Historical information

These cash carriers were used in the Warrnambool business of Swintons Pty Ltd. They were manufactured by Lamson of U.S.A. William Lamson of Massachusetts, U.S.A. first patented cash carriers in 1882 and originally the cash balls were carried from counter to cashier via a wire and pulley system. These Swinton cash carriers were carried via pneumatic tubes. William and Ann Swinton migrated to Australia in 1854 and for a decade William Swinton worked as a builder and carpenter in the Warrnambool area, erecting many buildings, including the Wangoom Presbyterian Church. In 1865 he opened a store in Timor Street, Warrnambool, selling groceries, hardware, glassware and china. By 1888 the business was known as William Swinton and Sons. Branch stores were opened in Cudgee, Nullawarre, Wangoom, West Warrnambool and South Warrnambool. After William Swinton’s death his son Robert became the first managing director of Swintons Pty Ltd. In 1934 the business split, with George Swinton and Sons selling furnishings, clothing and glassware and Swintons Pty Ltd selling seeds, produce and hardware. Today the Swinton family still operates a furniture and bedding store in Timor Street.

Significance

These cash carriers are of great interest firstly as a memento of business practices in the past and secondly because they were used in the Warrnambool business of Swintons Pty Ltd. The current Swinton business in Timor Street Warrnambool is the oldest family business in Warrnambool and, with the name Swinton associated with Timor Street businesses for 152 years, it is amongst the oldest family businesses in Australia.

Physical description

These are two cash carriers. They are brass cylinders made with a large opening at the top with an inner lining which can close over the opening. The cylinder has two wooden holders at each end attached to the brass with three metal screws at each end. The brass is somewhat rusted and the wooden ends are worn. These cash carriers were sent from the cash counter in a shop or business to the cashier via pneumatic tubes.

Inscriptions & markings

‘Lamson Patent’ ‘RCM/Lamson’