Technical characteristics[ edit ] Modern systems for smaller, i. Varying air pressures also allow capsules to brake slowly, removing the jarring arrival that used to characterise earlier systems and make them unsuitable for fragile contents. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. September This section may contain indiscriminate , excessive , or irrelevant examples. Please improve the article by adding more descriptive text and removing less pertinent examples.
See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for further suggestions. When pneumatic tubes first came into use in the 19th century, they symbolized technological progress and it was imagined that they would be common in the future. Jules Verne 's Paris in the Twentieth Century includes suspended pneumatic tube trains that stretch across the oceans. Albert Robida 's The Twentieth Century describes a s Paris where tube trains have replaced railways , pneumatic mail is ubiquitous, and catering companies compete to deliver meals on tap to people's homes through pneumatic tubes.
Edward Bellamy 's Looking Backward envisions the world of as interlinked with tubes for delivering goods,  while Michel Verne 's An Express of the Future questions the sensibility of a transatlantic pneumatic subway. In George Orwell 's Nineteen Eighty-Four , pneumatic tubes in the Ministry of Truth deliver newspapers to Winston's desk containing articles to be "rectified".
Heinlein 's novella Gulf offered a more neutral view of their use in general postal delivery. The interior of the car is heavily padded, with four seats, one behind the other bobsled fashion.
The acceleration is such that, when traveling down the tube from the 86th Floor, no sensation of falling is experienced. The system is driven by enormous air compressors and compressed air receiver vessels housed on the roofs of both the skyscraper and the Hidalgo Trading Company. In the film Genesis II and the subsequent remake of it into the TV show Planet Earth by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry , a pneumatic tube system is a major part of the plot with tube stations leading to different parts of a dystopian future Earth.
In the movie Brazil also used tubes as well as other anachronistic-seeming technologies to evoke the stagnation of bureaucracy. In the film The Living Daylights , following the scene after the opening titles, James Bond has General Georgi Koskov "smuggled" via the Trans-Siberian Pipeline in a special "human" transportation capsule engineered by Q-branch, to go from Bratislava and across the border into Austria, as per the film's plot At the start of each episode of the television series Fantasy Island , a darker version of the original, bookings for would-be visitors to the Island were sent to Mr.
Roarke via a pneumatic tube from a dusty old travel agency. The film version of The Shadow includes a sequence in which the camera follows a message capsule as it speeds through a pneumatic tube system. The implication is that the Shadow maintains a private network of tubes for the transportation of secret messages.
In the TV series The Pretender , a pneumatic tube is used as a container for explosive. The failure of pneumatic tubes to live up to their potential as envisaged in previous centuries has placed them in the company of flying cars and dirigibles as ripe for ironic retro-futurism. The animated television series The Jetsons featured pneumatic tubes that people could step into and be sucked up and swiftly spat out at their destination.
In the animated television series Futurama , set in the 31st century, large pneumatic tubes are used in cities for transporting people, whilst smaller ones are used to transport mail.
The tubes in Futurama are also used to depict the endless confusion of bureaucracy: In Ghostbusters II , the "river of slime" under New York city is found by the Ghostbusters boys to be flowing through an old pneumatic tube line — a reference to the Beach Pneumatic Transit tube. In the pilot of the television series Dead Like Me , a coworker of the protagonist is seen covertly smoking a cigarette in and blowing its fumes into their office's pneumatic tube. It also accidentally sucks the man's lit cigarette from his fingers.
In the American television show Lost , the Dharma Initiative 's Pearl research station has a pneumatic tube system. The character Locke put his drawing of the blast door map in the tube without a capsule. It was sucked up into the tube, indicating the system still functioned. The tube from the Pearl leads to a capsule dump. In Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five pneumatic tubes are used as a way to transport information from one place to the next when covering news articles.
In the popular video game BioShock , pneumatic tubes transport various items throughout the fictional city of Rapture. In Portal and Portal 2 , two other popular games, Aperture Science uses Pneumatic tubes to transport larger-scale objects such as boxes of all kinds throughout their enrichment center.
Douglas Adams 's computer game Starship Titanic features the "Succ-U-Bus" in almost every room—a pneumatic pipe transport system which goes all around the ship; players must understand and use the Succ-U-Bus in order to progress and solve the puzzles. Umberto Eco in his novel The Prague Cemetery has one character, Simonini, send a "petit bleu" message by pneumatic post".
In the movie The Polar Express , "The Pneumatic" is a giant version of a pneumatic tube which transports elves and lead characters between the main control room and various places throughout the North Pole City.
In the CBS series, Person of Interest , a pneumatic tube network is used to avoid tracking of communication by electronic means. The network is shown in the mafia war in the 21st episode of the fourth season, 'Asylum'. In the movie Kingsman: In the USA original series, White Collar , used pneumatic tubes as part of a heist in two episodes: They would be the final two episodes of the series.