Friday, September 21, 2012

meet me in the st louis postal system

There is another nice essay about pneumatic tubes online, this time about the St Louis postal system, which you can find at the RiverFront Times blog.

Those interested in technological assessment may be interested the quoted list of advantages and disadvantages of running the system:
1. High rate of speed between stations for limited quantities of mail. 2. Freedom from surface congestion. 
Limitation and disadvantages: 
1. Only five pounds of mail could by carried in each container; and all classes of mail could not be carried. 2. The minimum time between dispatches is 15 seconds allowing only 20 pounds of letter mail each minute. Therefore, vehicle service would be required to carry mail during heavy volume times. 3. The inability to carry special delivery parcels due to the size of the carriers. 4. The relays at station are built in delays but they are unavoidable requiring all stations to be manned and open during operation. 5. The inability to dispatch between intermediate stations during continuous transmission between any two points.6. Inability to dispatch to railroad companies without additional handling. 7. Complaints resulting from careless locking and accidental opening of container in transit causing damaged mail. 8. Dampness and oil damage to mail. 9. Service interruptions block an entire line. 10. Congestion from heavy mail volumes. 11. Equipment takes up rented building space. 12. Excessive costs.
Image from Popular Mechanics, 10 Geeky Ways to Deliver Mail.

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