Long before EFTPOS and electronic transactions, Adelaide store owners needed a way to securely store the daily takings. A common solution in the 19th and 20th century was to employ a Pneumatic Tube System.

Pneumatic Tube Cartridge
A Pneumatic Tube Cartridge

Every time a salesperson collected cash they would place it into a special cartridge and load it into an airtight tube. It would then be propelled (by means of suction) along the tube, until it reached the end.

The end would often be located in a different floor of the building (in our case the 2nd floor) containing a vault or strong room. There the money would be securely stored awaiting transport via armoured vehicle.

Not many Pneumatic Tube Systems still exist in Adelaide so I was shocked to find this one inside an abandoned shoe store. Be sure to let us know if you find something similar!