Tag Archives: pneumatic

US government refuses support for Teh tubes… in 1908

From the possible future of the past: a report into the possibility of US government-support for the widespread adoption of pneumatic tubes for the delivery of mail, reported here in The New York Times in 1908:

That it is not feasible and desirable at the present time for the Government to purchase, to install, or to operate pneumatic tubes,” is one of the most important conclusions reached by a commission appointed by the Postmaster General to inquire into the feasibility and desirability of of the purchase and operation by the Government of pneumatic tubes in the cities where the service is now installed.

This reminds me of the story of the atmospheric railway as told in Paul Collins’ excellent book Banvard’s Folly in which he tells “thirteen tales of renowned obscurity, famous anonimity, and rotten luck.”

[via Slashdot][image from Jef Poskanzer on flickr]