along the surface." Western Mail, 13 Aug. 1936, p. 17
• "Before the introduction of cash registers, Boans had some twenty miles of tubing as part of its pneumatic cash system." David J. Hough. From clogs to clogs in three generations: the rise and fall of Boans Ltd, 1895-1986. (Ph.D. thesis, 2012), p. 105

PERTH. Bon Marche, (Hay Street/Murray Street. Bought by David Jones in 1954.) "Wanted, man to erect ball system cash railway. Apply Bon Marche Stores." West Australian, 29 Feb. 1908, p. 16
• Pneumatic tube system was installed by 1911 - see "GUILDFORD.Colonial Stores".

PERTH. Brennan Bros., 706-710 Hay Street. "The go-ahead energetic goldfields drapers, Messrs. Brennan Brothers, have purchased the business of Bradshaw and Hall... They will install the tube system of cash railway, run by an electric motor." Evening Mail (Freemantle), 26 May 1906, p. 2
• "The first docket for £1 reaching our cash desk, through the medium of the cash railway, shall become the winner." West Australian, 30 Jun. 1906, p. 5
• See "GUILDFORD.Colonial Stores". Photo of exterior.
• "Auctions... On the premises, Brennan's Ltd. (in liquidation)... Thousands of pounds worth of modern fixtures and fittings. Cash tube system with Lamson blower< Westinghouse English 5 h.p. motor and Star Delta Switchboard and 3 Cut-outs." West Australian, 9 Apr. 1932, p. 20

PERTH. Harold Colvin, 28-29 A.M.P. Chambers, St George's Ter. "Cash Railway System - five stations. Best offer." West Australian, 11 Mar. 1926, p. 17

PERTH. Economic Stores. "The Economic Stores Ltd. require senior female cashier for cash tubes." West Australian, 18 Jun. 1946, p. 10

PERTH. Foy and Gibson. Opened 1895. "She saw the prisoner make out the bill, and put the two soverigns in the bill, He then put the lot in a box, which was sent away on the cash railway." West Australian, 21 Mar. 1901, p. 7

PERTH. S. Freedman and Co., Hay/William Streets. Closed 1925. "John Wrixon Black .. was placed on trial at the Criminal Court on Tuesday .. being a servant of S. Freedman and Co., Ltd... Accused: I just happened to notice Abraham stamping a cash receipt without sending it up to the cashier along the cash railway." Daily News (Perth), 17 Jun. 1910, p. 3.
Photograph of exterior.

PERTH. G. McIntyre and Co., 700 Hay Street. "Auction sale... The whole plant of the above will be offered, comprising .. cash railway." West Australian, 27 Aug. 1931, p. 8

PERTH. Charles Moore, Hay/Murray Streets. "Two large stores have adopted the pneumatic cash railways - Charles Moore and Co. and Boan Bros. - and already the ordinary cash railway is out of date. A little waggon conraining the bill and the cash is put through a little door in a tube and the door closed. Presentlt the same waggon, containing the bill and the change, is dropped into a basket. It is all done swiftly, silently, and as if by magic." Geraldton Guardian, 9 Jan. 1908, p. 1
• "
The grand opening of Moore's new store on Monday next... A highly perfected system of vacuum cash conveyor tubes leading from a centralised cash desk has been installed throughout the Store. The containers travel 30 feet a second to trained cashiers who hasten the return of the change at an equally fast rate." Daily News (Perth), 17 Apr. 1929, p. 2

PERTH. J.J. Pellew and Co., High Street. "The firm .. moved into its new emporium some days ago... The Lamson cash railway system traverses lines to the cashier's cabinet from all parts of the establishment." West Australian, 25 May 1909, p. 2

PERTH. Robertson and Moffat Successors, Hay Street and Murray street. "From Monday next .. Robertson and Moffat's successors, whose Murray-street business was confined mainly to furniture and tailoring, will then cut into the general drapery trade... That they intend to do it on up-to-date lines.. can be seen by a glance through their fine, new and centrally situated emporium, next to the Moana Cafe[?], in Hay-street and extending right through to Murray-street... Throughout the shop, the firm intends to install the pneumatic tube cash system, as being the most modern and convenient. At present, however, it is impossible to obtain this, so a rapid wire cash system is being put in as a temporary expedient." West Australian, 13 Dec. 1919, p.12. Became Aherns on 15 May 1922.

PERTH. R. Saleeba. "For sale... Two lines of Lamson Cash Railways, been in use six months only, cheap." West Australian, 24 Jan. 1913, p. 11

PERTH. E.C. Shenton, Hay/William Streets. "It was not luck that the opening days of the farewell sale should eclipse all previous records... The gold simply poured in - in fact it broke down the firm's cash railway. Daily News (Perth), 3 Jan. 1903, p. 7

PERTH. Stringer, 85a William Street. "Five stations Lamson Cash Railway, clear cheap." West Australian, 8 Dec. 1917, p. 11. (It was advertised again on 8 Mar. 1919.)

PERTH. Weidenbach & Co. (drapers), Hay Street. "The latest system of cash railways facilitates business." Inquirer and Commercial News (Perth), 15 Jan. 1897, p. 4
• "By agreement dated August 19, 1902, the appellents, a foreign corporation, leased to Weidenbach & Co., a firm of drapers in Perth, a patent cash railway." Australian Digest (Privy Council, Judicial Committee, 1987?) p.42

PERTH. White House (J. A. Hicks & Co.),97-99 High Street, Freemantle. "As usual Messrs J. A. Hicks and Co. have made extensive preparations .. for big business during the month of December... The public are cordially invited to walk through the up-to-date White House Stores and inspect the latest and fastest cash system in the world, known as Lamson's perfection cable system, and the only one in the State." Daily News (Perth), 3 Dec. 1904, p. 1

PERTH. H.N.Williams (draper), Rokeby Road, Subiaco. "Tenders will be received .. for .. Four Station Cash Railway System." West Australian, 23 Feb. 1915, p. 1

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