Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lapsed London history

I can highly recommend a new article on pneumatic tubes which has appeared recently on the slickly designed Lapsed Historian website. Written by a transportoholic and history lover known as Long Branch Mike, the article entitled Get Them on the Blower traces the history of postal pneumatic tubes in London. Rich in historical detail and imagery, the article is also filled with a physical sense of the materiality of the tubes in the 19th century, with stories of experiments in making them of leather, felt, vulcanised fibre, celluloid, alluminium, brass and finally plastic with felt or leather lining. There is a lot of new material for those already familiar with pneumatic tube systems and some novel links to other fascinating kinds of tubes such as speaking tubes (see below) and voice pipes.

Reader's interested in London's pneumatic tube transport systems may be interested in Ian Steadman's article in The New Statesman.

Speaking tubes image from Wikipedia. See also the following website for a comprehensive account of speaking tubes and voicepipes:

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