THE CASH RAILWAY WEBSITE
|Home||Manufacturers||Cash Balls||Wire systems||Pneumatic systems||Locations||References||Patents|
The first system was probably at Arnotts in Belfast following the visit of Charles Storey of Lamson's in May 1885. The first one in the South was at Queen's Old Castle, Cork in October of that year. The takeup of Lamson systems in the first four years is indicated in the quotation for WEXFORD: Haddens. Arnotts in Dublin installed a Bostedo pneumatic system in 1897.
ARMAGH. H.G.Leeman, Alma House. "We believe that we are correct in surmising that 'the Electric' [carrier] has only been already introduced into some three of the leading firms, namely drapers, in the prosperous and enterprising town of Belfast, and it was only on last week that the enterprising owners of 'The Alma House' had a similar article brought into their establishment in Armagh... We have had an opportunity of casting a glance at 'The Railway' of Messrs. Leeman & Co. ... From him [the cashier] to al parts of the shop to and fro are sent 'the balls' containing 'the dockets' and cash." Armagh Standard, 22 Jan. 1886, p. 2. (These sound like cash ball systems, not electric.)
ARMAGH. A. Lennox & Sons. "A Lamson Cash System, consisting of four wire and two foot pneumatic stations, for sale. Can be seen in working order." Belfast News-letter, 12 Dec. 1939, p. 8
ATHLONE. Burgess. "American Lampson [sic] cash carrier system for sale, comprising five points and office, central. Seen Burgess Ltd." Irish Times, 4 May 1962, p.14
ATHLONE. Lesters (Lysters?), Pearse Street. Wire system. (Rubberlegs posting to Athlone.ie forum, 21 Jan. 05)
BALLINA, Co. Mayo. Strong’s (dept. store), Garden Street, "operated a cash railway, probably a Lamson rapid wire system, .. which had at least four lines through in the 1950’s." Pat Curley
BALLINASLOE, Co. Galway. Cullens. "I also remember the shop assistants used to put the customer's cash in a little container and send it flying across the shop to the till on a overhead wire and wait for the change ta come whizzing back." Lee Lynch in posting to Ballinasloe Forum, 23/9/11
BALLYMENA, Co. Antrim. T.G.Alexander (drapers). Rapid Wire and pneumatic tube system until closure a few years ago. (E.Beirne)
BALLYMERE, Co. Antrim. Stewarts (drapers). Still using Rapid Wire system in 1977. Daily Mirror, 21 July 1977, p.20
BELFAST. Anderson & McAuley, 1-7 Donegall Place and 2-16 Castle Street. "Having adopted the pneumatic tube cash system, we have two cash desks for sale; almost new." Northern Whig, 7 Dec. 1905, p.12
BELFAST. Arnotts, Bridge Street. Installed July 1885 and decribed in detail by the Belfast News-Letter. Presumably ordered in May with 37 stations and erected by Charley Storey on his visit from the US - see Lamsons.
BELFAST. Co-op, York Street. "Features of big Co-operative Society's extension... The Lamson system of pneumatic tubes will connect all floors with a central cash station on the second floor. The Lamson system of vacuum cleaning will also be used. The appearance of the interior of the building will not, however, suffer from the presence of so many pipes and conduits, for all of them .. will be concealed within a mock ceiling on each floor." Belfast News-letter, 25 Apr 1931, p. 10
BELFAST. Forster Green & Co., 1-3 High Street. "By order of Messrs. Forster Green & Co., Ltd., who are relinquishing their retail business ... To be sold by auction sale ... Complete railway overhead cash system." Belfast News-Letter, 19 Jan. 1920, p. 10
BELFAST. Grafton Stores, 10 Donegall Place. (Late Lowry & Co. Ltd.) "The birth of a new business... New cash carrier system to meet the demands of an expanding business." Belfast News-Letter, 22 Jun. 1923, p. 12
BELFAST. Prices, Albertbridge Road. "Prices the place to buy haberdash / Overhead wires conveyed the cash / Beautiful coats and hats and frocks / Shirts and ties and trousers and socks." (Memories of East Belfast)
BELFAST. Robbs, 1-15 Castle Place. "Shop assistants were not allowed to handle money. In Robb's, lattices at ceiling height were used to convey the cashboxes carrying money and bills of purchase from the various departments to the cashier's office, and the receipts back to customers." Culture of Northern Ireland website. New building 1877; closed in 1973; demolished 1988.
BELFAST. Robertson, Ledlie, Ferguson & Co. (food specialists), Bank Buildings. "In response to a number of our customers. the Directors wish to state that they have now installed the Lamson Overhead Cash System, which they hope will meet with the approval of all, and facilitate purchasing in our Food Section." Northern Whig and Belfast Post, 24 Dec. 1923, p. 7
BELFAST. Royal Irish Linen Warehouse, Robinson & Cleaver, 128A Donegall Square. "The Royal Irish Linen Warehouse, Belfast, has just been completed... There are also pumps for the patent pneumatic cash tubes." Belfast News-Letter, 13 Nov. 1888
CAMPILE, Co. Wexford. Co-op. "There used to be a system like this [cash carrier] in the Shelbourne Co-op in Campile. I remember being absolutely fascinated by it as a little lad. Unfortunately though, this building was demolished recently." Fatswaldo posting to Boards.IE forum, 3/8/11
CARRICK-ON-SHANNON, Co. Leitrim. John Flood. "John J. Flood's One-Price Warehouse .. counts as a tourist attraction its six station wire cash railway system.". Installed "at the turn of the century". Guardian, 7 June 1969, p.10
CASTLEREA, Co. Roscommon. E.J.McDermot. Two photographs of cash office at Magnum Photos website taken in 1983. Rapid Wire system with approx. 6 lines. Three go through holes in one wall of the office and three through the wall at right-angles.
CAVAN. County Cavan Stores, Main Stret. "A strong room and csh carrier system are installed." Irish Times, 4 Jun. 1947, p.8
CLIFDEN, Co. Galway. Tweed shop. Pneumatic tube system ca. 1960. "I was transfixed by the thing - the very concept of it, and the hissing noise, followed by the very satisfactory thud as the tube came back with the change in it. Terrific stuff for a 9-year old!" Andrew Darwin
CORK. Alexander Grant & Co., Patrick Street. "Now Messrs. Alexander Grant and Company of Patrick-street have the railway in full working order in their extensive concerns... By the erection of the railway Messrs. Grant and Co. will be enabled to work on half their former staff of cashiers, and thereby effect a saving of £120 a year, so the change will soon pay for itself." Cork Constitution, 10 May 1886, p.2
CORK. Liptons, round the corner from Kyrls Quay and the Coal Quay. '"One thing that was very fascinating to a young child was the wire overhead cash delivery system along which containers seemed to whizz constantly." Denis Grant posting to IRL-CORK-CITY-L Archives, 17/12/99
CORK. Munster Arcade (dept. store), Patrick Street. "The office was on a gallery overlooking the ground floor and all the containers could be seen vanishing up there." Daniel Crowley. The shop traded until the 1970s. Photograph of exterior at Cork City website.
CORK. Queens Old Castle (dept. store), Grand Parade. "The marvellous cash railway at Queen's Old Castle is admired by all and should be seen by everybody. The only one in the south of Ireland." Cork Constitution, 14 Oct. 1885, p. 1
DERRY. Mullholland & Co. "The Lamson Company, London, have fitted up the new 'rapid wire system', in addition to the cash railway, for transmitting cash and bills to and from the cashier's desk in the centre of the warehouse. The rapid wire communicates with twelve stations in this spacious warehouse." Derry Journal, 24 May 1893, p. 8
DUBLIN. Blackwoods, corner of O'Connell Street and Wine Street. Wire system. Now Tohers chemist. Staff at Bad Ass cafe
DUBLIN. Burgess. Pneumatic tube system. Centurion posting to Athlone.ie forum, 23 Jan. 05
DUBLIN. William Case, grocers. Pneumatic tube system. Centurion posting to Athlone.ie forum, 23 Jan. 05
DUBLIN. Burlington Restaurant, St Andrew Street. "Mr Thomas Carless, proprietor of the Burlington Restaurant, St Andrew-street, was summoned at the suit of Inspector Talbot for having his premises open for sale at prohibited hours ... I do not think there is any payment made over the bar in the premises. It is all by the cash railway." Freeman's Journal, 19 Jan. 1889
DUBLIN 1 . Arnotts, Henry
Street. A Lamson Cash Ball system was ordered for the temporary shop
in following a fire in 1894. R.Nesbitt.
At Arnotts of Dublin
DUBLIN 1. Boyers, North Earl Street. Cash Ball system still in operation in 1960. (Nesbitt)
DUBLIN 1. Clerys department store, O'Connell
Street. Lamson wire system - part now in Bad Ass Cafe (E.Beirne). "Those cash pullys [sic] were totally amazing. I worked in the cash office and they were dumped into this office, with us locked in. We made change, produced a receipt, all by hand and sent the thing whizzing thro the roof again... Wonderful ... I still remember the smell of that place. Considering the size of Clerys, it was a tiny room in the basement." Mykids Mom posting to Dublin Today, 8/9/08
DUBLIN. Findlaters (grocers). "At that time the Findlater family business was thriving, with 20 large grocers' shops around Dublin where cash and bills whizzed along on overhead cables linking the counters and the accounts department." Independent.ie website
DUBLIN. Frawleys, 32-36 Thomas Street. "Kelletts was one of the last places along with Frawleys of Thomas St to have the overhead pulley thingys for the cash". Womblemum posting to Dublin Today, 5/9/08. Closed in 2007.
DUBLIN. Gleesons, Camden Street. "For sale. Lamson 'Rapid' Wire cash carrier system (4 stations), in perfect working order." Irish Times, 15 Feb. 1949, p.8
DUBLIN. Gorevans. Wire system. Gatsby in posting to dublin.ie, 22/1/09
DUBLIN 1. Guineys, North Earl Street/Talbot Street. Wire system. (Staff at Bad Ass Cafe and red68 posting to dublin.ie, 22/1/09)
DUBLIN. W.Holmes, George's Street. "Lamson 'ball' cash carrier for sale: can be seen in use before being removed." Irish Times, 18 Aug. 1931, p.2
DUBLIN. D.Kellett, South Great George's Street and Exchequer Street. "Entire valuable shop fittings and equipment [for sale]. Lamson 24-tube cash system." Irish Times, 8 Aug. 1959, p.13
DUBLIN. Johnstons, O'Connell Street. Pneumatic tube system. Now closed. (Staff at Bad Ass cafe)
DUBLIN. McBirneys on the south quays at O'Connell Bridge where the Virgin Megastore is/was. "Didn't they have the money thing where the cashiers would put the money in a canister and it would shoot across the room?" "Gonker" posting to Boards.ie, 3/12/06. "There was another [type] with a wire and spring driven / rubber band launched screw-in container. I think that's what was in Mc Birneys. Hagar, Ibid.
DUBLIN 2. Bad Ass Cafe, 9-11 Crown Alley. Lamson Rapid Wire system. Taken from Clerys department store. "The old-fashioned cash pulley thingie" (Virtual Tourist). When I visited in June 2003, some lines were in working order and could be used to carry customers' orders to the bar. In June 2009 one line was still operational.
DUBLIN 1 . Todd Burns (drapers), Mary Street. See Pims above. Joyce's sister, Mary, worked there in 1907.
DUBLIN 2. Thomas Dockrell Sons & Co., 38 South Great George's Street. "We have a quantity of Lamson cash tubes, money containers, wall brackets and fittings for sale." Irish Times, 9 Jul. 1962, p.20
DUBLIN 2 . Pims, Georges Street (later became Penneys dept store). "Cash & docket whooshed in wooden can on wire in Pims and Todd Burns shops, Dublin." (Michael O'Kelly in annotation to Finnegan's Wake p.232: posting to FWAKE-L list, 26/07/91.)
DUBLIN 2. Walpoles, 13 Crown Alley. "Walpoles ensure good customer service with Lamson cash tubes." Irish Times, 18 Apr. 1961, p.5
DUBLIN 6. Lees, Rathmines. "The Lees system was polished brass. I have memories of the carrier being sucked into the bowels of the building and then waiting patiently. Eventually, you could hear the system pressurise, and with a loud "schlop" the carrier would come flying out into the basket." 'Grandad ' from Headrambles site
DUBLIN 6W. Floods, Terenure. "Terenure was still a village then. The main grocery shop was Floods. That's long gone now... When the time came to pay, you gave him the money. He would put it, and the bill into a wooden jar that was then clipped into an overhead wire system. He would pull a handle, and the wooden jar would go flying across on its wire into the cash office which was high on the opposite wall." Head Rambles website
DUBLIN 7. Heathers, Arran Quay. "There was a very popular drapery shop on Arran Quay in the Twenties. The name was Heather's and it was quite a large shop. My mother went there quite often and I liked to go with her and watch the aerial boxes which were used to convey money from the counter to the cashier's office. The change caame back along the wire without much delay. Inside was also the receipt. It was always a mystery to me how these small circular boxes could speed along the wires. There were always chairs at the counters for the customers." Paddy Crosbie. "Your dinner's poured out!" Memoirs of a Dublin that has disappeared by a former teacher. Dublin: O'Brien, 1981, p.146. Photograph of exterior on p.147.
DUN LAOGHAIRE, Co. Dublin. Cullens. " Hadn't they got a real high counter in the shop and the money was send up to the top on wires (like McCullaghs)? They didnt trust anyone." Grammer in posting to Dun Laoghaire board 23/12/09
DUN LAOGHAIRE, Co. Dublin. Findlaters .. had a wonderful system of those whizzing overhead little money carriers. Tolo posting to Dublin People Forum, 30/7/03. "Findlaters also used the wire system to send the money to a cashier high up in an overhead office to pay and to get the change. It was facinating to watch to us kids." Chiropodist in posting to Dun Laoghaire board 24/12/09
DUN LAOGHAIRE, Co. Dublin. McCullaghs. See DUN LAOGHAIRE. Cullens
ENNNISKILLEN, Co Fermanagh. Wesley J. Elliott (drapery), 22 High Street. Rapid wire system with two lines to central office. System removed many years ago and shop recently closed. Gordon Dudgeon
ENNNISKILLEN, Co Fermanagh.Tullys (now Topshop). Wire system in 1980s, now at Enniskillen Castle Museum but not on display. Gordon Dudgeon
FERNS, Co. Wexford. John Bolger (general merchant), Main Street. Wire system connecting three departments to an office in the centre of the shop." Mick Doran who worked there in 1953.
FOULKSMILLS, Co. Wexford. Co-op. "The Co-op building in Foulksmills had one [cash carrier] too... The building hasn't changed in a long time." 'Mahatma coat' in posting to Boards.IE, 3/8/11
GALWAY. Alexander Moon. 8-station Cash Ball system, installed in November 1894. It was still running until 1965, when Lamsons acquired part of it. Two museums were said to be interested in displaying parts.(Lamson News)
GALWAY. F.W.Woolworth, Eyre Square. Opened 1953. "Equally fascinating was the system for taking cash. It was placed in a metal cylinder which was shot through a series of tubes to a central office, and moments later came back with your change and receipt." Old Galway website
GALWAY. Another shop with a wire system in 1962. Paul Hadley
KENMARE, Co. Kerry. Quills Woolen [sic] Market, Main Street. Wire system still there but not operating in June 2003. R.Hennessy
KENMARE, Co. Kerry. A long narrow shop. Wire system with a long run. Not being used but in working order in 1965. [Could be the same as above?] Paul Hadley
KILLARNEY, Co. Kerry. Hardware shop and another shop with working wire systems in 1965. Paul Hadley
KILRUSH, Co. Clare. O'Shea. "Superior residential drapery business for auction.. for the legal representatives of Mr. Seamus O'Shea... also cash carrier rail to office. Irish Times, 14 Jan. 1972, p.1 with photo of shop: Patrick O'Shea, draper, outfitter.
KINSALE, Co. Cork. J. Cronin & Co. Wire system still in use (E. Beirne). Some castings had KALAMAZOO stamped on. (Graham Ellis)
LARNE, Co. Antrim. Alexanders (toys, paint and wallpaper, curtains, nursery goods). Rapid wire system. "The wires ran from a central cash kiosk to the paint department and up to an office on the first floor. The system was destroyed when the shop was firebombed in 1977 although it had not been in use for some time before that." Johanne Alexander
LARNE, Co. Antrim. Tweedy Acheson. "Had a rail system where the money was placed inside a ball which rolled from the first floor down to the cash handling area. I think there was a second system in use in that shop too but I cannot recall any detail of it." Johanne Alexander
LIMERICK. Cannock & Co. "The 'Lamson cash railway' is now in full operation throughout our warehouse, and should be seen by everybody." Freeman's Journal, 4 Feb. 1886, p.8
LIMERICK. Spaights, Henry Street. "Pulley system" in 1940s-50s.. Limerick website
LIMERICK. Todds, O'Connell Street? "The cash for goods was sent to a central cash office via a suction system." There in 1940s-50s. Limerick website
LISBURN, Co. Antrim. Beckett Bros., 45-47 Bow Street. "Messrs. Beckett Bros. .. have instructed us to sell by auction .. Lamson Cash Carrier." Belfast News-Letter, 26 Oct. 1928, p.1
LISTOWEL, Co. Kerry. McKennas (hardware), 3 Market Street. . "I can still hear the clack and whizz of the cash balls... It went quiet sometime in the 60s when the cash registers were brought in." John McKenna
LONDONDERRY. J.J.Pollock & Co. "Messrs. J.J. Pollock & Co. have .. introduced into their large establishment, and accordingly into the city, a most improved 'cash railway system'... The patent is known as Lamson's, the invention is American... The customer sees his money placed inside a parti-coloured ball and put into a wire cage, which the shop assistant hoists to a wire railway along which it rolls to the central cash box... The system will extend over the chief counters in the shop, both on the ground floor and the upper storeys." Londonderry Sentinel, 18 Feb. 1888, p. 3
NENAGH, Co. Tipperary. Heritage Centre. "New permanent display: 20th Century Draper's shop with cash railway". County Tipperary Historical Society Newsletter No. 13 (2000)
NENAGH, Co. Tipperary. Two shops with working wire systems in 1965. Paul Hadley
NEWRY. R. Foster. "The new premises of Messrs. R. Foster Ltd. opened to-day, have been errected in Hill Street on one of the best and most central positions in the town of Newry... The cash carrier system is the latest type installed by the Lamson Pneumatic Tube Company, 20 Cheapside, London. The assistants' stations, located at convenient points in the various departments, are in direct and almost instantaneous communication with cash desk on ground floor, by means of seamless brass tubes. By an ingenious arrangement of tubes and an air-shifting device in the cash desk the carriers are transmitted in one direction by suction and in the return direction by pressure, the same air and power being used in both directions... The Lamson system in Messrs. Foster's premises is operated by a Lamson true circle blower and electric motor, both placed in a sufficient position in the basement... Carriers containing cash are of approved Lamson type, the bodies being solid brass and the ends fitted with durable felt." Newry Reporter, 21 Oct. 1909, p. 9
NEWRY. William Rafferty. "For sale. (1) A Lamson cash railway, 130 feet in the straight, in prefect working order... To be seen on application to William Rafferty, Water Street, Newry. Belfast Telegraph, 23 Jun. 1909, p. 1
NEWTOWNARDS, Co. Down. Warden's. Cash ball system. 'Platypus' in posting to uk.rec.motorcycles group, 14/12/04
OMAGH, Co. Tyrone. C.A.Anderson & Co. "Another recollection that I had of the older shop which had a sort of an emporium feel about it was the overhead box system which whizzed from the counter to the office with the cash. The premises were re-built in 2003." Geograph Ireland website
PORTLAOISE, Co. Laois. Shaws, Main Street. Lamson wire system. (Mr N. Shaw) When I visited in July 2003 there was one Lamson Pneu Art station carrying cash from the ground floor to the office on the floor above.
PORTRUSH, Co. Antrim. White House. "What about the great cash system of pipes and little metal canisters that whizzed around the shop with dockets and receipts. (Describing late 1960s). Ruth Wood in "Your place & mine", October 2004.
SLIGO. M'Donagh, Castle Street. "A cash railway is being fitted up." Sligo Champion, 16 Dec. 1905, p. 4
STRABANE, Co. Tyrone. Linton and Robinson, Abercorn Square. "The old pneumatic pulley system". Removed in 2004 when the shop was modernised. (BBC Your Place & Mine website)
TRALEE, Co. Kerry. Munster Cash Company. "Opening of a New Railway in Tralee, Munster Cash Company. Owing to increased Cash Trade we have errected on our premises Lamson's Cash Railway, which conveys cash to a central station and brings back the change in two seconds. This is one of the greatest wonders of recent American inventions. Everyone should see it on Saturday, when it will be in full working order." Kerry Centinel, 14 Jan. 1887
TRALEE, Co. Kerry. Four shops with wire systems in 1965. One system had a curve and was disused: the other three were active. Paul Hadley
TULLAMORE, Co. Offaly. Patrick & Henry Egan, grocery and ironmongery depts, Bridge Street. "Neither pains nor expense has been spared in order to make the arrangements of the establishment as complete as possible, the cash railway system being adopted throughout." (Dublin, Cork and South of Ireland. London:Stratten, 1892, p.113). "In the centre of the shop is situated a cash desk, which is connected by the Lamson system of wires with all the several departments of the house, for the immediate despatch of all cash receipts." Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society, quoting Kings Co. Independent, 1914.
WATERFORD. Hearns, 63-64 Quay. "We are erecting a second cash railway and a second cash desk to cope with the great increase in our business since we opened the new ironmongery department, the new furniture show rooms, and the new hat room." Waterford Standard, 26 May 1909, p. 2
WATERFORD. Kelly & Wilson (grocers and provisions merchants). "The only house in the trade in Waterford having adopted the great American cash railway system." Waterford Standard, 7 Mar. 1888, p. 2
WATERFORD. Phelan Bros., 7-8 George's Street. "Important sale of business premises in which Messrs. Phelan Brothers conducted an extensive Retail and Wholesale Draper's Business... Immediately after will be sold the shop fittings. Lampson [sic] cash carrier system, comprising 5 curved stations and 4 straight stations, cost £150." Irish Times, 27 Feb. 1926, p.13
WATERFORD. Robertson, Ledlie, Ferguson & Co., 53 & 54 Quay. "The great American cash railway. The latest innovation of the drapery trade... Robertson, Ledlie, Ferguson & Co., Lmtd., having made arrangements for the introduction of the Lamson cash railway system into their warehouse and as they have only a very limited time before the Engineers and Workmen will be busily engaged in erecting the Machinery, they have determined to realise the remaining portion of their Winter Stock." Waterford Standard, 18 Jun. 1888, p.2
WEXFORD. Dunnes, Main Street. "There was a [sic] old fittings and parts of a vacuum transit system of old dunnes on the main street." Sandula in posting to Boards.IE, 31/7/11
WEXFORD. Haddens, Main Street. "Messrs. W. & G. Hadden, drapers of this town, evidently believe in keeping abreast of the times. As is generally known, their establishment in Main-st. has been greatly enlarged and improved in recent years .. and they have now introduced a new feature of an important kind. This is what is called a cash railway ... There are four balls attached to each station... Messrs. Hadden's system comprises twelve stations - eight in the ground floor and four upstairs - and a drop station. The latter forms a communication between the ground floor and the first floor, and by means of it the valls from the latter descend through an ingenious contrivance in the shape of a net... The Lamson Cash Railway System is the name of that described. It is supplied solely by the Lamson Store Service Company...
WEXFORD. Shaws. "Shaws in Wexford in the old days had a vacuum system with tubes running all over the place. All gone now as the old building was demolished to make way for the current store." 'Radio Retro' in posting to Boards.IE, 31/7/11
WEXFORD. Woolworths. "Woolworth's (where Penney's is now) also had the vacuum system but it was out of use when I saw it as a young lad." 'Radio Retro' in posting to Boards.IE, 31/7/11
indicates systems which are still there (as far as I know) though they may not be working.