Pneumatic dispatch station

Schulz u. Goebel, Vienna 1890

 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Information & Communication
medien.welten (media.worlds)

Pneumatic dispatch


At the end of the 19th century, the increase in inner-city communication traffic entails the set-up of new media networks. Post and telegraphy are joined by telephony as well as a subterranean pneumatic dispatch system. 

In order to relieve the burden of inner-city communication traffic, subterranean pneumatic dispatch systems are set up in the late 19th century in cities like London, Berlin, Paris and Vienna, which are independent of the heavy traffic on the roads. Post offices and telegraph centres are connected to each other by tube networks, which are used for propelling letters and telegrams in cylindrical containers by compressed air or partial vacuum. In Vienna, hundreds of red mailboxes and dozens of feeding points are set up for pneumatic mail in post and telegraph offices.

By 1913, there are more than 50 pneumatic post stations in Vienna, which are all connected by a tube network with a length of approximately 82 kilometres. The pneumatic mail is sent in hauls consisting of several joined capsules. These are propelled through the tubes to the intermediate or terminal stops in various post stations, where the letters are removed, sorted and then delivered to the recipient.

Inv.Nr. 54630

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