THE CASH RAILWAY WEBSITE
|Home||Manufacturers||Cash Balls||Wire systems||Cable systems||Pneumatic systems||Locations||References||Patents|
The earliest mention I have found is at Pratt and Watson's in Hamilton, Ont. in 1883 and Thorne's was almost simultaneous.
BATHURST, NB. Kents. Kent’s department store was a fixture of downtown Bathurst and was well known for its use of a pneumatic tube cash system that was among the last to be used in Canada. Rather than having a cash register at every counter, all transactions were handled by a central cashier who took payments and returned change through a tube system that connected to all the departments on all three floors. Closed in September 1990 after being in business for 106 years. The main building was subsequently torn down. Times & Transcript (Moncton) 9 July 1990, p. 1
BRANDON, Man. Strome & Whitelaw, 9th Street and Rosser Ave. "The cash-carrier at the store .. has been as busy as a bee... This is a genuine dissolution sale, Mr. Whitelaw retiring from the dry goods business." Brandon Mail, 5 Dec. 1889, p. 1
BRANDON, Man. Nation & Shewman. "Nation & Shewman recently installed an extensive system of Lamson cable carriers in their up to date store in Brandon, Man." Dry Goods Review, Aug. 1921, p. 121 (with photograph)
CALGARY, Abl. Hudson's Bay Company, corner of McTavish Street and Stephen Avenue. "In front of the office, 'the cash girl's stand' which made use of Whiting's cash railway system, was installed by Peddie and Erskine of Winnipeg." Henry C. Klassen. Eye on the future: business people in Calgary and the Bow Valley, 1870-1900. Univ. of Calgary Pr., 2002, p.282
CALGARY, Alb. Hudson's Bay Company, 200 8th Avenue S.W. Built 1912-13. Pneumatic tube system. Calgary Library website. [Not sure if this was a successor to the above.]
CARDSTON, Alb. W.H.Steed & Co. "Cardston merchant installs cash carriers. W.H.Steed & Co., Cardston's largest department store, are rearranging their office quarters and installing an up-to-date cash carrier system." Lethbridge Herald, 5 Apr. 1921, p.8
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI. Moore, McLeod and Co, drapers. Cash carrier in 1975. This England, Summer 1975.
CHATHAM, NB. J.D.Creaghan, Water Street. Opened in 1896. "In the fall the Kinbell cash system was introduced in the store. Containers took cash along a single wire rack to the cashier, who made change and returned the container to the clerk." Atlantic Advocate, June 1975
CHESLEY, Ont. Liebacke and Heinmiller store. Wire system in use until 1960s, now in Bruce County Museum. Bruce County website
COCHRANE, Alb. Tea Hippie. "Kelly Joyner, the wonderful creator of our tea shop, has been in the small business world all of her life. Kelly took interest in business at an early age in her father's shop called Joyners, which was a massive clothing store based in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, which famously held the world's largest cash cable system. Many of these items including pegs, part of the cable system, and bags have been kept at Tea... and other things for display." Tea Hippie website
DUTTON, Ont. T. Hockin Co. (general store). Wire system. Don Hockin
EDMONTON, Alb. Birks, Jasper Avenue/104th Street. Building opened 1929. Pneumatic tube system. Edmonton Real Estate Weekly vol. 20, no. 21, 23 May 2002
EDMONTON, Alb. C.W. Campbell. "This store throughout is supplied with a cash-carrier system and every other modern appliance known to the mercantile world." Edmonton Bulletin, 13 Jun. 1908, p. 5
EDMONTON, Alb. Revillion Frères, 10221-104 Street. Pneumatic tube system. Store was built 1912-13. Edmonton: Old Faces - New Places. Heritage Fair Research Package
EXETER, Ont. J.A. Stewart "has this week put in the cash railway system, his business and premises having increased to such proportions that it was almost impossible to continue in the old way." Exeter Times, 28 May 1891, p. 8
FERNIE, B.C. London & Liverpool Store. "Fernie possesses the largest general store in British Columbia... The store has three floors and basement .. and a cash railway system is being put in. Nelson Daily Miner, 30 Jun. 1899, Suppl. p.7
GASPE, Que. Robin, Jones and Whitman. "With the new blood came new methods of doing business, which may be seen in the fine new general stores of Robin, Jones and Whitman, all of which have been built since 1900. A number of them, especially at a Paspebiac, is as modernly constructed and operated as any up-to-date store, with its cash trolley system, glass counters, and electric lights." Canadian Fisherman, Mar. 1920, p. 66
GRAND FALLS, Nfld. Royal Stores. "What better way to have fun than to go into the Royal Stores and watch the overhead wire-run cash system that took money in a container to the office upstairs." Advertiser (Grand Falls) website
HALIFAX, NS. Cragg Bros. "Standing eight storeys and basement, the building is a veritable skyscraper for Halifax... Equipment of the most modern type has been installed throughout... Electric cash carriers and an inter-department phone system are other features." Hardware Merchandising, Jan.-Apr. 1913
HALIFAX, NS. Eatons, Barrington Street. ?Pneumatic tube system. Nova Scotia Stamp Club Newsletter, 34(6), Feb. 2005, p.1
HALIFAX, NS. Robert Simpson, Chebucto Road. ?Pneumatic tube system. Nova Scotia Stamp Club Newsletter, 34(6), Feb. 2005, p.1
HAMILTON, Ont. Pratt and Watkins, 16 and 18 James Street. "Hamilton to have another railroad... We have adopted the Lampson [sic] cash railway system and hope to have our grand railway opening on Thursday next. Imitation is certain to follow our success, and one of the chief annoyances to every new method or improvement comes from the fact that a set of brainless imitators spring up on every hand. Still we must be the first in the field... We have four railway tracks now laid and hope to have the whole system in order by Thursday next. Cash boys no longer required. Cash sent from the farthest part of the store in eleven seconds and returned in the same space of time." Hamilton Daily Times, 25 Jun. 1883, p. 2 (This is the earliest reference in the British Newspaper Archive.)
HAMILTON, Ont. The Right House, 35 King Street East. "It was the first in Hamilton to install the overhead cash-carrying system." Urbancity website
HAMILTON, Ont. S. Thorne & Co., 160 King Street. "Since the month of January last we have been negotiating for the introduction into our store of the new celebrated Lamson Cash Carrier System ... This system has been rendered necessary by the increase in our business, and all preliminaries being now completed, will be established with us in a day or two, and this not withstanding the advertisement of a certain dry goods firm doing business here, who, with more cheek than courtesy or right, threaten to regard all other persons adopting the above system as 'brainless imitators', to use their own choice expression... For our part we had decided upon introducing it long before we knew of the intention of that firm." Hamilton Evening Times, 26 Jun. 1883, p. 2
HAND HILLS, Alb. Bill Whiting. "Mr. Whiting came from Ireland .. and to the Shepard district in 1907. While there he operated a general store... He came [to Hand Hills] in about 1908 or 1909... It has been said that Mr. Whiting invented the 'cash railway' and had one in his home in the Hand Hills... The one Mr. Whiting had would only go in a straight line." Hand Hills Heritage (Hand Hills Lake Club, 1968), p. 318
HERBERT, Sask. Kroeker (dept. store), 701 Herbert Avenue. Built in 1911. "It had a Lambert [sic] cable cash system." Building demolished in 1941. Herbert Town website
KINGSTON, Ont. Steacy & Steacy. "After an experience of over twenty years in handling Cash Carriers .. we take very great pleasure in stating that after our experience with the system of 'Gipe Cash and Package Carrier' which you recently installed in our store, we must express our entire satisfaction with same. As you, no doubt, are aware we disposed of our Lamson Endless Cable system to replace it with your Carrier; and we are very much pleased indeed to have made the change." Dry Goods Review, 1910
KITCHENER, Ont. Budds (dept store), 165 King Street West. Pneumatic tube system. "Of never ending entertainment to adults and children alike" Posting to soc.genealogy.uk+ireland newsgroup 20/11/1996. "The Kitchener store is one of the last in Ontario to use a pneumatic cash carrier system. It was installed 63 years ago. The Budds considered replacing it with electronic cash registers but abandoned the idea. 'Our system is faster and we use the time saved to spend with our customers'". Ser-Charlap Family Newsletter vol.6,no.3, Sept. 1995
KINGSTON, Ont. Kingsmills (dept store), 130 Dundas Street. "Preserved to this day, to the delight of both shoppers and tourists, is the pneumatic steel and brass tube system used to carry paperwork and change throughout the store, a 21st century rarity. The precursor to today's cash registers, it's still an efficient way to exchange foreign currency, correct errors and authorize credit at a central cashier. And a trip from the first to the fourth floor takes only about 17 seconds." Furniture World Magazine website and Kingsmills' website
LEDUC, Alb. Kelly & Dalgleish. "3-station Lamson cash carrier system complete. Apply Kelly & Dalgleish Ltd., Hardware, Leduc.
LETHBRIDGE, Alb. Co-op. "The co-op installed a cash carrier system in their store on Friday last, which is now working most satisfactorily. It was purchased from the Hazard Store Service Co., Toronto." Lethbridge News, 15 Feb. 1900, p.1
LONDON, Ont. Kingsmills. "The present building .. dates to the 1930's... Other unique features of the building include a pneumatic tube system to send paperwork and change throughout the store... These features have survived over the years in a conscious effort to maintain the character and elegance of the building." Kingsmills website
MEDICINE HAT, Alb. Marshall Hardware Co. "For sale.. one Lamson three point cash carrier, almost new, in first class condition. The Marshall Hardware Co., Limited, Medicine Hat, Alta." Lethbridge Herald, 8 Nov. 1909, p.4
MISSION CITY, B.C. Des Brisays (dept. store). Opened in early/mid 1920s. Pneumatic tube system. Office was on second floor. Mission City website
MONTREAL, Que. Colonial House (dept store), St Catherine Street. "Colonial House opened on 21 April 1891, and newspapers were immediately lavish in their praise. 'A dry goods palace'', said the Montreal Gazette. 'A palatial store' was the headline of Montreal Star... Both articles commented on the novel system by which cash was conveyed to the main cashier's office in metal containers which travelled on an overhead system of cables operated by an electric motor. One writer commented that the system was as intriguing to men as it was to little boys... [caption:] Henry Morgan's Colonial House, the first major department store on St Catherine Street... Since the early 1970s it has been the Hudson's Bat Company." Alexandra Palmer (ed.) Fashion: a Canadian perspective. (Toronto: Univ. Toronto, 2004) p.206
MONTREAL, Que. DuPuis Freres, corner of Saint André and Sainte Catherine streets. Pneumatic tube system with magnetic separator. Lamson advertisement in Chain Store Age, June 1949.
MOOSE JAW, Sask. Joyner's General
Store, 30 Main Street North. Cable system.
In 2003 described as "the
world's largest operational Lamson Cash Carrier System installed in 1915".
It had over 1.000 feet of track on three levels. Shop closed in 1994 and became
an Antiques Emporium. Photographs on Luxegen
website. Very sadly the building burned down on New Year's Day 2004 and
it was not known if anything could be salvaged.
Leader-Post (Regina) 5 Jan. 2004.
MOOSE JAW, Sask. Cash Cable Café. "Still features the complicated cash carrier system used by department stores, before the invention of the till, that carried shoppers' cash by cable to the accountants upstairs. It's one of only two in the world still operating." (Presumably parts from Joyners' Store.) Travelingo website
NAPANEE, Ont. Hinch & Co. "Importers and Dealers in Dry Goods, Carpets, Millinery, General House Furnishings and Furs. Theirs is the largest and best appointed dry goods establishment in Central Ontario... It is .. fitted with the Lamson Cash Railway system... They occupy nearly two-thirds of the Albert Block, one of the most imposing business structures in Napanee... 'Cheapside', as the firm have christened their mammoth establishment." Saturday Globe [Toronto], 25 Nov. 1893
OTTAWA, Ont. The C. Ross Co. "The Package Carrier System recently installed by you [sc. Gipe Carrier Co.] is entirely satisfactory, we appreciate also the manner in which it has been installed." Dry Goods Review, 1910
OWEN SOUND, Ont. McKay Bros., 942 2nd Ave. E. "Perhaps the most iconic part of the building, and something that many remember it for, was its money rail, a track system used to send payments and invoices back and forth between the front desk and a second-floor office.
The system wasn't operating when Mundle purchased the building, but he was hoping to have part of it spinning when the co-op holds its opening on Friday.
'We are getting the motor all redone and we are getting new bushings and pulleys and everything made,' said Mundle. 'We are going to try to get at least one part of it going around and around like it used to.' Owen Sound Sun Times, 3 Feb. 2016
PETERBORO, Ont. Turnbull (general store). George Street and Simere. "Later the metal containers shooting along overhead wires were installed." Turnbull clan website
PICTON, Ont. A. Bristol & Son (dry goods emporium). "Mr. Hazard Bristol has been in partnership with his father since 1897, and in the conduct of this store employs the cash carrier system." Pioneer life on the Bay of Quinte, including genealogies of old families and biographical sketches of representative citizens (190?), p.164
PONOKA, Alb. L.B.Matischs jewellery store, Railway Street. Built 1910. Later became Edwards grocery store and in 1928 James and Mace Brodys dry goods and ready-to-wear business. In 1978 became a restaurant. Pneumatic tube system. Ponoka website
PORT HOPE, Ont. Turnbull General Store. "The clerks took their sales money to the cashier’s office in the center of the store to get their receipts and charge. Later the metal containers shooting along overhead wires were installed." Turnbull Clan website
PASPÉBIAC, Que. Charles Robin Co. (general store). This was the largest in the Robin chain. Cash ball system shown clearly in photograph of 1908. Jersey Museum
QUÉBEC. Comptoir Emmaus (thrift shop), St-Joseph E. "Four giant floors of inexpensive used clothing, books, furniture and housewares... Be sure to check out the second-floor pneumatic-tube system for making change!" Emma McKay. Montreal & Quebec City Colourguide. 3rd ed. (Halifax N.S.: Formac) p.137
QUÉBEC. Syndicat de Québec (dept. store) Boulevard Charest. Pneumatic tube system with magnetic separator. Lamson advertisement in Chain Store Age, June 1949. Store was rebuilt in 1949, closed in 1981 and converted into an office block.
REGINA, Sask. Met Store. "The Met store on the 1800 block of Scarth St had a cable system for sending large bills up to the main office ($10.00 and up). The six cash counters on the floor carried a very small float for change... The Met store moved to the New Coop Shopping Mall on McCarthy and Rochdale, 1985?? and the cable cash system was not employed after the move." Mick West on Facebook 9/6/16
REGINA, Sask. Regina Trading Co. "Several years' experience with Lamson wire line carriers convinced the Regina Trading Co. .. that centralized service was best for their business. So when they built their new up-to-date department store it was natural for them to turn to Lamson pneumatic tubes as the best possible type of centralized service." Dry Goods Review, Feb.1921 , p. 111
RENFREW, Ont. Stewarts, 142 Raglan Street. Now McPhail and Perkins Furniture. Constructed 1883. "The building had .. an overhead cash trolley from the counters to the office." McPhail's website.
REVELSTOKE, B.C.. C.B. Hume & Co. "See the new cash carrier." Mail-Herald (Revelstoke), 17 Jan. 1912, p. 5
SAINTE-ANNE-DE-BELLEVUE, Montreal, Que. D'Aoust & Cie, 73 Sainte-Anne Street. Cable carrier. Photograph here , on Barclay Fortin blogspot and on Instagram. Video of the system functioning for the firm's 115th anniversary.
ST. JOHN, N.B. Manchester, Robertson & Allison, King and Germain Streets. "The many separtments .. are now fitted with the Lamson cable cash system, the latest thing of its kind." St John Daily Sun, 11 Dec. 1900, p.14
ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. James Baird Ltd., Water Street. Lamson tube system. Report in Atlantic Guardian
SHAWVILLE, Que. G.F. Hodgins. "We are also installing a Rapid Cash Carrier system." The Equity [Shawville], 27 Oct. 1904, p. 5
STONY PLAIN, Alb. Jacob Millers General Store and Post Office. "The cash system used in this store consisted of a number of pulleys. The clerks would pulley the money up to the accountant on the top floor who would make the change and pulley the money back down again." Stony Plain Virtual Tour
SOUTHAMPTON, Ont. Bruce County Museum, 33 Victoria Street N.. Wire system, taken from Liebacke & Heinmiller's store, Chesley. Bruce County website
SYDNEY, N.S. Crowells (dept. store). "Oh, those pneumatic money tubes." Kijiji website
SYDNEY MINES, N.S. British Canadian Co-operative Soc. (Groceries and hardware on ground floor). "The central store has a floor space of 15,555 square feet, and consists of basement and two floors. The ground floor is devoted to the sale of groceries, provisions and domestic hardware. On entering the store there is found on the left-hand side the office for the receipt of the cash carriers, and recording cash takings." Emerson P. Harris. Co-operation: the hope of the consumer. (New York: Macmillan, 1919)
TORONTO, Ont. Eatons.
TORONTO, Ont. Rice Lewis & Son. "Having used your new 'Gipe' Cash Carriers for the past six months we frankly state that they are very efficient in every way, and are giving us perfect service. The speed, positive catch and ease of operation are features that appeal to us strongly." Dry Goods Review, 1910
TORONTO, Ont. Simpsons. See
TORONTO: Eatons above.
TORONTO, Ont. R. Walker & Sons, 33-43 King Street East. "We have justly earned the title, the largest retail store in Canada... The appointments - .. Electric cash carriers." Toronto Daily Mail, 1 Nov. 1892, p.5
VANCOUVER, B.C. C.C. Store. "The C C Store had one of these systems. Instead of a cash register at the check-out stand, the clerk would take your cash and the ticket, put it into the wooden container and send it up to the cashier upstairs behind the half-wall like in your second photo. The cashier would put the correct change back into the wooden container and send it back to the clerk on the main floor. It was quite the scene to watch in action!" Alexander-Slocum REMAX team in posting to Gary Coles blog, 3/1/10
VANCOUVER, B.C. Kelly Douglas. Pneumatic tube system. Photograph in City of Vancouver Archives
VANCOUVER, B.C. Spencers (dept. store), Hastings Street. "A neat system of payment in the meat department downstairs had customers tuck their money for a purchase into a little machine that whizzed on overhead wires and returned with their change." Senior Living Magazine website
VICTORIA, B.C. White House. "The centre of attraction on Government Street is the cash railway at the White House." Daily Colonist (Victoria), 21 Dec. 1888, p. 1
WALKERTON, Ont. Stephen Bros. "He [Harry Stephen] installed a unique system to handle the cash received from the customers along each side of the store... Overhead, above the counters, was a double wire track system, between which were suspended small wooden containers called cups. The tracks went from full length of the store on each side and ended at the cashier's office, up three steps at the back of the store. For years, Miss Mary McIntee was the cashier. Miss McIntee had the only money in the store to make change for customers. As the clerks made a sale, the money presented by the customer was placed in the cash cups above (the size of a large tumbler) along with the bill of sale. The cup was then twisted into the overhead receiver on the track. The clerk pulled a dangling handle which operated a spring that sent the container flying along the track to Miss McIntee's office. Miss McIntee unclipped the money container, made the right change, then sent this back to the clerk by the same route. No one had access to the store's money but the cashier, so mistakes were kept to a minimum." SouthwesternOntario.ca website
WALLACEBURG, Ont. Deans (dry goods), 412 James Street. "Later he [Grant Dean] moved to his first employer's location on James Street and built a strong reputation in the made-to-measure men's clothing trade. The popular firm that featured a cable cash system was taken over by Ralph Dean and operated until 1977." Wallaceburg: faces and places. (Images of Canada). Charleston SC: Arcadia, 1999, p. 81
WETASKIWIN, Alb. N.W. Gould installed an up-to-date cash carrier system into his store last week. Miss Lottie Gould is cashier." Wetaskiwin Times, 3 Apr. 1902, p. 1
WHITBY, Ont. Ross Bros. (Whitby Dry Goods Emporium). "We have just recently introduced into our store the Electric Cash Railway System. This system until now was only to be found in a very few of the largest stores in the largest cities in the Dominion... All visitors to Whitby during the Fair are invited to step in and see it operating." Whitby Chronicle, 7 Oct. 1887
WINDSOR, Nfld. Stewart's Groceries. Wire system. Katherine Burgess
WINDSOR, N.S. George D. Geldert & Co. (dry goods, gentlemen's furnishings). "Messrs. Geldert & Co. occupy the largest store in the town of Windsor, and have it furnished with all the latest of modern improvements, including cash railway." George P. Jones. Windsor: its points of interest and representative businessmen (Windsor, 1893), .p. 34
WINDSOR, Ont. Joseph Appelbe Co., Pitt and Sandwich Streets. "Cash cable system carriers are used exclusively on all floors." Style, Jul. - Dec. 1913
WINGHAM, Ont. Isards (dept. store), 222 & 224 Josephine Street. "1905 ... A rapid cash system was also added to the store. Overhead steel wires, suspended from the ceiling, ran to the various selling areas. When a sale was made, the bill and cash were placed in a container and zipped [a]long the wire to the office." In 1953 the store was sold to Earl O'Bright. Virtual Museum of Canada
WINNIPEG, Man. J.H.Ashdown Hardware Co., Main Street. "Wanted - girl for cash desk, cash carrier system." Manitoba Free Press, 23 Jul. 1917, p.11
WINNIPEG, Man. Hudson's Bay Company "have adopted the Whiting cash railway system in their grocery department, Winnipeg." Brussels Post, 5 Dec. 1890, p. 1
WINNIPEG, Man. E.B.Nash. "The entire stock of Fixtures and Furniture will be offered by auction .. at our present premises, 524-526 Main street, Tuesday April 14th... Cash Railway. Manitoba Morning Free Press, 11 Apr. 1903, p.2
WINNIPEG, Man. Porte & Markle (jewellery), 300-302 Portage Avenue. "The first jewellery store in Winnipeg to install a pneumatic cash carrier system." Manitoba Free Press, 22 July 1910
WINNIPEG, Man. Archibald Wright. "The bankrupt sale... Bids on the Cash Carrier System.. and all other fixtures, are solicited." Manitoba Morning Free Press, 15 Dec. 1908, p.6
indicates systems which are still there (as far as I know) though they may not be working.