Pneumatic Tube Mail Amsterdam The Netherlands

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Was there a Pneumatic Tube Mail system in Amsterdam? For a long time the only evidence was a quote at the German Rohrpost Wikipedia page referring to a photo from the C. Aug. Schmidt & Söhne company. This conclusion is doubtful in my opinion. But I did find real proof of existence!!

Delpher is a website providing full-text Dutch-language digitized historical newspapers. At Delpher I found old news articles describing the building and existence of a Pneumatic Tube Mail system in Amsterdam, even though it was very small compared to other European cities.


 Stadsnieuws. "Rohrpost" in Amsterdam. (City News. "Tube Post" in Amsterdam.)
Source: Algemeen Handelsblad, dated 17 July 1898

[NL] Wij hebben reeds vroeger medegedeeld, dat het nieuwe postkantoor door buizen voor pneumatische overbrenging van dépêches zou verbonden worden met de beurs. Men is deze week begonnen met den buitenaanleg voor deze verbinding en daarmede thans gevorderd tot aan den Nieuwendijk.


[E] We have already communicated earlier, that the new post office will be connected to the Stock Exchange by tubes for the pneumatic transfer of dépêches. They started this week outside with the construction of this connection and have already progressed to the Nieuwendijk street.

Station #1 - Telegraph Office, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal
Station #2 - Stock Exchange
Tube length: 4.000 meters

[NL] Ook binnen het nieuwe postkantoor is een systeem van pneumatische buizen aangebracht.
De aanleg geschiedt door de firma Carl Hauschild te Berlijn, die ook in Rotterdam voor de posterijen een dergelijk werk uitvoerde.


[E] Also within the new post office is a system of pneumatic tubes installed.
The installation is done by the Carl Hauschild company from Berlin, who also carried out such work for the Post Office in Rotterdam.

 "Gedenkboek van de Rijkstelegraaf"

Appointed the commisioning of a Pneumatic Mail system at 5 September 1898, built by the Hauschild company (reference).


 Nieuwe Effectenbeurs te Amsterdam. (New Stock Exchange in Amsterdam.)
Provinciale Overijsselsche en Zwolsche courant, dated 22 December 1913

[NL] Hedenmiddag is de Nieuwe Effectenbeurs van de Ver. voor den Effectenhandel, welke aan 't Damrak in de onmiddellijke nabijheid van het tegenwoordige beursgebouw verrezen is, in tegenwoordigheid van vele genoodigden officieel geopend...

...De zeer belangrijke installaties voor rijks- en gemeentelefoon en buizenpost met haar zeer gecompliceerde toestellen, en uitgebreid bedieningspersoneel, werden technisch geheel door het rijk en de gemeente uitgevoerd....

...Voor een snel transport van telegrammen is de Nieuwe Effectenbeurs zoowel met het hoofdpost- en telegraafkantoor als met de gemeente Koopmansbeurs verbonden door ondergrondsche koperen buizen, waardoor de hulzen, gevuld met telegrammen weg- en aangeschoten worden. Van de snelheid noodig voor de verzending van elk bericht van de Effectenbeurs krijgt men een denkbeeld, als men weet dat deze gelijk staat met die van een sneltrein (90 K.M. per uur)...


[E] This afternoon is the new Stock Exchange building of the Association for Stock Exchange, which at the Damrak street near the current Stock Exchange building is build, in the presence of many guests officialy opened...

...The very important installations for rural and local telephony and the pneumatic tube with its very complex devices and extensive operating staff, were carried out entirely by the government and the municipality...

...For a fast transport of telegrams is the New Stock Exchange building connected with the main post and telegraph office and the municipal Stock Exchange by underground copper tubes, in which carriers, filled with telegrams are being fired away and sucked back. The speed needed for the dispatch of each message from the Stock Exchange is, just to give you an idea, equal to that of an express train (90 K.M. per hour)...

Station #1 - New stock exchange building
Station #2 - Main post- and telegraph office
Station #3 - Municipal stock exchange building
Underground copper transport tube
Speed 90 kilometers per hour

 Een luchtdruk-buispost (An air pressure tubepost)
Source: Leeuwarder Courant, dated 27 January 1925

[NL] Er is sprake van, te Amsterdam van een ondergrondsche luchtdruk-buizenpost aan te leggen tusschen het hoofdpostkantoor en het centrale post expeditiekantoor aan de Oostelijke zijde van het Centraal Station.


[E] There is, in Amsterdam a underground air pressure tube post to build between the main post office and the central post dispatch office on the Eastern side of the Central Station.

 Een merkwaardige buisleiding in Parijs (A remarkable pipeline in Paris)
Source: Algemeen Handelsblad, dated 31 October 1931

[NL] In Amsterdam bestaat een betrekkelijk korte verbinding van de Effectenbeurs met het Telegraafkantoor. Op de Effectenbeurs is nl. het telegraafkantoor der "Western Union", dat de ontvangen telegrammen uit Amerika direct per buizenpost verzendt naar het Telegraafkantoor, als ze tenminste bezorgd moeten worden buiten de beurs of de stad.


[E] In Amsterdam there is a relatively short connection from the Stock Exchange to the Telegraph Office. At the Stock Exchange is the telegraph office of "Western Union", which the received telegrams from America directly per tube post to the Telegraph Office sends, at least when they need to go outside the Exchange or the city.

 The German Rohrpost Wikipedia page Städtische Rohrpostnetze - Rohrpostnetze in Europa (Text added at 29 October 2006‎)

[D] Es wird durch Photographien der Firma C. August Schmidt & Söhne (Hamburg) nahegelegt, dass diese in den 1930er Jahren eine versandfertige Rohrpostanlage für Amsterdam hergestellt hatte. Ob diese geliefert und montiert wurde, ist nicht bekannt.


[E] It is suggested by photographs of the company C. August Schmidt & Sons (Hamburg), that they had made ​​in the 1930s a ready for shipment pneumatic tube system for Amsterdam. If it has been delivered and installed, is not known.

Presumably the quote is based on this photo, I found in the mentioned book that I bought in 2014:

"Stations for a pneumatic, large diameter (100mm) tube system, ready for shipment"
Photo found on page 103 of the book "100 Jahre C. Aug. Schmidt Söhne, Hamburg".
The book was published in 1941, therefore the photo is believed to be in the Public Domain.

So the title/description of the photo is "Stations for a pneumatic, large diameter tube system, ready for shipment" and on the photo you can see the text Amsterdam on a kind of a sign (click on the photo to enlarge). One might conclude the stations are in, or at least for Amsterdam... But in the book Amsterdam isn't mentioned in relation to a pneumatic mail system at all!
In my opinion, the context the photo is placed in can be interpreted in different ways... In example on page 102 of the book, left of the shown photo, there is a photo of a freight train filled with pneumatic tube system tubes on transport to Argentina. It is very well possible the photo with the stations is taken in some kind of train station or transhipment area in Amsterdam also on the way to a freightship to be transported to Argentina. But remarkable, if this were the case why are the parts are not packed in boxes... Or the scene is staged for the photo...? *shrugs* Probably we will never know for sure.

In the newspaper articles above is spoken of 2 and 3 stations for Pneumatic Tube Mail, at the photo you can see many more. Another possibility is the stations are for an internal pneumatic tube system in Amsterdam.

With the knowledge of all of the above, my conclusion is still that the photo can not undoubtedly be linked to a Pneumatic Tube Mail System in Amsterdam.

But there really *was* a Pneumatic Tube Mail system in Amsterdam!!! *cheers*

Pneumatic.TubePneumatic Tube, Rohrpost, Buizenpost

Pneumatic Tube Mail Amsterdam The Netherlands

  Last updated: 15-02-2019

Pneumatic Tube Mail Amsterdam The Netherlands

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