Noted: Network of Tubes. Literally.

pin.pngFrom, 15 pneumatic message networks:

Ted Stevens was right, the Victorian Internet consisted, quite literally, of a ‘Network of Tubes’. Paris, London, Prague and Vienna had extensive networks of pneumatic tubes which delivered messages in capsules. In New York 5 million mail messages passed every day through an underground pneumatic system, and a network in Berlin delivered hot meals directly to people’s homes suggesting that kitchens would no longer be needed in the future. Today these systems can still be purchased where they are used in places like hospitals where samples are passed between departments.

USS Midway aircraft carrier pneumatic message system


New York Public Library Messaging System


Lamson pneumatic tube system


Main Control Panel for the Prague Pneumatic Post


If you have ever used one of these, as I have at an educational institution many years ago, you’ll never forget the immensely satisfying pneumatic plump sound when your payload is sucked up the tubes.

6 thoughts on “Noted: Network of Tubes. Literally.

  1. They should have replaced the Post System direct to the individual letterbox with this instead of paying all those salaries for decades to unreliable and potential sabotage by any orwellian bribed postmen by now. Add cams to the containers as well as GPS, and mail will never be sabotaged again.

  2. I would say that these totally sucked, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

    I was always amazed by pneumatic tubes. I understand that in Switzerland, they were everywhere. But we have moved on to the Internet. As they say, nature abhors a vacuum…

  3. Its not like these systems are so antiquated the no one sees them anymore – they are still used on a smaller scale at bank drive-ups all over the country. In fact there are a couple of television commercials showing these systems rendered as potential deadly weapons by people placing unintended objects in the tubes which subsequently become projectiles.

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