Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pneumatic Tubes



Today's picture shows a Pullman Porter receiving schedule information via Pneumatic Tubes. I dont know if you can remember this, but back in the day many buildings had these pneumatic tubes running through the building, and you could send things from place to place by putting them in small cylindrical containers, and then putting the container in the tube. I can remember department stores had them at the checkout and would send checks to a central office via the tubes. These are still in use at banks for the drive throughs, but I don't know of anywhere else that they are used.

8 comments:

  1. Walmart Canada has them in every store I have been in. Cash is sent from the tills to the office in them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ditto for Walmart in Brazil, although they operate stores which they brough from SONAE (Portugal), so the tubes were in place before Walmart started running the show ...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, and for the Charge-a-Plate. Mom would hand over her charge plate, which was very much like a military dog tag - metal, embossed with her name and address and such - so that the clerk could put it in a tube and send it off to who knows where. We waited a few minutes for the plate and receipt to be returned.

    As a 7-8 year old, I found this made the otherwise boring trip down to the stores with Mom quite fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd forgotten those Charge-a-Plates! Thanks for the reminder. The Spurgeon store in our town had the tubes. They were fascinating to us kids, and, as you say, helped to make the shopping trips more bearable.

      Delete
  4. Home Depot and Lowes use them at the registers also.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I tried to post a photo of my mom's old Charge-a-Plate, but it didn't work. However this link will take you to the picture.

    https://thisendoftheswamp.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/003-2.jpg?w=80

    ReplyDelete
  6. Costco Canada has them at the registers for till deposits, too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Many hospitals I have worked in have them throughout the buildings, between patient care units and laboratories and other departments. Non-biohazardous materials (not patient tissue or fluid samples, for instance) are sent from one unit to another department via tube systems that may extend for miles inside and between individual buildings. The pharmacy, for instance, can send you a single dose or a day's doseages of a newly ordered medication for a patient, so that the patient gets their medication in a timely fashion without having to send pharmacy employees out of the department or having to send a unit aide or orderly off the unit to go retrieve it and bring it back. The pharmacy cart is then updated to bring the medication on its next regular delivery. If sending something from your location to another, you choose the direction your item is going by consulting a directory and punching in a code before inserting the carrier and hitting the send button. There are signal lights to let you know if there is something headed your way in the tube, if the tube is blocked or otherwise not operational. Its a real time and step saver for everyone involved.

    ReplyDelete