Since 1908 the name Lamson has been synonymous with cash and document distribution systems. Lamson NZ Ltd was established in New Zealand 100 years ago, and is completely NZ owned. Today's distribution systems have been developed to utilize modern technological advances, and offer the best possible range of applications and systems efficiency.
Lamson have diversified and are also involved in small parts storage systems and materials distribution equipment.
The Lamson storage system is based on plastic bins manufactured from polypropylene right here in NZ. These plastic bins can be used in workshops and warehouses on shelving or fixed to walls using our louvred panels or bin mounting rails. They can also be used in vans, utes or small trucks with our extensive van shelving system. All our van shelving, louvred panels, accessories and bins are made in New Zealand. The plastic bins are manufactured from virgin grade polypropelene.
Lamson was established in New Zealand on the 24 April 1908 as 'The Lamson Despatch Company of New Zealand limited'. This was later changed to Lamson Engineering NZ Ltd. In October 2012 ownership became NZ owned and name Changed to Lamson NZ Ltd.
The idea of a “store service system” originated in the United States in 1879. Drapery store owner, William Stickney Lamson, became aware of the time and effort wasted by shop assistants taking customers’ money to cashier and retuning with change. William Lamson realised that there had to be a better way.
Early ideas involved tying cash and bills in a handkerchief and “throwing” it to the cashier which proved to be unsuccessful to a great extent. The end result of his effort was the Ball System, where a hollow ball containing the money rolled on an inclined track from the shop assistants’ counter to the cashier. The cashier also had an inclined track that rolled the change back to the assistants’ counter.
The move across the Atlantic of Lamson’s “Ball System” was instigated by a Mr. John Kelly who obtained the rights in the United Kingdom to Lamson’s invention. In 1885, from a small private hotel in Craven Street, London, the Lamson Consolidated Store Service Company commenced trading. By 1889 hundreds of station “Ball Systems” were operating in the UK.
Another invention called the “Rapid Wire System” was later introduced which automated the “Ball System” to a certain degree. For the next 50 years Lamson’s “Rapid Wire System” or as it was affectionately known, “Flying Fox” would zoom across ceiling spaces of stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. Many a small child lugged along by Mum on a shopping safari, was fascinated by these “Flying Foxes”.
Lamson systems have been part of the changing pace of New Zealand business for 100 years. They have been an integral part of the nation’s retail, hospitals, and other commercial and non-commercial sector. Thousands of Lamson systems were installed throughout New Zealand and Australia, some original systems like the National Library in Canberra installed in 1968 still work today. Also a working system can be seen at the Cambridge museum. As times change, Lamson is more than confident that the products and services they have, and those still in the research and development phase, will continue to carry the proud tradition.