Thomas Edmondson

Jun 30, 1792 - Jun 22, 1851

Thomas Edmondson was the inventor of the Edmondson railway ticket.
He was a member of the Religious Society of Friends and originally worked in the Lancaster cabinet making business of Gillow.
While working as a station master at Milton on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway he devised the idea of a new type of railway ticket: a small piece of cardboard, pre-printed with journey details. The tickets would be numbered by hand, and validated by a separate date-stamping press when purchased. He also invented and built a foot-operated version of the latter device.
When the Manchester and Leeds Railway opened in 1839 Edmondson became the company's chief booking clerk at Manchester.
The invention which made Edmondson's fortune was his final development: a machine which would print tickets in batches complete with the serial numbers. He patented this machine, and was able to charge a royalty to railway companies amounting to ten shillings per annum per mile of the company's routes.
His machines and their improved successors quickly became the standard for British and other railways. He died a wealthy man; members of his family carried on the business for many years afterwards.
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