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Cash Railway at Te Aro House, Wellington NZ

Have you seen the cash railway at Te Aro House, Wellington. The following is what one of the Wellington papers say about it: — Mr James Smith, of Te Aro House, habitually keeps his eyes pretty wide open, and on his recent trip to England he combined business with pleasure, as his late importations of " things new and strange," attest. While in New York, Mr Smith was very much struck with the system of cash railways in vogue in the large stores, and he spent a whole day in examining these latest of labor-saving devices. The result of this inspection was that he decided to fit up Te Aro House wifch a cash railway system. This has now been effected, and there is in operation, at that popular mart, a "railway" of the very newest patent. It was brought into operation on Monday morning, and the employees are just beginning to gef used to it. The cashier's desk is centrally situated in the establishment, and from this centre slender steel wires radiate from the cashier's desk to the sales stations, all coming in overhead. The cars pass noiselessly along these wires until they reach their destination at either end, where they automatically interlock with a fixed-spring motor and come silently to rest. By a simple turn of the handle to right or left of about half an inch, the cash box is instantly detached from the car and emptied of its contents. An easy downward pull of a few inches upon a cord pendant from the machine, puts the spring in operation, and automatically releases the car, which glides swiftly and silently forward, as if impelled by a magical force The speed of the car, as well as the distance to be traversed by it, are regulated by simply adjusting the releasing device. A speed of 100 feet in from three to four seconds is easily attainable. The usual plan is to run the tracks horizontally, aud place a spring motor at each end, but these cars will mount an incline just as easily as they will run on a level, and where parties wish to elevate their own desks, the cars are propelled up the incline and allowed to return by gravity." Such is the official description of the system, as furnished by the "Lawson [sic] Store Service Company." of New York and a dozen other cities of the United States. The beauty of the thing is its regular and easy working, and the saving of labour which it effects. The salesman at his counter, takes the money from his customer, unscrews the bottom of the little car or box overhead, puts in the money, and with one touch of the finger sets the car in motion. It proceeds rapidly to the cash desk, where the cashier detaches it, takes out the money, and if necessary puts change back, and in any case sends the car away again to the salesman. Thus the salesmen need not, as of old, be running backward and forwards to. the cash desk. The system extends to all the departments and works admirably, as by the way does everything in Te Aro House. The railway was erected by Mr Thomas Ballinger, Willis-street, and Mr . James Wilson, builder, and their work has been most efficiently performed.

Manawatu Herald, 5 Apr. 1892, p.2