1897 - Pneumatic tubes at the NY Produce Exchange Post Office. The 25lb/11.34kg steel canisters transported the mail other items and even live animals. Each canister could hold 600 letters and moved at 35 miles per hour through 27 miles of tubes connecting 23 post offices. [1028 982]
The first pneumatic tube mail system was installed in Philadelphia in 1893. New York City’s came in 1897. Each tube could carry between 400 and 600 letters and traveled at 30-35 miles per hour. In its full glory, the pneumatic tubes covered a 27-mile route, connecting 23 post offices.
A fascinating, if arguably overlong, look at one of the Internet’s precursors — London’s 19th-century system of pneumatic tubes. It was a quicker way to transmit telegrams within the city, and eventually included 85 miles of tubes, pushing cylinders with messages using compressed air. There is talk of using them today, since the system is more secure than a digital network. —Quentin Hardy, Deputy Technology Editor