Thomas Edmondson

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Thomas Edmondson
Born(1792-06-30)30 June 1792 [1]
Died22 June 1851(1851-06-22) (aged 58) [2]
Known forEdmondson railway ticket

Thomas Edmondson (30 June 1792[1] in Lancaster, England – 22 June 1851[2][3] in Manchester, England) 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 (later Brampton) 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 (as opposed to the then current hand-written paper bill). 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.

The South Tynedale Railway based at Alston in Cumbria operates an 0-4-0 Henschel designed steam locomotive named for Thomas Edmondson on the 125th anniversary of his card ticket invention. The STR also uses Edmondson Card tickets for travel.


Farr, Michael (1991). Thomas Edmondson and his tickets. Andover: author. ISBN 0905033132.


  1. ^ a b Miller, Bob (2011). "Thomas Edmondson" (PDF). The Mancunian [Journal of the Manchester Locomotive Society]. No. 282. pp. 76–79.
  2. ^ a b "The Late Mr. T. Edmondson, of Manchester". The Carlisle Journal. Carlisle. 18 July 1851. p. 2.
  3. ^ "The Late Mr. Thomas Edmondson, of Manchester". The Morning Advertiser. London. 21 July 1851. p. 2.

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