Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pneumatic tubes and Razor Blades



I woke up thinking about pneumatic tubes, those amazing compressed air shuttle systems that somehow suggest a means of time travel. When I googled them for an image, I was amazed that the Swiss Swatch store in New York City has an ultra cool pneumatic tube system to deliver the watches. Almost enough to make me want to visit New York again! There used to be a large department store in Berkeley that used pneumatic tubes for all the cash transactions. In fact it's the store where Patty Hearst was working before she was abducted. Did I tell you I always worried the police would mistake me for Patty Hearst? What a nutcase I was.

And then non sequitur I remembered how in our old house there was a slot in the medicine chest for throwing out razor blades. So they went through the slot and into the guts of the house, where they must remain till this day. Ever see one of those slots?

8 comments:

Mean Jean said...

I've redone a few old bathrooms and the razor blades dropped into the slots never fell much further than the bottom of the medicine cabinet or at most where the wall met the floor. Usually there was just a pile of rusty blades about 10 inches down.

The old J.C. Penney's store in Okla. City had a pnuematic tube system that, to me as a child, looked like it had been there since the civil war.

Linda said...

We had that mysterious razor blade slot in TN!

I was always fascinated by the pnuematic tubes at the drive-up windows at the bank. Putting your check in that little thermos and pushing the button--there was something very cartoon-like and unreal about it.

Patty Hearst! I kind of know what you mean. I always felt like people would mistake me for Marjorie Knoller, the woman who owned the dog in the SF dog-mauling case.

I love that Swatch store. I'm wearing a Harajuku Lovers Swatch that Tom bought at Nordstrom Rack for 19.95.

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Namowal said...

I remember the pneumatic tubes from the banks in the pre-A.T.M. card days. As a kid I found them to be very futuristic.
Some tubes had a retirement career at the preschool I worked at in the early 90s.
They made great sandbox toys!
As for the razor blade thing...
so that's what the slit in the medicine cabinet is for. I thought it was just some artifact from the construction process.

Sally said...

Hey Mean Jean, one of world's mysteries now solved. wild. They were invented in the 19th century and could actually have been in place during the civil war. Originally it was thought they'd be used for moving heavy freight! (via wikipedia just now.)

Linda, have you been to the Swatch store?

Mean Jean said...

I can't wear costume jewelry or surgical stainless steel. Swatch made a watch that was all plastic including the stem and buckle. It's very slim. It's my work watch.

Linda said...

I haven't been to that store--just to the ones here. But if you want I'll meet you at the Manhattan Megastore and we can buy a watch thru the pnuematic tube. They'll want you to do a Quackadero watch.

stray said...

One of those slots would be good for X-acto blades. I'm always afraid the tubes at the bank will break with my stuff in mid-transit.

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