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Boston Globe. Stories of certain Massachusetts
investment: reprinted from the Boston Globe. (Boston, 1915) p.137. "The
American Pneumatic Service Company is a holding company controlling the companies
running the pneumatic tubes, which carry great bundles of mail .. and it also
controls the Lamson Consolidated Store Service Company, which makes and sells
or leases any kind of pneumatic tubes and carriers, 10 distinct types of wire
line cash and message carriers, nine types of parcel carriers, and three of
wire vertical lifts, beside many others of older types, which are kept in stock
for users of the earlier made carriers. The motto of the company is to substitute
machines for men and children as carriers, in every possible way... The Lamson
Store Service Company's business has always been a large dividend-paying asset
of the company. It has more than 60,000 patrons in the leading companies of
the world... In the past its great field has been retail department store work."
p.138. "It is estimated that a large department store, hiring 300 cash girls or boys, at an annual cost of $46,800 a year for wages alone, can supply their places, at greater speed, with a 200-station pneumatic tube plant at a cost of $50,000 for first installation and $1,250 per year for power, the service nearly paying for itself in one year. The company aims to handle anything in the line of money, mail or merchandise more quickly and more safely than human hands perform the same service."
"The wire-line cash carrier was the next development, then the wire-line parcel carrier, then the endless cable carrier, and then the pneumatic tubes. These latter are of three types: "vacuum", "vacuo-pressure" and "pressure", according to the method of propulsion employed. The carriers in these tubes range from 2 1/4 inches in diameter theough 3, 3 1/2, 4 and 5 inches, in use in stores, banks and offices, to the 8-inch and 10-inch carriers in which the great 500-letter and 1000-letter packages of mail whisk."
Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, 4 Oct. 1886. Shop life in Bristol. In one of these [larger establishments] the introduction of the American invention - the 'cash railway' - has materially saved the labour of those at the counter... The change [is] sent back in a little over half a minute... The plan is extended to all the floors, and even to the basement, from which the customer's payment is thus whisked to the ground floor."
Buffalo News, 4 Dec. 1994. When department stores were wrapped in tubing. "For any department store, pneumatic tubes made a statement. The ultimate in technology had been struck. Their very sound suggested the speed of wind. Such tubing provided a system of inter-department communication. Once slipped into a tube access, the capsule was whooshed away like a missile into outer space. To remember the pneumatic tube is to recollect the golden years in retailing history."
The Century: illustrated monthly magazine, vol. 24 no. 6, Oct. 1882, pp.956-8. "Shop conveniences." (Not about WCs!) Mentions three systems: a monorail with two-wheel cars, the pneumatic dispatch tube, and the cash ball system. No manufacturers or locations are named.
Clothier and Furnisher (date unknown) p.62 "150 feet deep, devoted to hats, furnishings and shoes, with a basement devoted to trunks and travelling bags, and the second floor to clothing. They have a patent cash system run on overhead wires."
Daily Mirror, 5 Apr. 1915, p.4. "It is a fact that the arms of shopgirls who push all day at a pneumatic tube for sending cash about .. are usually beautifully developed."
16 March 1895, p.687. Advertisement for the Castle Cash Carrier
17 March 1900, p.676. Surburban London's latest emporium - John Barnes & Co., Hampstead.
15 September 1900. Full page advertisement for Lamson Pneumatic Tube Co.
17 September 1904, p.787 Full page advertisement for Lamson Store Service Co. and Lamson Pneumatic Tube Co. "Branches and agencies throughout the Eastern hemisphere." The Lamson Ball cash railway is "the only gravity system extant."
Dundee Evening Telegraph, 28 Mar. 1898, p. 2 "A propos of our being called a nation of shopkeepers... Two young London shopmen who volunteered to fight for Greece .. are lying with their comrades under the fire of the Turks. The strange grinding noise of shrapnel shot is filling the air... 'It's like an overhead cash railway in a draper's shop', said Simson."
Dunkirk [New York] Observer-Journal, 7 Feb. 1889, p.2. "There are many large stores in Tokyo, and these, as a rule, do their business on strict business principles. They have many clerks, but the cash boy and the elevated cash railway are unknown."
Electrical engineer (date unknown) p.24 "The Lamson Store Service Co. have a variety of cash railways run by a 1/2 -h.p. Eddy motor."
Gentleman's Magazine, p.549 "I prefer the picturesque orientalism of the marchand chez soi to the more Western commonplace of a shop counter, a cash railway, and a fixed price."
Glasgow Herald, 11 Nov. 1897 "The overhead cash railway in warehouses obtains favour as an approximately perfect safeguard."
Hastings & St Leonards Observer, 27 July 1940, p. 6. "A most entertaining and inventive personality has been lost to Hastings with the death of Mr. F.L.Smith, the tobacconist and newsagent, of Pelham-place... It was always a subject of regret to him that his tiny premises offered no scope for the installation of a home-made overhead cash carrier, to run on rails from the counter to some distant counting house!"
Herald (Tamworth), 11 Dec. 1915, p.2. "His dear Irish girl... They emerged upon the ground floor of Messrs. Waterson... Cash railways had not penetrated to Ballysillan. She voted them 'just spiffing.'"
Industrial psychology monthly: the magazine of manpower (1927/8) p.21 "There are three tube rooms with about eighty cashiers divided between them... As soon as a carrier strikes the belt, the first cashier takes it up." Presumably this is the same study as reported in Anderson.
p.22 "The tube rooms are fairly noisy places and on busy days there is considerable confusion."
Isolated plant [date not known] p.16 "A Lamson cash tube system having 22 stations, with a central station in the basement, is so arranged that it can be increased to 50 stations upon completion of the building."
Iowa Journal of history [date not known] p.238 "Another invention which originated in Atlantic, revolutionary in its nature, was the cash carrier for mercantile establishments, designed by Louis Bostedo, junior member of the department store firm of A.L.Bostedo and Son. The first cash carriers ever used, so far as I am informed, were used in that establishment. Subsequently the idea of pneumatic tube equipment was adopted by the inventor. And on this groundwork was laid the efficient systems in large establishments today. The patents were subsequently sold by Mr Bostedo to the Lamson Company, makers of all sorts of tube communication and conveyor systems."
Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 13, no.1, Jan. 1881, p.20. Pneumatic tubes supersede cash boys. "An enterprising Philadelphian, Mr John Wanamaker, has gone a step further... This system not only saves time and noise, but the wages of an army of boys or girls, besides discharging a large amount of fresh air into the building, greatly improving ventilation." (Cornell University website)
Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 24, no. 12, Dec. 1892, p.vi (Advertisement) "The Meteor Despatch Co., Manufacturers of Pneumatic Tubes. For the Safe, Rapid and Certain Carriage of Cash, papers or Messages in Stores, Newspaper Offices, Banks, Factories and Public Buildings. Systems adapted for Foot, Steam or Electric Power, erected in any part of the country. Offices: 89 State Street, Boston; 23 East 14th Street, New York; and 181 Fifth Avenue, Chicago."
Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, 30 Jul. 1898, p.3 "In places where a very large business is done one of the cash railway or pneumatic tube systems is in operation. These do away with the expense of cashgirls but add to the cashier's responsibilities, as it is very easy to confuse the different balls or tubes."
New York Times, 7 Dec. 1889, p.1. "A big transaction completed. Mansfield, Ohio, Dec. 6 - The biggest business transaction of the year in this city was completed last night by the Barr Cash and Package Carrier Company of this place and the Lamson Store Service Company of New-York. The stock of the first named company was sold to the New-York concern for $200,000. The negotiations have been on nearly a year, during which time there has been some litigation about patents, and a damage suit for $150,000 for libel, brought by the Lamson people, but the preliminary steps of this suit were decided against the Lamson Company. Samuel Barr, the inventor, gets $500,000."
New York Times, 19 Jul. 1891, p.11. "After counting it [the customer's payment in small change] over twice, the clerk had to charter two extra trains on the cash railway in order to get the money to the cashier's desk."
New York Times, 18 Oct. 1904, p.25 "Trolley cash railway systems which can be used for so many delightful house plays for the children cost 25 and 50 cents. With the more expensive railway comes the money for use in the business."
New Zealand Tablet, 15 Feb. 1889, p.25. "I may mention what struck me as a very neat invention.. and that is the Cash Railway System which is used in all the stores in the States."
Popular Mechanics, March 1924, p.447. "Alarm for Pneumatic-Tube System. Persons familiar with pneumatic-tube systems in large stors realize the inconvenience caused customers by delay of the cashiers to open the carriers immediately when received, as it often occurs that they are allowed to lie in the baskets for several minutes before they are even noticed. This trouble was eliminated in a large department store by providing a buzzer which was sounded automatically by the weight of the tubes in the receiving basket. The arrangement is clearly shown in the illustration."
Portsmouth Evening News, 24 Aug. 1891, p. 3. A bit of human rubbish "Patient buyers are awaiting the advent of the automaton that some future store service company will supply with its cash carriers - a model sales-machine that will be neither impertinent nor disobliging."
Punch, 1992?, p. 210 "Presently the farce, like Mr Mould's overhead cash-carrier, swoops down the customary track."
Sunday Post, 23 Mar. 1919, p.7 "Novel solution of the housing problem... A miniature automatic carrier system, like the cash-carriers of the large drapery establishments, will run on a track below the house floors, and will be accessible from an opening in the dining-hall wall. This carrier system would be used to carry meals from the communal kitchen to the dining-room sideboard, ready to be served."
Sunday Vindicator [Youngstown, Ohio], 31 July 1898, p.8 "In smaller shops the cash register is in use and greatly simplifies the work of the cashier. In places where a very large business is done one of the cash railway or pneumatic tube systems is in operation. These do away with the expense of cashgirls, but add to the cashier's responsibilities, as it is very easy to confuse the different balls or tubes."
Waterloo [Iowa] Daily Courier, 13 Aug. 1891, p.3. "The old lady emptied out on the counter the contents of a small handbag. The contents were dimes and five cent pieces, and there was a big heap of them... After counting it over twice, the clerk had to charter two extra trains on the cash railway in order to get the money to the cashier's desk."