Prague Pneumatic Post - Czech Republic
pneumatic post or pneumatic mail, was still operating in Prague right up until the catastrophic August 2002 floods severely damaged it. But a buyer has plans to bring the pneumatic post in Prague (Pra�sk� potrubn� po�ta), the last surviving system of its kind in the world, back to life.
Pneumatic capsule transportation, originally invented by Scottish engineer William Murdoch in the early 19th century, formed the basis for pneumatic post. With the invention in 1836 of a capsule, which could travel through the pipelines, the idea of pneumatic post became a reality. Cylindrical containers are propelled through a tube network by means of compressed air or a partial vacuum. The capsule is put in at one end of the network and a blower starts the process off, moving the item through the pipe, with a vacuum at the destination. Unlike pipelines, used for transporting fluids, pneumatic systems are designed to transport solid, mainly small objects.
Prague Pneumatic Post
Pneumatic post was initially designed for transporting telegrams; later banks, government ministries, and post offices used it when they needed to dispatch small packages quickly and over relatively short areas, such as within a building, or, at the other end of the scale, over a city.
Pneumatic post developed into a quite complex means of communication, but modern technology and transport such as couriers have rendered it largely redundant in many areas. However, it is not totally dead. It remains a very useful tool in medical centers � blood for transfusions literally flows through tubes at Motol and other hospitals � and documents are transported around the Czech cabinet office using pneumatic post. In addition, banks still use pneumatic post to whizz money around buildings. In the early days of pneumatic transportation it was even proposed to transport people through tunnels.
Pneumatic post enjoyed its heyday at the end of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century; in Europe, London, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna all operated municipal pneumatic post systems. In Prague, the network was established in 1887 and initially was internal only. The first lane joined the main post office on Jindři�sk� Street to the post office on Malostransk� n�měst�. Two years later, on March 4, 1889, the system spread, connecting other institutions, and later the first lane was extended to Prague Castle, making the network over 5 kilometres long; the total network ultimately amounted to 55 kilometers.Prague Pneumatic Post, Prague - Czech Republic