The Pneumatic Tube Room at Marshall Fields department store, Chicago, transporting cash and documents between departments in 90 seconds, 1947.

Don’t even have to press send.

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Marshall-Fields department store, Chicago, 1947.

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The Central Telegraph Office of the GPO in London, Oct 1932, showing an impressive pneumatic installation. Communications were still labour-intensive; there were 3000 employees.

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In the USA there were many internal pneumatic systems in large private companies. The ladies are working the tube system of the New York Life insurance company, at 51 Madison Avenue.The containers are oval in section rather than circular, which was unusual.

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The chief engineer of the Hamburger Grossrohrpost, Dr Heck, shows small-bore and large-bore pneumatic carriers to journalists.Several carrier designs were tried out; this version is shorter than most and has six wheels at each end, 1963.

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It is clear that the big carriers could hold enormous amounts of mail compared with the original small-bore system.The carrier is 45 cm in diameter; this design was about 1.4 m long with four wheels at each end, 1963.

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