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Pneumatic tube system on duty in a restaurant...

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Marshall Fields

Helen Soros works the new pneumatic tube system to take cash at Marshall Fields store in Chicago, November 1947

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PHOTO – CHICAGO – MARSHALL FIELD’S DEPARTMENT STORE – PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM OPERATOR – DEPARTMENTS USED TO SEND ALL CASH DOWN IN A CONTAINER FOR CHANGE AND RECEIPT – 1947

PHOTO - CHICAGO - MARSHALL FIELD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM OPERATOR - DEPARTMENTS USED TO SEND ALL CASH DOWN IN A CONTAINER...

Long before the Internet was a glimmer in Al Gore’s eye, a different series of tubes helped shuttle messages from one place to another, seemingly by magic.

Pneumatic-Tube Carrier

That Time People Sent a Cat Through the Mail Using Pneumatic Tubes

That Time People Sent a Cat Through the Mail Using Pneumatic Tubes - "The Cat in the Canister": It's like a Dr. Seuss story, only it actually happened.

An advertisement with Heineken and Pneumatic Tube Systems

How New Yorkers sent a cat through the mail in pneumatic tubes over a hundred years ago - and inspired Elon Musk's revolutionary Hyperloop

Over a century before the Hyperloop was a sparkle in Elon Musk's mind, a revolutionary series of high-tech pneumatic tubes shot capsules of mail around New York City - just feet below the bustling sidewalk.