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"Th' fost thing for a ticket to th' office aw crop… He'd printed it o in a minute! ":- The story teller's amazement at the ticket printing machine may be a reference to the Edmondson railway ticket machine named after its inventor, Thomas Edmondson. Previously, railway companies had used handwritten tickets, as was the practice for stagecoaches, but it was laborious for a ticket clerk to write out a ticket for each passenger and long queues were common at busy stations. A faster means of issuing pre-printed tickets was needed. There was also a need to provide accountability by serial-numbering each ticket to prevent unscrupulous clerks from pocketing the fares, since they had to reconcile the takings against the serial numbers of the unsold tickets at the end of each day. [Ref : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmondson_railway_ticket] The Edmonson system was adopted by the Manchester and Leeds, the first section of which opened in 1839, so it is likely that the technology was adopted by the Manchester and Birmingham Company.

 

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