Jan 12, 2009

Postal services and pneumatic tubes

(Active Social Plastic) - My big project -- possibly undergirding my dissertation in a year: Postal services and pneumatic tube systems in the late 19th and early 20th century, especially in Paris. I'm reading these services in terms of their urban interfaces, their material qualities and the interest in the 1870s-1890s of physical networks across cities. Paris is interesting because of an explosion of postal and telegraph products and services, the response to the siege of the city (Balloon Post!), and the shift from electric to material form to someone's doorstep in terms of message delivery. Continued

Photo: Postmaster Frederick E. Coyne placing the first package of mail into the pneumatic tube carrier in the stamping room of a temporary post office with R. W. Morrell, pneumatic tube expert, standing nearby. Chicago Daily News/Library of Congress.