Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hudson in 1905: Part 31

The following is an excerpt from the booklet Illustrated Hudson, N.Y., published in 1905.

THE MARSH & BACHMAN CO.--Proprietors of THE MODERN DRY GOODS STORE. 551 Warren street. This modern emporium began business thirteen years ago, and has been incorporated and conducted under the present title for the past ten years. The members of the firm are: W. T. Marsh, President; S. H. Blunt, Vice-President; and L. W. Bachman, Secretary and Treasurer. The general stock carried at this establishment is large and varied in every department. It comprises everything in the way of dry goods, notions, millinery, ladies' suits and ready-to-wear garments, carpets, rugs, and travelers' outfits. Through progressive methods and a careful insight into the wants of their customers Messrs. Marsh & Bachman Co. have built up the largest establishment of this kind in the city. The entire building, three floors and basement,  32x150 feet, is devoted to the business, and the general arrangement is such as to facilitate the hurried shopper in finding what she wants readily. The general display at all times is one to create admiration, while the dispatch with which purchases are handled are modern in every degree, having the Lamson Carrier and all other appointments connected with a business of this character.

551 Warren Street today--Noonan Antiques and Crawford & Associates
Gossips Note: The Lamson Carrier was invented in 1880 by William S. Lamson, who owned a notions store in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was a system that conveyed money from clerks on the selling floor to a cashier in some central location in the store by means of overhead wires. A clerk would place the customer's cash and a sales slip in the carrier container, which in the beginning was a wire basket, and send it to the cashier; the cashier would put the change and a receipt into the carrier and send it back to the sales clerk. In the 20th century, the Lamson Carrier evolved into a pneumatic tube system. The Lamson Carrier predated the cash register, and the system continued to be used in department stores until the 1950s.


  1. Remember the pneumatic carriers in Glens Falls, NY in Fowler's store. Fowler's and Hudson's Marsh's store operated by the same family.

  2. I just learned from a reader that the Lamson Carrier may still have been in place in 1987, when the movie Ironweed was filmed at 551 Warren Street. The movie shows the interior of the store completely intact. Guess what just went to the top of my Netflix queue!

  3. By 1990 this place was closed.

    The interior paneling, some doors, a phone booth and a staircase had been removed and rearranged in the center of the room for a past movie set.

    Crawford and Associates later purchased this building and chopped it up into a maize of smaller spaces.

    1. So, Vincent, are you saying that the interior was not completely intact in 1987? that they cobbled together some surviving elements of the store's interior to create the set used in Ironweed?

    2. Carole, when I saw the interior in 1990 the center of the room was divided in half with architectural elements from the store. As you put so clearly, cobbled together. When I inquired about the strange arrangement is when I was informed that look had been a movie set created. The rest of the room was stripped bare to its plaster walls with no suggestion of what the space originally looked like. Rather disappointing.

      I don't know what movie it was for but I think Ironweed was a bit later.

  4. Marsh's was open and operating when I came here in 1981. My first impression was that I had walked into a time warp from the 1930's.
    I'm sure they still had the pneumatic system. All the department stores in Belfast had that system when I grew up. I was scared of the noise as a child.