Washington DC History Resources

Matthew B. Gilmore

What Once Was: Pneumatic tubes: technological innovation and politics in Shepherd-era Washington DC


[1] Letter to Professor Joseph Henry from Gen. O. E. Babcock (on Executive Mansion letterhead) dated May 22, 1873.

[2] Letter to Professor Joseph Henry from Albert Brisbane dated May 25, 1873.

[3] James S. Cox and John W. Rockwell vs Edgar O. Pearce, Nancy Pearce and William H. Abel, as executors of the will of Hosea O. Pearce, dec’d, impleaded, &c. Case on Appeal. Court of Appeals. Brooklyn, Thomas F. Larkin, 1888.; p. 37ff; Evening Star February 8, 1866.

[4] Report [To accompany an amendment (to the bill H. R. 4729) reported by him from the Committee on Printing.] March 1, 1875.

[5] National Republican February 5, 1872.

[6] Congressional Globe 1872, p. 3795-6, 4165, 4396.

[7] Alexandria Gazette Nov 25, 1872; “Pneumatic transportation” Cincinnati Enquirer Nov 27, 1872.

[8] Alexandria Gazette, December 11, 1872; Father Abraham December 6, 1872; Evening Star, July 23, 1887.

[9] Positive review in The United States Magazine and Democratic Review. Vol. VIII. Nov. & Dec. 1840. “…we will recommend strongly the work of Mr. Brisbane…” p. 431-474; Charles A. Madison. “Albert Brisbane: Social Dreamer.” The American Scholar, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Summer 1943), pp. 284-296.

[10] Carl J. Guarneri. “Brook Farm and the Fourierist Phalanxes; immediatism, gradualism, and American utopian socialism.” In Donald E. Pitzer America’s Communal Utopias. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

[11] Brisbane to Garfield, June 27, 1873. James A. Garfield Papers, Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress.

[12] Diaries p. 55, 57, 67.

[13] Diaries p. 112, 116, 122, 130, 132, 181.

[14] Report [To accompany an amendment (to the bill H. R. 4729) reported by him from the Committee on Printing.] March 1, 1875.

[15] In 1891 Senator Morgan introduced his bill “To incorporate the Washington and Deanwood Railway Company in the District of Columbia” https://glenecho-cabinjohn.com/CR-02.html

[16] Brisbane to Garfield, October 26, 1880, James A. Garfield Papers; Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), February 27, 1887.

[17] Hearings Before the Commission to Investigate the Pneumatic -Tube Postal System. December 2, 3, 9, And 179 1912, And January 8, 25, And.29, 1913. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1913; p.25.

[18[ Evening Star March 13, 1900; Washington Times March 14, 1900.

[19] Public Buildings and Grounds, No. 7, Hearings Before the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds House of Representatives on H. R. 8008, A Bill to Authorize the Construction of a System of Large Diameter Underground Pneumatic Tubes to Connect the Public Buildings in Washington, District of Columbia. January 28, 1914. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1914.

[20] Ibid, p.31.

[21] Report of the commission appointed by the Postmaster General Nov. 15, 1904 to Investigate the needs and advisability of extending pneumatic-tube service.) in Pneumatic-Tube Service Hearing Before the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads. United States Senate, Sixty-Fourth Congress, First Session on H. R. 10484, An Act Making Appropriations for The Service of The Post Office Department for The Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1917, And for Other Purposes with Reference to The Pneumatic-Tube Service May 9 And 11, 1916, Part 2., p.323.

[22] Ibid, p.26.

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