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Locations - Elsewhere in Europe



Paris: Disneyland


Channel Islands

ST HELIER, Jersey. Freddie Baker (drapers). Wire system in 1950s. Jersey Museum

ST HELIER, Jersey. Noel and Porter (drapers) 8-16 King Street (now BHS). Wire system in 1950s. Jersey Museum

ST HELIER, Jersey. George D. Laurens, 3-7 Queen Street. Wire system in 1950s. Firm closed in 1973 and site is now Monsoon. Jersey Museum

ST HELIER, Jersey. Le Riches Stores. Wire system in 1950s. Jersey Museum

ST PETER PORT, Guernsey. Le Riches Stores, 49 High Street. Four Rapid Wire propulsions shown in one photograph of the grocery department and three in another in Renault.

Czech Republic

OPAVA. Hermann und Vogel department store. "Those cash dispensers that shot capsules along wires across the store". Heinz Vogel's Memoirs. ch.4

PRAGUE. One of the staff at Beamish Museum told me that a lot of shops in Prague had wire systems.


A Lamson pneumatic tube system was "re-discovered" in store in Central Finland by Lamsons' agent. It was installed in 1903. Lamson News


starMARNE LA VALÉE. Emporium, Disneyland Paris. This is built in the style of a 19th century U.S. department store. It includes "an overhead cable-driven money exchange system that serves the cashier's office" (Disney Vacation Planner).It is not an original but a reconstruction by Walt Disney Imagineering based on a photograph in "New York interiors at the turn of the century".

PARIS. Bon Marché (dept. store). "Unlike other stores which remodelled pre-existing buildings as they expanded, the Bon Marché was planned to function as a department store from the start... Internal communication ws handled by a system of pneumatic tubes that shunted messages from the main administrative core to the individual departments." Journal of Architectural Education vol.39, no.1, 1985, p.22

PARIS. Printemps (dept. store). "Printemps, built in the wake of the 1877 Paris Exposition, and located nearer the Opéra .. was richer in colour and materials... All the most progressive features - .. automatic cash registers, wireless telephones, pneumatic tube systems.. played an important role in creating the image. Meredith L.Clausen. Fritz Jourdain and the Samaritains: art nouveau theory and criticism. Brill Archive, 1987. p.213.
• "The 'Au Printemps' store in Paris contains two pneumatic central cash stations, each about 2000 square feet, one in the basement and the other on the top floor of the new building; also an invoice section .. of about 2300 square feet on the top floor of the old building. Over 200 sales and stock stations are connected by pneumatic tube with the central cash station and the billing office." Louis Parnes. Planning stores that pay: organic design and layout for efficient merchandising. (Dodge, 1948) p.224
• [Caption to photograph] "Before the widespread adoption of cash registers, customer payments swooshed through pneumatic tubes that terminated in windowless basement rooms where clerks rapidly made change and sent it back as seen at Printemps in Paris, ca. 1924." Jan Whitaker. The world of department stores. (Vendome, 2011) p.255

PARIS. Samaritaine (dept. store). "The new building which Jourdain built for the Samaritaine in Paris between 1905 and 1910 had .. a pneumatic tube system for messages." Geoffrey Crossick and Serge Jaumain (eds.) Cathedras of consumption: the European department store, 1850-1939. (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999) p.11


MAINZ. "Every once in a while my mother went to visit her father at his store close by the cathedral... Roaming through the store, we raced the overhead money cages which carried the customers' payments from the sales counters to a central cashier and returned with the change." Doris Drucker. Invent radium or I'll pull your hair: a memoir. Chicago: Chicago Univ. Press, 2004. p.38. (Her family emigrated from Germany to America in 1932.)

Isle of Man

DOUGLAS. Archer, Evans & Co. (drapers and silk mercers), corner of Duke Street and Victoria Street. "Our enterprising townsmen, Messrs Archer & Evans of Victoria-street, have just introduced into their establishment a novelty, in the shape of a 'cash railway' which is an apparatus cleverly designed to carry cash from one part of a building to another." Isle of Man Times, 13 Aug. 1887, p.4.
• "R.C.Cain's occupied about five shops in Duke Street, with departments dealing with ladies' and gents' clothing, gloves, stockings, handbags, unbrellas and curtains... As with most of the larger establishments, a system of overhead wires connected with the pay office... The system fascinated many a bored schoolboy." Gordon N.Kniveton et al. Centenary of the Borough of Douglas 1896-1996 (Douglas: Douglas Corporation) p.96

DOUGLAS. R.C.Cain (drapers), 42-46 Duke Street. "I remember best the clothing man, who was called Mr.Cain and came from a shop named R.C.Cain D.C.F.C.S... The shop was grand enough without them [the initials], festooned by wires down which cartridges full of cash whizzed along to the cashier and back to the customer." Frank Kermode. Not entitled: a memoir (London: Harper Collins, 1996), p.32

DOUGLAS. T.H.Cowin, Duke Street. "Today marks the Golden Jubilee of the opening of Mr T.H. Cowin's new premises at Duke Street, Douglas, and extending into Wellington Street. A report of the opening, which we published 50 years ago, says 'The premises have been altered so much as to be unrecognisable to those who knew it as Messrs Sherwood and Company, and it has now been transformed into one of the largest and finest-looking shops in the island... A cash railway system was installed.'" Isle of Man Times, 22 May 1959, p.3
• "Opposite Cain's was a large clothing establishment, T.H.Cowin's, known as Tossie Cowin's. Here they had no counter tills, but an overhead line system. You paid the assistant for your purchases, she would write out the cost on an invoice, then put it with your cash into a tin cup, attach this to the cup-lid on the wire, pull a cord, and this would run through the stores until it arrived at the Cash Office which was situated on a raised structure. There the cashier would take down the cup, empty it, and return it to the counter ready for the next purchaser. There were many of these wires going to every counter, a very slow and complicated method, and we would pity the cashier on busy days especially at Sale time, who had to cope with this system." Ivy Barry. Something different: prose and poetry. (Onchan: streetscene, 1993), p.22

DOUGLAS. Liptons, 31 Strand Street. "The same [wire] system was used in Lipton's grocery stores in Strand Street." Ivy Barry. Something different: prose and poetry. (Onchan: streetscene, 1993), p.22

DOUGLAS. Quiggins (building materials and ships' chandlery) , Lake Timber Yard. Wire system. Raina Chatel

PEEL. Harrison Quirk. Pneumatic tube system. Staff at Peter Luis.

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