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Locations - West Indies/Caribbean

Costa Rica

LIMON. "I came across a wire and pulley system for transferring cash and receipts between a counter and a central cash office in an ironmongers in Limon, Costa Rica in 2007. The system seemed to work well." London Reconnections website


HAVANA. El Encanto. Cuba's most famous dept. store, corner of Galiano and San Rafael (la esquina del pecado) . Lamson pneumatic tube system with magnetic separator in cash office. Lamson advertisement in Chain Store Age, June 1949. Tubes can be seen in Video on YouTube. Burned down in 1961, four days before the Bay of Pigs invasion.
"El Encanto was expropriated by the government, she and many of the workers decided to do away with the store. One afternoon at closing time, after ringing up her last sale, she put an explosive inside the pneumatic tube which, passing through every floor, carried the money from the sale up to the cash register on the top floor. El Encanto burned all night." Del Mar, Marcia.  A Cuban Story (Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, 1979) p.95


ST GEORGE'S. Everybodys, Market Square. ".. full of bolts of cloth called Everybody's, where change for your purchase was run to the cashier on overhead wires." Geoffrey Wagner. Red calypso: the Grenadian revolution and its aftermath. (Regnery/Gateway, 1988). Photograph of exterior.


GEORGETOWN. Playfair, Water Street. "Autumn sale of sundries, by order of Messrs. Playfair & Co., at their store in Water Street... 1 Cash railway." Daily Chronicle (Georgetown), 20 Jun. 1897, p.4


ANNOTTO BAY. C.E.Johnston & Co. "Lady cashier for our retail department. Cash railway system used." Gleaner, 7 july 1914, p.12

KINGSTON. J.J.G.Lewis. "For sale. A cash railway with four stations will be sold at a figure considerably below cost." The Gleaner (Kingston), 26 Feb. 1903, p.6. This may be the same one as the "cash railway with three branches" offered by B.Stines, auctioneer, in the Gleaner, 13 Feb. 1905, p.4.

KINGSTON. Pinnock, Bailey & Co. "Messrs Pinnock, Bailey & Co. of Waterloo House, have .. imported a Cash Railway on the ball principle for their several departments." Colonial Standard and Jamaica Despatch, 12 Jan. 1892, p. 5
• "The Lamson rapid Cash Railway which is now in operation in the Grocery Establishment of Messrs Pinnock Bailey & Co. at waterloo House, greatly expedited business. Running on two wires, by the mere lowering of the handle attached to the wires the small box in which is placed the money of the purchaser is rapidly transferred to the Cashier's desk... We learn that this admirable aid to business will be placed by the Firm throughout their establishment." Ibid. 16 Jan. 1892, p. 4
• "We invite the public of Jamaica to come and see the RAPID CASH RAILWAYS now in use in our general Drapery and Grocery Departments. This is the most improved system of rapid and accurate conveyance of money direct from the salesman to the cash desk. The Rapid Cash Railway will carry cash 100 feet in five seconds, it returns change to the salesman, prevents the possibility of the change going to the wrong customer, is simple in construction, easy to errect, it is silent, costs nothing to maintain, in fact it is the PERFECT CASH CARRIER and the one thing required for the perfect controlling of the cash in every place of business. TIME IS SAVED. WORK IS [D?]ONE EASIER. Disputes as to change are avoided.
Having been appointed Sole Agents in Jamaica for the "Lamson Cash Railways" we shall be pleased to afford every information to Merchants and Storekeepers interested in the system. We have seven railways erected in our establishment. Daily Gleaner (Kingston), 12 Feb. 1892, p.4

St Lucia

CASTRIES. Massys Stores. Modern pneumatic tube system, presumably for bulk transfer to the cash office. Photo courtesy of Keith Stonham.