Friday, November 16, 2012

treasure in a tube

I have spent some time researching pneumatic tubes now, and they always seem to be found in American and European places. But a recent ABC podcast from Canberra, has revealed where these tubes are hidden in Australia too.  In the walls and ceilings of Old Parliament!

Michael Evans, the manager of visitor experience at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Old Parliament House, spoke to Louise Maher on the radio recently, to talk about this treasure in the museum.

He describes how there were several sets of tubes, one to the Postoffice and another 3km line to the government printers for sending out the Hansards.

For those curious to see the tubes at the museum, you can see them in the downstairs gallery, at the old post office and in the Attendant's Booth in the House of Representative's Chamber. Not all the tubes are there, but there are "some ends of it you can see" (see photo). Michael exclaims, that it is "really an untapped project to go and map what is there and what isn't there".

There is one section that still works but is not in action at the moment in order to preserve the technology - however Michael says that they want to get this working so that their visitors can see and hear the tubes (the thunk!).

Listen to the Treasure Trove podcast here.

And read the museum blogpost on Lamsons here.

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