un’till in Jacksons

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This is what the nice gentleman in the menswear department shared with me.  

Jacksons store was purpose built in 1897 for the family business.    Jackson’s gentlemans outfitters started earlier,   on this site in 1875.    Over 100 years later  it is still owned by the Jackson family  and operating in the orginal premisis.   It has many different departments spread throughout the building on different levels.   None of the departments have a till.   The stores takings are not stored in each department.

When a customer purchases an item the money and purchase details are put into a tubular container and sent up a pipe to the office on the top floor where they calculate the change and return it down the pipe in a tubular container.   Awesome.   It made me want to purchase something just to see the system working.   I’m now contemplating making full use of the reputedly quirky shoe department  during my next weekly visit.    

In the office on the top floor you can see where all the pipes arrive from each department.   The office person, behind these safe bars, can safely recieve the cash and return the change.   It reminded me of the banking system with video-tellers in a US bank that I used to use.

 The Jackson’s store website calls this a ‘Lamson pneumatic tube system’ and dates it in the 1960s.

 

un’till in Jacksons
rate wendys scribble

5 bits of lovely banter on “un’till in Jacksons”

  1. Sarah's Dad writes:

    US department stores used to have those systems as well. In reviewing the Jackson website I see they have a blog. Unfortunately they have not had any news since 12/14/07.

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  2. Mark writes:

    This place sounds a lot like the store in Cape Town that I used to get my school uniforms from. I think that store was called “Garlicks” and it was also named after a prominent family that owned and ran the store.

    If I remember correctly, Garlicks also had pneumatic tubes which were used in much the same way you describe. They also had (this in the early 1980’s), a manually operated elevator with an operator wearing a special outfit. He would ask you which floor you wanted to go to, press all the buttons, and open & close the “cage” doors. He also made a grand pronouncement when you arrived at your destination, e.g. “Second floor: Ladies Underwear”. I used to love that bit! 🙂

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  3. :: Wendy :: writes:

    According to many websites when searching for Garlicks Store in South Africa:
    The Manager of the cycle department in Garlicks (1898), Mr.W. Jenkins, was the first to import a car (Royal Enfield Quad) to South Africa and he started in it front of the Store. He later sold the car to Sir Alfred Hennessey.

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  4. Scaryduck writes:

    We used to have a Lamson tube in our office until it was decommissioned a few years ago.

    It was EXCELLENT for practical joking, as anything left lying around would end up two floors away.

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  5. Lucy writes:

    I often visit the craft and knitting departments in Jacksons, and I used to think they only had to use the tube system when I paid by card – but the other day I paid for some wool in cash and up it went in the tube… From the knitting department they have to come up to the front desk (jewellery and hosiery) to use the tube there.

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