Wednesday, May 19, 2010

up the tubes

Hospital pneumatic tube systems are an intricate network of tubes and pipes hidden in the ceilings and walls of hospital buildings, through which blood samples and pathology request forms are transported via pneumatic pressure. In an era of electronic medicine, this 19th century based engineering is not only used everyday, but is also being designed in new hospitals, as one of the most efficient and reliable ways to transport material artefacts.

The most recent issue of Monocle (where the image above comes from) reports on the growth in the market of pneumatic tube systems in hospitals. The material version of the magazine has some brief interviews with staff at Swisslog (a large pneumatic tube provider), providing a 'behind the scenes' picture of the company. If only social scientists' interviews were as aesthetically presented!


  1. do i really have the honor of being the first commenter on this blog?

  2. Hi Andy,
    You are quick! My first foray into blogging is less than 24 hours old. Would love any comments you had. Trying to shake academic speak but that's hard. Writing short bits for this and museum labels is certainly starting to help. Just about to add your blog to my blog list ...