Wednesday, June 16, 2010

pneumatics on the tube

It was only last year that I realised what pneumatic tube systems were. Throughout my fieldwork in 2007, in a hospital in outer-metropolitan Melbourne, I had been fascinated by these capsules and stations built into the ward walls. I made numerous comments about the system throughout my fieldnotes but didn't ever really ask anyone too much about them. The tubes were in my periphery. It wasn't until I was watching Baiser Voles (Stolen Kisses), that I made sense of the capsules and their transportation. This YouTube video from the movie, of the pneumatic system in Paris is lovely to watch on its own.

Pneumatics appear elsewhere on the tube. Alongside a number of promotional videos, there is Molly Wright Steenson's exhaustingly speedy presentation on pneumatic tube systems (her slogan is from Ted Stevens, "it really is a series of tubes"), for the Ignite channel (which seems to be a quick version of TED).

As I was searching YouTube, the video I was most looking forward to was the tour of the pneumatic system under construction at St Elizabeth East Hospital (Lafayette, Indiana) by foreman Brent Clark
. Whilst there are few shots of the tube system, it is a nice glimpse of a hospital network under construction. It would be fantastic to similarly enter a hospital under construction, and talk to those who build the tubes into place.

My favourite video was called
Pneumatic Tube Transfer eller Rörpost which shows the four minute journey of a camera through a pneumatic network. This 'inner space' voyage takes us on a bumpy ride with some wonderful blurry images and sounds and a delightful pause mid-way. It is a fantastic way to capture some of the life of the pneumatic tube. Are there any great videos that I have missed?

1 comment:

  1. I found another one, a great animation, thanks to my sister's link to delicious: