The Pneumatic Subway that Almost Was | JSTOR Daily
You pays your nickel and you takes your ride. In a cylindrical subway car with plush angora seats and gas-lights above your hat, whooshing down a round tunnel via pressurized air beneath the great metropolis… Wait a minute, whose steampunk fantasy is this?
Alfred Ely Beach’s, as a matter of fact, and more than a few other’s. In 1868, inventor Beach, who was also the publisher and editor of Scientific American, proposed a pneumatic subway system for the city of New York. After all, it was just an up-scaling of the pneumatic mail system used within and between buildings.