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Locations - Canada

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Ste Anne de Bellevue: D'Aoust & Cie

BATHURST, NB. Kents. Kent’s department store was a fixture of downtown Bathurst and was well known for its use of a pneumatic tube cash system that was among the last to be used in Canada. Rather than having a cash register at every counter, all transactions were handled by a central cashier who took payments and returned change through a tube system that connected to all the departments on all three floors. Closed in September 1990 after being in business for 106 years. The main building was subsequently torn down. Times & Transcript (Moncton) 9 July 1990, p. 1

CALGARY, Abl. Hudson's Bay Company, corner of McTavish Street and Stephen Avenue. "In front of the office, 'the cash girl's stand' which made use of Whiting's cash railway system, was installed by Peddie and Erskine of Winnipeg." Henry C. Klassen. Eye on the future: business people in Calgary and the Bow Valley, 1870-1900. Univ. of Calgary Pr., 2002, p.282

CALGARY, Alb. Hudson's Bay Company, 200 8th Avenue S.W. Built 1912-13. Pneumatic tube system. Calgary Library website. [Not sure if this was a successor to the above.]

CARDSTON, Alb. W.H.Steed & Co. "Cardston merchant installs cash carriers. W.H.Steed & Co., Cardston's largest department store, are rearranging their office quarters and installing an up-to-date cash carrier system." Lethbridge Herald, 5 Apr. 1921, p.8

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI. Moore, McLeod and Co, drapers. Cash carrier in 1975. This England, Summer 1975.

CHATHAM, NB. J.D.Creaghan, Water Street. Opened in 1896. "In the fall the Kinbell cash system was introduced in the store. Containers took cash along a single wire rack to the cashier, who made change and returned the container to the clerk." Atlantic Advocate, June 1975

CHESLEY, Ont. Liebacke and Heinmiller store. Wire system in use until 1960s, now in Bruce County Museum. Bruce County website

DUTTON, Ont. T. Hockin Co. (general store). Wire system. Don Hockin

EDMONTON, Alb. Birks, Jasper Avenue/104th Street. Building opened 1929. Pneumatic tube system. Edmonton Real Estate Weekly vol. 20, no. 21, 23 May 2002

EDMONTON, Alb. Revillion Frères, 10221-104 Street. Pneumatic tube system. Store was built 1912-13. Edmonton: Old Faces - New Places. Heritage Fair Research Package

GRAND FALLS, Nfld. Royal Stores. "What better way to have fun than to go into the Royal Stores and watch the overhead wire-run cash system that took money in a container to the office upstairs." Advertiser (Grand Falls) website

HALIFAX, NS. Cragg Bros. "Standing eight storeys and basement, the building is a veritable skyscraper for Halifax... Equipment of the most modern type has been installed throughout... Electric cash carriers and an inter-department phone system are other features." Hardware Merchandising, Jan.-Apr. 1913

HALIFAX, NS. Eatons, Barrington Street. ?Pneumatic tube system. Nova Scotia Stamp Club Newsletter, 34(6), Feb. 2005, p.1

HALIFAX, NS. Robert Simpson, Chebucto Road. ?Pneumatic tube system. Nova Scotia Stamp Club Newsletter, 34(6), Feb. 2005, p.1

HAMILTON, Ont. The Right House, 35 King Street East. "It was the first in Hamilton to install the overhead cash-carrying system." Urbancity website

HERBERT, Sask. Kroeker (dept. store), 701 Herbert Avenue. Built in 1911. "It had a Lambert [sic] cable cash system." Building demolished in 1941. Herbert Town website

KINGSTON, Ont. Steacy & Steacy. "After an experience of over twenty years in handling Cash Carriers .. we take very great pleasure in stating that after our experience with the system of 'Gipe Cash and Package Carrier' which you recently installed in our store, we must express our entire satisfaction with same. As you, no doubt, are aware we disposed of our Lamson Endless Cable system to replace it with your Carrier; and we are very much pleased indeed to have made the change." Dry Goods Review, 1910

starKITCHENER, Ont. Budds (dept store), 165 King Street West. Pneumatic tube system. "Of never ending entertainment to adults and children alike" Posting to soc.genealogy.uk+ireland newsgroup 20/11/1996. "The Kitchener store is one of the last in Ontario to use a pneumatic cash carrier system. It was installed 63 years ago. The Budds considered replacing it with electronic cash registers but abandoned the idea. 'Our system is faster and we use the time saved to spend with our customers'". Ser-Charlap Family Newsletter vol.6,no.3, Sept. 1995

starKINGSTON, Ont. Kingsmills (dept store), 130 Dundas Street. "Preserved to this day, to the delight of both shoppers and tourists, is the pneumatic steel and brass tube system used to carry paperwork and change throughout the store, a 21st century rarity. The precursor to today's cash registers, it's still an efficient way to exchange foreign currency, correct errors and authorize credit at a central cashier. And a trip from the first to the fourth floor takes only about 17 seconds." Furniture World Magazine website and Kingsmills' website

LETHBRIDGE, Alb. Co-op. "The co-op installed a cash carrier system in their store on Friday last, which is now working most satisfactorily. It was purchased from the Hazard Store Service Co., Toronto." Lethbridge News, 15 Feb. 1900, p.1

starLONDON, Ont. Kingsmills. "The present building .. dates to the 1930's... Other unique features of the building include a pneumatic tube system to send paperwork and change throughout the store... These features have survived over the years in a conscious effort to maintain the character and elegance of the building." Kingsmills website

MEDICINE HAT, Alb. Marshall Hardware Co. "For sale.. one Lamson three point cash carrier, almost new, in first class condition. The Marshall Hardware Co., Limited, Medicine Hat, Alta." Lethbridge Herald, 8 Nov. 1909, p.4

MISSION CITY, B.C. Des Brisays (dept. store). Opened in early/mid 1920s. Pneumatic tube system. Office was on second floor. Mission City website

MONTREAL, Que. Colonial House (dept store), St Catherine Street. "Colonial House opened on 21 April 1891, and newspapers were immediately lavish in their praise. 'A dry goods palace'', said the Montreal Gazette. 'A palatial store' was the headline of Montreal Star... Both articles commented on the novel system by which cash was conveyed to the main cashier's office in metal containers which travelled on an overhead system of cables operated by an electric motor. One writer commented that the system was as intriguing to men as it was to little boys... [caption:] Henry Morgan's Colonial House, the first major department store on St Catherine Street... Since the early 1970s it has been the Hudson's Bat Company." Alexandra Palmer (ed.) Fashion: a Canadian perspective. (Toronto: Univ. Toronto, 2004) p.206

MONTREAL, Que. DuPuis Freres, corner of Saint André and Sainte Catherine streets. Pneumatic tube system with magnetic separator. Lamson advertisement in Chain Store Age, June 1949.

MOOSE JAW, Sask. Joyner's General Store, 30 Main Street North. Cable system. In 2003 described as "the world's largest operational Lamson Cash Carrier System installed in 1915". It had over 1.000 feet of track on three levels. Shop closed in 1994 and became an Antiques Emporium. Photographs on Luxegen website. Very sadly the building burned down on New Year's Day 2004 and it was not known if anything could be salvaged. Leader-Post (Regina) 5 Jan. 2004.
• "Joyner's was a delightfully old-fashioned small family department store which had been operating in town for many years... Stepping into Joyner's was like stepping back in time; nothing much had changed from the Edwardian era... Little baskets whizzed along wires overhead, bearing change to and from the central cashier's podium, to the delight of dogs and small boys." James B. Lamb. Press gang: post-war life in the world of Canadian newspapers. (Toronto: Macmillan, 1979) p. 82
• Disney are alleged to have made an offer for it to put in their shop at Eurodisney. Also photograph of exterior. Panoramio website

star MOOSE JAW, Sask. Cash Cable Café. "Still features the complicated cash carrier system used by department stores, before the invention of the till, that carried shoppers' cash by cable to the accountants upstairs. It's one of only two in the world still operating." (Presumably parts from Joyners' Store.) Travelingo website

NAPANEE, Ont. Hinch & Co. "Importers and Dealers in Dry Goods, Carpets, Millinery, General House Furnishings and Furs. Theirs is the largest and best appointed dry goods establishment in Central Ontario... It is .. fitted with the Lamson Cash Railway system... They occupy nearly two-thirds of the Albert Block, one of the most imposing business structures in Napanee... 'Cheapside', as the firm have christened their mammoth establishment." Saturday Globe [Toronto], 25 Nov. 1893

OTTAWA, Ont. The C. Ross Co. "The Package Carrier System recently installed by you [sc. Gipe Carrier Co.] is entirely satisfactory, we appreciate also the manner in which it has been installed." Dry Goods Review, 1910

starOWEN SOUND, Ont. McKay Bros., 942 2nd Ave. E. "Perhaps the most iconic part of the building, and something that many remember it for, was its money rail, a track system used to send payments and invoices back and forth between the front desk and a second-floor office. The system wasn't operating when Mundle purchased the building, but he was hoping to have part of it spinning when the co-op holds its opening on Friday. 'We are getting the motor all redone and we are getting new bushings and pulleys and everything made,' said Mundle. 'We are going to try to get at least one part of it going around and around like it used to.' Owen Sound Sun Times, 3 Feb. 2016
•  The building was designed in 1905 by Forster and Clark of Owen Sound, for the Ryan Brothers dry goods business... In 1924, it was acquired by the McKay Brothers, who had a previous location on main street. [Equipment] last owned by Larry Lerch, who owned the building in 2012. Now in Commercial Equipment Collection, Grey Roots Museum and Archives. Photograph of parts removed showing it was a Lamson cable system.

PETERBORO, Ont. Turnbull (general store). George Street and Simere. "Later the metal containers shooting along overhead wires were installed." Turnbull clan website

PICTON, Ont. A. Bristol & Son (dry goods emporium). "Mr. Hazard Bristol has been in partnership with his father since 1897, and in the conduct of this store employs the cash carrier system." Pioneer life on the Bay of Quinte, including genealogies of old families and biographical sketches of representative citizens (190?), p.164

PONOKA, Alb. L.B.Matischs jewellery store, Railway Street. Built 1910. Later became Edwards grocery store and in 1928 James and Mace Brodys dry goods and ready-to-wear business. In 1978 became a restaurant. Pneumatic tube system. Ponoka website

PORT HOPE, Ont. Turnbull General Store. "The clerks took their sales money to the cashier’s office in the center of the store to get their receipts and charge. Later the metal containers shooting along overhead wires were installed." Turnbull Clan website

PASPÉBIAC, Que. Charles Robin Co. (general store). This was the largest in the Robin chain. Cash ball system shown clearly in photograph of 1908. Jersey Museum

QUÉBEC. Comptoir Emmaus (thrift shop), St-Joseph E. "Four giant floors of inexpensive used clothing, books, furniture and housewares... Be sure to check out the second-floor pneumatic-tube system for making change!" Emma McKay. Montreal & Quebec City Colourguide. 3rd ed. (Halifax N.S.: Formac) p.137

QUÉBEC. Syndicat de Québec (dept. store) Boulevard Charest. Pneumatic tube system with magnetic separator. Lamson advertisement in Chain Store Age, June 1949. Store was rebuilt in 1949, closed in 1981 and converted into an office block.

REGINA, Sask. Met Store. "The Met store on the 1800 block of Scarth St had a cable system for sending large bills up to the main office ($10.00 and up). The six cash counters on the floor carried a very small float for change... The Met store moved to the New Coop Shopping Mall on McCarthy and Rochdale, 1985?? and the cable cash system was not employed after the move." Mick West on Facebook 9/6/16

starSAINTE-ANNE-DE-BELLEVUE, Montreal, Que. D'Aoust & Cie, 73 Sainte-Anne Street. Cable carrier. Photograph here and on Barclay Fortin blogspot. Video of the system functioning for the firm's 115th anniversary.
• "If you are a new customer, you will be dumbfounded to see your cash and bill bundled into a metal cylinder, clipped onto two vibrating wires and whisked up and away along the ceiling with a muted clackety-bang-squeek. The mind-boggling variety of goods and the 1924 Lamson cash-carrier are just two trade marks of the store known to French Canadians as Dow-oo's". Montreal Gazette, 11 Mar. 1971, p.23

St. JOHN, N.B. Manchester, Robertson & Allison, King and Germain Streets. "The many separtments .. are now fitted with the Lamson cable cash system, the latest thing of its kind." St John Daily Sun, 11 Dec. 1900, p.14

ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. James Baird Ltd., Water Street. Lamson tube system. Report in Atlantic Guardian

STONY PLAIN, Alb. Jacob Millers General Store and Post Office. "The cash system used in this store consisted of a number of pulleys. The clerks would pulley the money up to the accountant on the top floor who would make the change and pulley the money back down again." Stony Plain Virtual Tour

starSOUTHAMPTON, Ont. Bruce County Museum, 33 Victoria Street N.. Wire system, taken from Liebacke & Heinmiller's store, Chesley. Bruce County website

SYDNEY, N.S. Crowells (dept. store). "Oh, those pneumatic money tubes." Kijiji website

SYDNEY MINES, N.S. British Canadian Co-operative Soc. (Groceries and hardware on ground floor). "The central store has a floor space of 15,555 square feet, and consists of basement and two floors. The ground floor is devoted to the sale of groceries, provisions and domestic hardware. On entering the store there is found on the left-hand side the office for the receipt of the cash carriers, and recording cash takings." Emerson P. Harris. Co-operation: the hope of the consumer. (New York: Macmillan, 1919)

TORONTO, Ont. Eatons.
• "In 1887, at the urging of his son Edward, Timothy Eaton installed a system of overhead cash carriers throughout the store. Dispensing with 'the noise and bustle of cash boys .. the automatic conveyors .. do the work of conveying packages and cash in the same basket noiselessly and effectively.' This ingenious system was introduced in the early 1880s by an American company and within a decade could be found in progressive stores throughout North America and Great Britain. Joy L.Santink. Timothy Eaton and the rise of his department store. (Totonto: Univ. Toronto, 1990), p.110. "On each occasion [of expansion] the most up-to-date machinery was installed in all buildings: elevators, pneumatic tubes for transporting cash from the customers to the central cashier desk in the basement." Ibid. p.143. Photograph of central cash office, c.1904, with pneumatic tubes.
• "Eaton's women at work on the pneumatic cash system." Caption in Eaton's Fall/Winter catalogue 1894-95, p.4
• "The death of Mr. Timothy Eaton... Deceased born at Clougher, Ballymena... All business stopped... Strange to hear the swish and thud of the cash carriers cease at noonday, and the deft-fingered girls idle." Larne Times, 23 Feb. 1907, p. 3
• "Eatons and Simpsons had vacuum tubes all over the place. The clerk stuck the money, cheque or credit card with the written order into the tube. It whooshed away and came back with your change moments or minutes later with a kerplunk into a basket. They still used it into the late 1950s for credit cards, cheques, large denomination bills or anything else those first NCRs could not handle. Many smaller stores also used them. 'Hownow' in posting to tor.eats newsgroup, 7 Feb. 2003.
• 'The mysterious Mr X' pointed out that Visa wasn't introduced until 1968: earlier the store issued metal discs to credit customers.
• "I worked at Eaton's in the late 80's to early 90's and the pneumatic tubes were used to get change from the central cash, as well as depositing the day end cash... I believe the cah office was on the 6th floor and it was really the most efficient way to exchange money rather than schlepping up and down with a tube full of cash.' 'Missmouse' in postings to tor.eats, 7-8 Feb. 2003.

TORONTO, Ont. Rice Lewis & Son. "Having used your new 'Gipe' Cash Carriers for the past six months we frankly state that they are very efficient in every way, and are giving us perfect service. The speed, positive catch and ease of operation are features that appeal to us strongly." Dry Goods Review, 1910

TORONTO, Ont. Simpsons. See TORONTO: Eatons above.

TORONTO, Ont. R. Walker & Sons, 33-43 King Street East. "We have justly earned the title, the largest retail store in Canada... The appointments - .. Electric cash carriers." Toronto Daily Mail, 1 Nov. 1892, p.5

VANCOUVER, B.C. C.C. Store. "The C C Store had one of these systems. Instead of a cash register at the check-out stand, the clerk would take your cash and the ticket, put it into the wooden container and send it up to the cashier upstairs behind the half-wall like in your second photo. The cashier would put the correct change back into the wooden container and send it back to the clerk on the main floor. It was quite the scene to watch in action!" Alexander-Slocum REMAX team in posting to Gary Coles blog, 3/1/10

VANCOUVER, B.C. Spencers (dept. store), Hastings Street. "A neat system of payment in the meat department downstairs had customers tuck their money for a purchase into a little machine that whizzed on overhead wires and returned with their change." Senior Living Magazine website

WALKERTON, Ont. Stephen Bros. "He [Harry Stephen] installed a unique system to handle the cash received from the customers along each side of the store... Overhead, above the counters, was a double wire track system, between which were suspended small wooden containers called cups. The tracks went from full length of the store on each side and ended at the cashier's office, up three steps at the back of the store. For years, Miss Mary McIntee was the cashier. Miss McIntee had the only money in the store to make change for customers. As the clerks made a sale, the money presented by the customer was placed in the cash cups above (the size of a large tumbler) along with the bill of sale. The cup was then twisted into the overhead receiver on the track. The clerk pulled a dangling handle which operated a spring that sent the container flying along the track to Miss McIntee's office. Miss McIntee unclipped the money container, made the right change, then sent this back to the clerk by the same route. No one had access to the store's money but the cashier, so mistakes were kept to a minimum." SouthwesternOntario.ca website

WALLACEBURG, Ont. Deans (dry goods), 412 James Street. "Later he [Grant Dean] moved to his first employer's location on James Street and built a strong reputation in the made-to-measure men's clothing trade. The popular firm that featured a cable cash system was taken over by Ralph Dean and operated until 1977." Wallaceburg: faces and places. (Images of Canada). Charleston SC: Arcadia, 1999, p. 81
• "A favourite shopping stop mainly because of the fascinating cable cash system. After completing a transaction, clerk would place money and invoice in an overhead canister. Then she would pull a lever and whoosh, the wooden canister would shoot to the back cage over a wire. And within a few seconds it would return the same way. This was most fascinating to everyone, particularly youngsters." Courier Press website

WHITBY, Ont. Ross Bros. (Whitby Dry Goods Emporium). "We have just recently introduced into our store the Electric Cash Railway System. This system until now was only to be found in a very few of the largest stores in the largest cities in the Dominion... All visitors to Whitby during the Fair are invited to step in and see it operating." Whitby Chronicle, 7 Oct. 1887

WINDSOR, Nfld. Stewart's Groceries. Wire system. Katherine Burgess

WINDSOR, Ont. Joseph Appelbe Co., Pitt and Sandwich Streets. "Cash cable system carriers are used exclusively on all floors." Style, Jul. - Dec. 1913

WINGHAM, Ont. Isards (dept. store), 222 & 224 Josephine Street. "1905 ... A rapid cash system was also added to the store. Overhead steel wires, suspended from the ceiling, ran to the various selling areas. When a sale was made, the bill and cash were placed in a container and zipped [a]long the wire to the office." In 1953 the store was sold to Earl O'Bright. Virtual Museum of Canada

WINNIPEG, Man. J.H.Ashdown Hardware Co., Main Street. "Wanted - girl for cash desk, cash carrier system." Manitoba Free Press, 23 Jul. 1917, p.11

WINNIPEG, Man. E.B.Nash. "The entire stock of Fixtures and Furniture will be offered by auction .. at our present premises, 524-526 Main street, Tuesday April 14th... Cash Railway. Manitoba Morning Free Press, 11 Apr. 1903, p.2

WINNIPEG, Man. Porte & Markle (jewellery), 300-302 Portage Avenue. "The first jewellery store in Winnipeg to install a pneumatic cash carrier system." Manitoba Free Press, 22 July 1910

WINNIPEG, Man. Archibald Wright. "The bankrupt sale... Bids on the Cash Carrier System.. and all other fixtures, are solicited." Manitoba Morning Free Press, 15 Dec. 1908, p.6

 

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