Sunday, August 23, 2015

reporting the pneus

Recently I stayed in a hotel in Amsterdam that was housed in the old headquarters of the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant. It was wonderful fun with lots of quirky features as befits the latest hipster hotels these days, from communal workspaces in the lobby to yoga lessons and rooftop DJs. I loved the "Do not disturb, I am writing my first novel" sign for the door which seemed particularly apt as I was working on the my first book project with my colleagues Sally and Susan while there.

Staying in the hotel reminded me of how much times have changed in the life of newspapers, as they not only move to cheaper realestate but their form has changed considerably in just the last decade. Newspaper technologies have continually changed with the times, and it will come of no surprise to regular readers of this blog, that newspaper offices were once home to networks of pneumatic tubes.

Former employes of the Niagara Falls Review recently reminisced about the tubes in their offices in the 1950s. "I also remember the pneumatic tube system" an employee who worked in the office in the late 1960s and early 1970s recalls. "It was how you got copy to the composing room ... You took the copy, put it in a tube, stamped it and up it went".

Photo of the Volkshotel roof from JLG realestate. Stills from Deadline USA and His Girl Friday, from an article by Eric Mink on TV worth watching and Jim Emerson on his website Scanners.

1 comment:

  1. Is this how pneumatics started? thank you for sharing an interesting article. Pneumatics Philippines hope to learn more from you.