First Dispatch of Mail-Bags through the Pneumatic Tube
Article found in The Illustrated London News magazine of 28 February 1863:
OPENING OF THE PNEUMATIC DESPATCH MAIL SERVICE
A company was registered in 1859 for the establishment in the metropolis of lines of pneumatic tube for the more speedy and convenient circulation of despatches and parcels, and an Act of Parliament received the Royal assent in the same year empowering the company to open streets and lay down tubes for the purpose. The directors, having satisfied themselves and the shareholders of the complete mechanical success of the company’s system of transmission, by experiments upon a short line of tube at Battersea, and of its economy and peculiar applicability to the purposes in view, determined on laying down a permanent tube of thirty inches gauge between the Euston station and the North-western District Post-office, Eversholt-street. This tube, with the stations, machinery, and appliances, is completed, and is found to work most efficiently. The length of tube open is not considerable, reaching a distance of only third of a mile. The transmission of the first batch of mail-bags through it took place yesterday week. Several of the principal officials from the Post Office were present during part of the operations. The whole of the works were in the most admirable order, and, on the arrival of the first mail-train at 9.45 a.m., the mail-bags, thirty-five in number, were placed in the cars by 9.47. The long chamber was then exhausted, and the train containing the first mails ever dispatched by the agency of the atmosphere were blown through the tube to the station at Eversholt-street, reaching their destination at 9.48. The success of the experiment has been so decided that the company will commence the Holborn extension at once, and intend proceeding as rapidly as possible with the main work and all its ramifications.
The author of this article and the artist of the drawing are unknown. Since it is published far more than 70 years ago, both are believed to be in the Public Domain.