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Ignite Show, Episode 7: Molly Wright Steenson on It's Really Just a Series of Tubes

By Mary Rotman
April 2, 2009

In this new episode of the Ignite Show, Molly Wright Steenson talks about the history of pneumatic tubes in our society.

In the 1800s cities used pneumatic tubes to transfer physical documents. Of course with the internet we no longer need these long tunnels, but that doesn't mean that they aren't fun to learn about how these old systems are similar to the internet. Molly Wright Steenson gave a great talk about how these systems worked and what was state of the art in the 1800's.

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum has more information on the US's system. About.com has a page devoted to pneumatic technology of days long gone too.

Download the file.

The Ignite Show will feature a different speaker every Tuesday. It's available on YouTube (user: Ignite), on our Ignite site and via iTunes. It is being released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

The format of Ignite is 20 slides that auto-advance after 15 seconds. When you are on stage giving an Ignite talk this can be quite exhilarating (sometimes terrifying). The added adrenalin really adds to the presentation and I think that will come through on the small screen.

Ignite has spread to over 30 cities in the past two years. We want to highlight speakers from around the world with the show. If your town or city has lots of geeks throw an Ignite to bring them together!

For previous episodes of the Ignite Show, see ignite.oreilly.com/show.

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