Thursday, October 30, 2014

birthday post

It's my birthday coming up soon and I've received an early present from a very thoughtful gift-giver:

Yes, I now have my own capsule! It sits on my desk at the moment. I can feel its worn-away felt ends, cold metal body, thready canvas details. I can look inside at its rusty insides. The little door squeaks as it moves, a satisfying suck of air and click as it closes completely. These are the sensory and material details of pneumatic tubes which I love.

If I look closely, engraved on the capsule are the words "The Grover Co. Detroit". My gift giver helps me to research the capsule's provenance. We find that the Grover Company was selling pneumatic tubes at the same time as Lamson, in the early 20th century, servicing department stores whose needs had extended beyond their cash railway systems. William and Clarence Grover founded the company in Woodburn, Michigan, but had branches in Detroit too. In the 1950s the Grover Company filed patents for pneumatic tube terminals. According to the Cash Railway site, Swisslog is the company's descendant. 

I am sure there is much more to discover of the history of my tube.

Image my own.

1 comment:

  1. Anna, am delighted at your passion about pneumatic tube systems. Was surprised to see the old Swisslog (then Grover) carrier in your post. Thought you might be interested to know that we are celebrating our 100th year anniversary in 2015. We began as Grover Brothers and Wood in Detroit – servicing pneumatic tube systems and eventually moved to designing and installing tube systems. Today, we are the world leader in pneumatic tube systems for hospitals – and our old leather carriers have been replaced by leak-resistant, RFID-enabled, easy-opening plastic carriers. Love your posts!