Pictures of the Weaver's Cash Carrier System by Mr. Flannery  and Harlan Miller EMAIL: harlanmiller (at) sbcglobal.net

See it at....

Weaver's Department Store 
901 Massachusetts St.
Lawrence, KS 66044

785-843-6360

Established in 1857, this store offers national brand products, quality services, and the best value in the area.

 

Dear Ms. Boal,  (Editor Barbara Boal of The American Philatelist)

As much as I enjoy each issue of American Philatelist, I must point out a couple of errors in the March, 2007 issue.

      The very interesting article, Kansas/Nebraska Overprints with Perfins, by Steve Endicott prompted a search of my own Kans/Nebr overprints where I found several examples of the University of Kansas perfin. The University is located here in my home town of Lawrence, Kansas. However, the caption for the cover shown at the top of page 237 of the article states that "only one of the two stamps is a perfin." A close look at the 2 Washington stamp reveals most of the KU perfin in the lower right corner of the stamp in an upright position whereas the perfin on the 1 Franklin is more centered and inverted. One thing I had hoped to find in reading the article was a description and pictures of the equipment used to apply perfins. Oh well, maybe one of your readers will provide this information in a later article.

                

     The equally interesting article, The Pneumatic Industry, by David Straight caused me some discomfort when I read, "While the Post Office and department stores no longer employ pneumatic tubes...." We have a department store legend, an institution, in this town by the name of Weaver's Department Store. This year they are celebrating their 150th year of continuous operation in Lawrence, and their 78th year of operation in their present building, located at the heart of the downtown shopping area. Their pneumatic cash carrier system is still in use today, 72 years after installation - a very quaint and unique system in the venerable old store.

        

     They originally used a wire line cash carrier system in their previous location but installed the pneumatic system in their present location around 1935. It is an Airmatic system, manufactured (and installed?) by the Airmatic Systems Company, Saddle Brook, Rochelle Park, New Jersey. I have been unable to find any information about this company on the Internet. The blower to supply the air for the system is a Spencer Turbo-Compressor manufactured by The Spencer Turbine Company, at that time located in Hartford, Connecticut. Today they are located in Windsor, CT and this year they are celebrating their 115th year in business. Jim Yablonski, Business Manager, Blower and Vacuum Sales, also informs me that the famous Wannamaker's Department Store organ in Philadelphia is powered by a Spencer blower.

    

     Weaver's pneumatic cash carrier has 12 stations located throughout their four floors with the cashier's station, ably ran by Ms. Sue Cranston, located in the office area at the rear of the top floor. The blower is located in the basement. When I asked Weaver's President Joe Flannery why they were still using the antique system he replied, "It still works, it's low maintenance, it's unique and the customers like it." Back in the 1990's sometime, a story about Weaver's in the local newspaper mentioned (falsely) that Weaver's was going to tear out the old pneumatic cash carrier system. The mention of that possibility generated many angry and concerned letters, phone calls and visits from customers outraged that Weaver's would even think about doing away with the quaint old cash carrier system.

   

      Mr. Flannery, regarding the low maintenance, mentioned that the present blower motor is only the second or maybe third one for the system and they have to occasionally replace a carrier or the felt ends for them. He says that they are going to computerized cash registers but they will still retain the pneumatic tube system to send paperwork back and forth to the cashier in the office.

       Shown are several pictures of the Weaver's Cash Carrier System

#1   Cashier station with incoming tubes on the left and outgoing tubes on the right.

#2   Cashier Station showing tubes and cashier Ms. Sue Cranston.

#3   Cashier's outgoing tubes.

#4   Cashier's incoming tubes and carriers.

#5, 6 & 7   Clerk's terminals. On photo #6 the port to send the carrier to the cashier is just below the duct tape. Note the new cash register to the left and the blue computer cable. 

     

Harlan Miller

Lawrence, Kansas

 

    

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