Tubes Pneumatiques - Rorpost - Potrubni Posta - Pneumatica

Pneumatic city mail in the Netherlands

The city mail by means of Pneumatic Tube System, was an important phenomenon at the end of 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The system was used to send large numbers of letters, postcards and small packages through the city.
In the Netherlands only Amsterdam and Rotterdam have been mentioned to have had such a facility. Unfortunately, there is almost no information available...


I really doubt whether Amsterdam had a pneumatic city mail system, I think the present evidence is meager and can't be proven correct beyond a doubt.

As far as I know the only source is this quote from the German Wikipedia page on "Rohrpost" (january 2014):

"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:

Versandfertige Apparate für eine Grossrohrpost Versandfertige Apparate für eine Grossrohrpost

"Stations for a pneumatic, large diameter tube system (100mm), ready for shipment".

Photo taken from page 103 of the book 100 Jahre C. Aug. Schmidt Söhne, Hamburg.

So the title/explanation 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. 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... For 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 ship to be shipped to Argentina.

Seeing the dozens of stations in the photo, and if it *were* for Amsterdam, I can't believe there isn't any more information available... Note, I live in the Netherlands and since 1998 I have been in contact with lots of dedicated employees of several PTS suppliers in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
Beside that, the way Amsterdam is built with the canal district I can't imagine that such a large system was ever built here in the 1930s or 40s...

Of course it is my personal opinion here - and even though (being a Dutchman) I'd rather want it to be true - without better evidence I would say there wasn't a pneumatic mail system in Amsterdam!

I will post a message on the German Wikipedia page about this. Hopefully we can discuss the subject any further over there. If you have any information about it yourself, please contact me directly through the form on the website's contact page!


In 1927, according to this reference list from the German company Mix & Genest AG, Abteilung Rohrpost und Förderanlagen in Berlin-Schöneberg, Rotterdam had access to a Pneumatic City Mail system with two stations and a tube length of 1.400 meters. It wasn't large, but still...

Reference list Mix & Genest - June 1927 Reference list Mix & Genest - June 1927

"Von der Mix & Genest A.-G. Abteilung Rohrpost und Förderanlagen Berlin-Schönenberg ausgeführte Stadtrohrpostanlagen"

"By Mix & Genest A.-G. Abteilung Rohrpost und Förderanlagen Berlin-Schönenberg completed Pneumatic City Mail facilities"

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