The Lamson tube, which we've already talked about in this blog, was destined to, among its various uses, carry out payments in shops and other commercial establishments. Distrustful, the owners and managers guaranteed, this way, that the money didn't go through the hands of their employees and went straight to a central financial section where every cash register operation was done and where the control was easier. Many other systems of this kind were used, especially in the big department stores that were so common in the big European and North-American cities, having as a basis as ingenious and crafty processes as pressurized tubes, cable cars or elevators.
A fairly common system consisted of a cable car with suspended cables in the ceiling that went through the entire building starting in the financial department and stopping at the selling and service points. This entire device, similar to a miniature railway line, moved by a small steam boiler and, later, by an electric motor, moved small mine cars.
The cash-balls were small spherical capsules that did without a motor, as they strolled powered by gravity in metal trenches inclined all the way to the selling points and the other way around. Not at all practical and very noisy, this system had, in spite of it all, some use.
Other imaginative devices were used as well. One of those, a projectile, similar to a dart, clearly evoking fair games where young people tested their strength. The name of the device was actually very appropriate: dart. Triggering a rope would compress a spring that after it had been loose would propel the projectile along an horizontal cable. Genious.
The elevators or service lifts, on the other hand, worked vertically, obviously, and were, perhaps, the most usual. Its handling was mostly manual, through a rope with a counter-weight that made a small booth or basket, where the money bag was placed, slide.