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Diagram from Lamson's patent no. 243451 These are summaries of some relevant patents that I have been able to trace. They provide perhaps the best guide to the dates and names involved in the development of cash carriers.

US No.165,473. (Filed 1 Feb.1875) David Brown of Lebanon, New Jersey. "A simple, effective and cheap apparatus for transmission of goods, packages, money, &c. particularly .. money in stores." Two standards with a wire between. On this wire rail a carriage is suspended. The movement is effected by an endless rope. To the top of the standards bells are placed which indicate the arrival of the carriage.

US No. 221,488. Joseph C. White of New York. "Certain details of construction designed to render more efficient the use of a double-inclined way for effecting payments and the delivery of goods to customers in large retail dry-goods and other mercantile establishments." (This was the first patent to mention "store service" according to Appleton's Cyclopædia.)

US No. 239,495.
Harris H. Hayden. Store service apparatus. Transfer of money, parcels etc. between counters and desks of a store ... where it is not possible to transfer carriers...without interruption.

US No. 243,451. (Filed 14 Feb. 1881) Automatic cash-carrier. William S. Lamson, of Lowell, in the County of Middlesex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts. "Means for lessening the noise of the carriers... means for elevating carriers to the ways and discharging said carriers." Uses inclined rails, preferably lined with leather. The cashier's desk is elevated above the stations of the salesmen. The carrier is a hollow sphere with discs on springs to hold the contents near the centre.

US No. 248,968. Joseph C.White, N.Y. assignor to the Automatic Parcel Delivery Company. To facilitate the removal and replacing upon tracks of cars or carriers used in store-service systems. Includes a "trough and ball system".

US No. 250,025. Joseph C. White. Store service system which accomplishes automatically the work now performed in mercantile establishments by messengers generally known as "cash boys" or "cash girls". Two inclined ways and carriers. Carriers may be moved by clockwork, travelling belts or otherwise.

US No. 255,525. Joseph C. Martin. Relates to the construction of automatically-moving cash boxes and devices for moving such boxes, the object being to obviate the employment of persons carrying cash between the salesman and the cashier in mercantile establishments. The cash box is made with top, bottom and ends only and has a drawer adapted to slide through it.

US No. 258,584. (Filed 3 Dec. 1879) William S.Lamson, assignor to the Lamson Cash Carrier Company of Boston Mass. Automatic cash-carrier. "My invention relates to oppositely-inclined ways connecting the stations of salesmen and the cashier's desk in a store, and rolling boxes or hollow spheres moved on said ways by the force of gravity."

US No. 268,967. George Willett, Englewood, Ill. assignor of one half to George Middendorf (same address). Cash-railway. The track has depending guides to direct the carrying-rollers mounted on spring-standards. The elevator has a spring to start the carrier.

US No. 284,863. William S.Lamson of Lowell, Mass. Relates to the elevators used to raise the cash balls.

US No. 273,841. Oscar H.Hewlett and Charles A.Needham of New York. A hollow ball with filling of felt, cotton or other soft material. Balls of different diameters to reach different destinations. Receiving boxes to give an audible signal as balls fall into them. Pivoted bucket to deposit the ball on the track.

US No. 274,000. Richard F. Jones of St. Louis, Missouri assignor of three-fourths to the Famous Shoe and Clothing Company. "Combined cash and bundle conveyor".

US No. 278,510. John C. Coram of Lowell, Mass. Drop cradle and elevator for cash-carriers.

US No. 282,321. Zephaniah S. Holbrook of Chicago. Improvements in devices for raising carriers to the tracks and improvements in the construction of balls.

US No. 283,239. H.H. Hayden. Store-service apparatus. One wire is inclined in one direction and the other in the reverse direction so that the carrier may travel by gravity.

US No. 283,912. Robert A. McCarty of Port Huron, Mich. and Charles M.Johnson of Peoria, Ill. "Our improvement relates especially to the mode of opening and closing the traps through the track .. and the elevator."

US No. 284,863. William S. Lamson. Relates to the elevators used to raise the cash balls or carriers to the waysand means for discharging the balls upon the ways.

US No. 286,133. Joseph R.H. Hinton of Baltimore, Md. assignor to the Continental Cash Car Company, same place. Stop or brake mechanism and wire-support for cash-carrier systems.

US No. 286,571. Charles B. Allaire and Charles M. Johnson of Peoria, Ill. Improvements relating to a receptacle for the ball, an elevator for raising the ball, guard rails for the track, etc.

US No. 286,592. George B. Coram and John C. Coram of Lowell, Mass. assignors to the Dennis Cash Carrier Company, same place. Cash and parcel carrier and track for same.

US No. 292,923. (5 Feb.) William S. Lamson of Lowell, Mass. Store-Service Apparatus. "Consists in automatic switch apparatus whereby any of the carriers.. may be automatically directed from the main track to a branch track." The switch tilts down to connect to a side track beneath the main track.

US No. 293,012. Osborn B. Hall of Malden, Mass. Use of a tube to carry cash balls (but not using air pressure or vacuum).

US No. 298,373. Osborn B. Hall of Malden, Mass. "Inclined tubular forwarding conduits." Cash ball is metallic with a coating of vulcanized rubber.

US No. 300,223. John C. Coram of Lowell, Mass. assignor to the Dennis Cash Carrier Company of same place. "Switch for cash railways... It is my object to provide simple and efficient means for shunting cash-carrier balls from the main track onto their appropriate branch and side tracks."

US No. 305,735. James Burns of Chicago, Ill. "Certain new and useful improvements in cash and parcel carriers." (2 wires with opposite inclinations.)

US No. 306,474. Joseph Walter Flagg of Worcester, Mass. assignor to the Flagg Cash Carrier Company of Portland, Maine. "Relates to that class of cash-carrying systems in which inclined tracks and rolling carriers are used; and it consists in an improved mode of operating the gate between the intermediate chambers and the delivery basket..."

US No. 306,790. Calvin L. Walker of Manchester, New Hampshire, assignor to the Lamson Cash Railway Company, Boston, Mass. "Switch [i.e. point] for Store-Service... My invention relates to that class of store-service apparatus in which balls or spherical carriers travel upon ways .. and in which the carriers are graduated in size and are intended to be deposited at appropriate stations in accordance with their size."

US No. 308,641. George M. Thompson, Lowell, assignor to the Lamson Cash Railway Company, Boston, Mass. "The track of a store-service system".

US No. 308732. Charles Baltzell of Altoona, Penn. "The invention consists esentially in causing the cash balls to be carried up to and lowered from the railway by a frame or carriage."


US No. 310,832. William S. Lamson of Lowell, Mass. Elevator for cash carriers.

US No. 311,897. David Kimball Hall of Chicago, Ill. An automatically-operating elevator to conduct the balls from the elevated track to the cashier when standing upon the floor.

US No. 316,531. Joseph Walter Flagg of Worcester, Mass. Improved elevator and improved method of suspension of tracks in cash ball system.

US No. 317,281. Charles Baltzell of Altoona, Penn. An improvement on patent 308,732 of 2 Dec. 1884.

US No. 321,356. Edwin L.Giles of Lowell, Mass. Relates to switches for directing carriers travelling on a track such as shown in patent 258,585 granted to William Lamson on 30 May 1882. "The combination .. of main and supplemental rails, a switch, a pin or other suitable device arranged to be struck by carriers upon the rails .. whereby the switch is moved by and with the pin."

US No. 321,752. Francis C. Perkins of Boston, Mass. and C.H. Kelley of Boston, Mass. Cash-carrier.

US No. 333,113. Wilbur G. Davis assignor of one half to Wm. M. Hinman of Boston Mass. Pneumatic cash carrier. "A tube leading from the salesman's counter or other station to the cashier's desk, adapted to be engaged with a bellows at either end."


US No. 34,355. Jacob L. Hayward of Framingham, Mass. and Thomas C. Simonton, Jr. of Paterson, N.J. Various improvements to cash railways: reducing the noise, sidings at each station, avoiding openings at stations, breaking the fall of balls, etc.

US No. 334,649. Frank E. Fisher of Detroit, Mich. assignor to the Merchants Store Railway Co., same place. Cash-carrier propelling mechanism. (Cylinder and pressure chamber.)

US No. 341,826. Samuel W. Barr of Mansfield, Ohio. Vacuum cash-carrier.


GB No. 9021. Cash and parcel carrying. F.N.Jones (Leeds) and the Samson [sic] Store Service Co, 50 State Street, Boston, U.S.A. "Where spherical carriers are employed and where such carriers have to fall vertically in a frame, there is a danger of their being broken. To prevent this the frame is provided with a flexible network tube with a twist in the middle, or with its diameter reduced at certain points to check the descent of the carrier."

US No. 359,875. David Lippy of Mansfield, Ohio. Cash-carrier apparatus. (Figure shows a carriage running along a wire with pulleys and a cord with a handle.) "A cord or chain ... whereby a pull upon the same will give motion to the carriage."

US No. 373,172. James Burns. Cash and parcel carrier.


GB No. 18,566. Store service apparatus. The Lamson Store Service Co, 1 Charlotte Street, Bedford Square, London. "Two rails, A, B, are employed, one for conveying the carriers to and the other from the cashier's desk. At the latter point the rails are on a level and a swinging or sliding piece E is provided to receive the carriers and transfer them from one rail to the other. Where there are more than one counter or despatching station, switches for the branch lines are provided and are automatically set by the carrier."

GB No. 13,281. Samuel Henry Soper of Brighton. A steel collar to avoid cash balls falling apart after usage. See Cashball system page.

US No. 378,792. George B. Kelly of Boston, Mass. Pneumatic cash-carrier apparatus.

US No. 379,084. Horatio Thomas of Chicago, Ill. and Louis Gardner Bostedo of Atlantic, Iowa assignors to the Bostedo Package and Cash Carrier Company of Atlantic, Iowa. Cash and package carrier.

US No. 394,552. Martin Barri of Cambridge Mass. assignor by mesne assignments to the Meteor Despatch Company of Portland, Maine. Pneumatic cash-carrier apparatus. Pneumatic tube with an opening for insertion and removal of a carrier provided with a door or covering and a spring.


GB No. 2296. Lamson Store Service Co. Cash etc carrying. Two parallel rails, a, b, of conducting material are employed, carried by insulating brackets.

US No. 395,130. John L. Given of Boston, Mass. assignor to the Meteor Despatch Company of Portland, Maine. Improvements in pneumatic cash carrier apparatus.

US No. 400,696. David Lippy of Mansfield, Ohio. Cash carrier. The car had three wheels, one running on top of the wire and two below.


US No. 455,315. Theodore P. Farmer of Boston, Mass. assignor by mesne assignments to the Lamson Consolidated Store Service Company of New Jersey.

US No. 455,350. Nelson Newman of Springfield, Ill. Assignor to the Lamson Consolidated Store Service Co. Cash-carrier.

US No. 458,724. Adolph A. Caille of East Saginaw, Mich. Assignor to the Union Store Service Company. Cash and parcel carrier.

US No. 464,293. Joseph M. Caille of East Saginaw, Mich. Assignor to Utility Manufacturing Company of Saginaw. Store service apparatus.

US No. 465,471. Emanuel C. Gipe of Freeport, Ill. assignor of one half to Oscar J. Ziegler, same place. Cash-carrier.

US No. 465,686. Henry M. Weaver of Mansfield, Ohio assignor to the Barr Cash and Package Carrier Company, same place. Cash and package carrier.


Australian (Adelaide). Provisional: No. 3727. Charles Nicholas and Allan Murray Hyles of 72 Thompson-street, Williamstown, Victoria. Improvements in the construction of, and apparatus to be used for, cash railways in stores.

GB No. 4885. E.C.Gipe, 176 Exchange Street, Freeport, Ill. Cash carrying apparatus. Involves jerking a lever. Carrier runs on a single wire.

GB No. 13,351. Lamson Store Service Co. Has a diagram of a carriage suspended from wheels running on two wires, one above the other. They are attached to bars at each end of the run, pivoted in the middle and with a handle at each end. By pulling the handles the wires can be separated at one end and brought together at the other, so propelling the carriage.

US No. 479,417. Emanuel C. Gipe of Freeport Ill. assignor of one half to Oscar J. Ziegler of the same place.


US No. 508,303. Emanuel C. Gipe of Freeport, Ill. Cash-carrier. "Certain new and useful improvements."

US No. 510,505. Emanuel C. Gipe of Freeport, Ill. assignor to the Standard Store Service Company of the same place. Cash and package carrier.

US No. 528,203. Emanuel C. Gipe of Freeport, Ill. assignor to the Standard Store Service Company of the same place. Package-carrier.


US No. 527,039. Oakes Ames of Canton, Mass. assignor to the Meteor Despatch Company of Portland, Maine and Boston, Mass. Terminal for pneumatic dispatch-tubes. To provide means for retarding.. the carrier prior to its discharge from the pneumatic system at either end (by controlling the direction of the air current).

Victoria, Australia. R. Reid of 106 A'Beckett street., Melbourne applied for a complete patent for improvements in cash carrier railways. The Herald (Melbourne), 27 Oct. 1894, p. 5


US No. 559,700. Emanuel C. Gipe and Charles F. Hildreth of Freeport Ill., assignors to the Standard Store Service Company of same place. Cash-carrier.


US No. 609,275. Emanuel C. Gipe of Freeport, Ill. assignor of one fourth to George W. Tassell of Waukesha, Wis. Elevated carrier. "Relates to that class of cash, package, and other elevated carriers in which the car is suspended from an elevated track, such .. as a wire or cable... The object is .. that but a single carrying-wheel may be employed upon the track."


GB No. 8658. E.C.Gipe. 801 Teutonic Building, 172 Washington Street, Chicago, Ill. Coin and small parcel transferring apparatus. The diagram shows an elaborate system of pulleys in the propelling device.

GB No. 12,409. Pneumatic despatch apparatus. Lamson Pneumatic Tube Co. and R.T. Jenney both of 20 Cheapside, London. "The mouth of the sending terminal A is closed automatically by a trap door D subject to a spring E and opening inwards when required on the pressure of the hand."

GB No. 15,354. Pneumatic despatch apparatus. Lamson Pneumatic Tube Co. and E.C. Phillips both of 20 Cheapside, London. "The terminals are U pipes in two parts A,B flanged together... One limb continues the receiving tube D and the other is connected laterally to the despatching tube E."

US No. 623,899. Emanuel C. Gipe of Freeport Ill. assignor of three fourths to George W. Tassell of Waukesha, Wis. and Felix J. Griffen of Chicago and Henry L. Glos of Elmhurst, Ill. Cash and package carrier. "Relates to that class of package-carriers in which a suitable basket or receiver is detachably connected with a car adapted to roll upon a suspended wire or rod."


US No. 642,112. Frederick W. Gremmels of Kansas City, Missouri. Pneumatic cash-carrier.

US No. 645,505. Emanuel C. Gipe of Freeport Ill. assignor of three fourths to Felix J. Griffen of same place, George W. Tassell of Waukesha, Wis. and Henry L. Glos of Elmhurst, Ill. Safety-lock for package-carriers.

US No. 660,099. Emanuel C. Gipe of Freeport Ill. assignor of three fourths to Felix J. Griffen of same place, Henry L. Glos of Elmhurst, Ill. and George W. Tassell of Waukesha, Wis. Store-service apparatus. Object is to provide a simple and effectual means for retarding and stopping the carrier at the end of the way as it is sent back and forth thereon.

US No. 660,100. Emanuel C. Gipe of Freeport Ill. assignor of three fourths to Felix J. Griffen of same place, Henry Glos of Elmhurst, Ill. and George W. Tassell of Waukesha, Wis. Store-service apparatus. Means whereby the cord propelling mechanism may be simplified, rendered more certain and positive in action.


Sydney, Australia. Application by Griffith and Allen, patent agents: M.S. Giles, Clarence-street, Sydney, N.S.W. An improved single wire system of cash railway, and means for giving effect to the same. Australian Star, 1 May 1902, p. 3


GB No. 4356. Coin and small-parcel transferring apparatus. Lamson Store Service Co. 20 Cheapside, London. "Relates to a system having a suspended wire track for a carrier on wheels which is propelled from either end by pulling out a bight from a cord ... The propelling cord G making a central bight between the forward brackets has its ends attached to a pulley-block H, which is pulled down to throw out the bight by means of a handle having a universal joint."

US No. 723,457. Emanuel C. Gipe of Chicago, Ill. Pneumatic-despatch receptacle.


US No. 760,735. Emanuel Gipe of Chicago, Ill. store-service apparatus. One of the objects is to utilise the "spread-wire system" to provide the maximum spread of wires at the transmitting end.

US No. 765,244. Henry Lough of Christchurch, New Zealand. Apparatus for transmitting cash &c. in stores or like places. "Part of my invention refers to means for elevating the cash or parcel carrier and for launching it on the uppermost of a pair of rails that incline in opposite directions."


GB No. 15,824. E.C.Phillips, 20 High Holborn, London W.C. Mechanical despatch apparatus. "Relates to apparatus wherein a carrier is propelled out on a wire track a after it has been pulled in against a catapult spring by a trigger-carriage h and a cord j. [This sounds very much like Rapid Wire.]


GB No. 23,501. W.T.Pugh. Mechanical despatch apparatus. "Relates to a 'cash railway' of the type in which a car travels along a taut wire, and consists in the construction of a curve in the travelling way and of a car to be used thereon."


GB No. 17,376. F.J. Cossum, E.J. Reid, R.N. Reid, J. Reid (trading as Reid Bros.) Mechanical despatch apparatus. "Trigger-propelled cash-carriers are run on two wires a side by side and on curves these wires are carried on I shaped supports of the required curvature."

GB No. 21,923. British Cash and Parcel Conveyors, Ltd. and H.B. Fenwick, 268 Birkbeck Chambers, Holborn. Mechanical despatch apparatus of the type in which the carrier is projected by means of an elastic cord.

GB No. 22,257. E.C.Gipe, 118 Holborn. (Addition to no. 11,778 of 1904). "arranging the propelling-spreaders provided at both ends of the apparatus in such a manner that they will, on being released after operation, at once resume their normal folded position... The tension in the wires is arranged to give a normally-closed position". [Also includes arrangements to obviate the clattering of the wires.]


GB No. 2742. E.C.Gipe, 1541 Monadnock Block, Chicago, USA and Gipe Carrier Co., 118 Holborn, London. "To enable apparatus of the type with double wires to be used in situations where the wires require to be guided, as at curves."

US No. 939,872. P.R.Skill of Leytonstone, Essex. Relates to electrically controlled pneumatic despatch tubes, cash railways and the like. To simplify the construction of such systems whereby carriers can be used for all the substations and the need for electrical contacts is dispensed with.

Diagram from patent no. 1176807 assigned to Lamsons1911

GB No. 13,627. Lake, W.G., 7 Southampton Buildings, London for the International Store Service Co., 221 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minn. Mechanical despatch apparatus. "Apparatus in which a carrier is engaged by a latch on a sliding carriage."


US No. 1,037,236. Emanuel C. Gipe of Toronto, Ont. store-service apparatus. Relates to that class of store-service apparatus in which a wheeled car is mounted upon a double wire-way and propelled .. as a result of spreading the wires behind it to act against opposing wheels.

US No. 1,087,653. Emanuel C. Gipe of Toronto, Ont. Automatic lock for elevated carriers


US No. 1,084,108. John A. Pitt, assignor to the Lamson Company (formerly Lamson Consolidated Store Service Company) of Boston Mass., a corporation of New Jersey. Conveying apparatus. "Improvements in conveying apparatus and especially .. for carrying telegrams."


US No. 1,196,352. Emanuel C. Gipe of Chicago Ill. assignor by mesne assignments to the Rowe Ring-Point Company of Hartford, Conn. Store service apparatus. Car is projected in a spread-wire system by elevating the read end of the upper wire.

US No. 1,197,623. Frederick J.H.Hazard of Toronto, Ont. "Means for easing the strains on the wires [in a two-wire system] and to secure a more elastic application of the propulsive power."

US No. 1,176,807. George A. Amsden, assignor to the Lamson Company of Boston Mass. Cable-carrier apparatus. The diagram looks very much like the photograph in Byron: New York Interiors.

US No. 1,176,852. Gary S. Powell of Kansas City, Missouri, assignor to the Lamson Company of Boston Mass., a corporation of New Jersey. Wire-line basket-carrier apparatus.


GB No. 112,824. Edwards, W.A. Aberford House, Adam Street, May Bank, Stoke-on-Trent. "Apparatus for conveying cash between a shop counter and a cash desk comprises a single wire cable along which the cash box runs and which is connected at one end to a collar slidable on an adjustable guide-rod, and a pull-cord for raising the collar to alter or reverse the inclination of the cable."


Commonwealth complete specifications officially accepted: Gravity Cash Railway - Dumbrell. Daily Commercial News (Sydney), 9 Jul. 1919, p. 12


US No. 1,784,776. James L. Baldwin of Chicago, Ill. "Relates to cash carriers of the types used in department stores.. and more particularly to the single flight variety of carrier illustrated in my Patent Number 745,951 dated December 1, 1903 and my main object is to provide an improved apparatus in which rigidity and alinement [sic] are the chief factors."


US No. 1,793,895. Baldwin, James L. of Chicago, Ill. "An apparatus wherein the elevator of the carrier may be locked in an elevated position." (A wire system able to travel vertically.)


GB No. 433,000. Dart Cash Carrier Co., William Alfred Edwards and Frank Machin, Booth Street, Stoke-on-Trent. Pneumatic despatch apparatus.


GB No. 573,546. William Alfred Edwards, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Improvements in and relating to propulsion devices for cash carrier systems and other mechanical despatch apparatus. "The object of this invention is to provide an improved propulsion device in which the trigger .. will be entirely clear of the wire."

GB No. 1,163,189. Lamson Engineering Co Ltd., Willesden. Improvements in or relating to carriers for pneumatic tube systems. "A carrier with a hinged rotatable end portion of felt or like material."