Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Elon Musk re-invents the pneumatic tube. Everyone marvels.

Last night Mr S. and I were talking about the Hyperloop. When it dawned on me that all this creation was is a giant pneumatic tube. And who doesn't love that? Still, I went on to crap all over this idea. Mr S. - this has got to be one of the most expensive ways to move people, right? When I was growing up these were everywhere. Now you almost never see them.

Well, interoffice phones and email killed them off he replied. But, it also has to be really expensive, right - I continued. My mom worked in the basement of a hospital once, and the roof looked like a circuit board. It ceiling was nothing but tubes. That has got to be expensive. Mr S. didn't think they were. But we had debate about it for about a half an hour or so.

While we were hanging out in bed Mr S. did a google search on pneumatic tubes. Probably due to my incessant questioning of their expense.

He got to this paragraph on wikipedia when I said - Oh no Mr S., maybe I am wrong about pneumatic tubes.

"Denver International Airport is noteworthy for the large number of pneumatic tube systems, including a 25 cm diameter system for moving aircraft parts to remote concourses,"

I'd never seen them move anything more than paper. But a 25 inch tube can almost fit a human and aircraft parts have to be heavy. There is someone out there that knows how much weight a pneumatic tube can move, and I bet that person is Elon Musk.

The other interesting wiki entry was this:

"Until it closed in early 2011, a McDonald's in Edina, Minnesota claimed on its receipts to be the "World's Only Pneumatic Air Drive-Thru," sending food from their strip-mall location to a drive-through in the middle of a parking lot. "


  1. Futurama. It's the way of the future... or something.

  2. Not too expensive for my local government to afford. Anytime you want to apply for a building permit, they use theirs to zip it up and down stairs instead of just handing it to the customer and sending them to the cashier.

  3. Well, you wouldn't want customers using their hands like suckers! Honestly, if I had one - I'd probably screw with the customers too. I just like the noise they make.

    Dashing - the episode I watched last night (leila and the genestalk) had Fry travel in a pneumatic tube. Mr S. and I both thought it was really funny.