Why stop something that works?
To go directly to the conclusion I will say that in Japan you don’t need to throw away something that works, something that have proved its efficiency.
Just keep using it, and some time, with this time slip methods and tools there is Magic.
This is the picture of a hotel, in it a pneumatic tube. It conveys the keys or any object to a different part of the building. It reminded me of a movie called Brazil, of Terry Gilliam.
By the way an excellent doc bellow.
For some “How it works” info, go there
The past of communication tools
I had fun with my students trying to remember what was communication tools before even this. Before the email, their was the fax (still heavily in use in Japan). Before the fax, there were the telegraph. Using a special language called Morse code. Before that pigeons, but no… something that they didn’t know, and myself also, before reading The Count of Monte Cristo.
The semaphore communication system.
The funny part is to learn that it was still used for airplane, and boat… I mean the communication code with flags. Before that our pigeons, ink and paper. The post, have a long history. Every 50 km(?) a place to repair, a place to rest for the horses. la Maison de Poste. This is the origin of the size of the department in France. What a horse can run in one day.
To come back to my first point about pneumatic tubes. They were still working perfectly well in this hotel. Then if it’s working, there is people that take care of the system. Then I just had a look at the web page of the company who takes care of those pneumatic tubes. Nihon air shooters was changed to Nihon shooter, really ballistic like name…
And I just found that this company was not a big one but still flourishing. They were still in the market essentially in hospitals, to convey medication inside.
There I came back to my conclusion Japanese does not throw away things because there are no more trendy, if it can be used, if it’s still making profits, they are still doing it. Think also that most of the oldest companies in the world are for a good part still in Japan.
And for a second level of my spicy way to see things.
I am not a historian but if Napoleon was so good, may be Semaphore played a good part, information is everything.
The film of Terry Gilliam was out in 1985, French stop using pneumatic tube it in 1987. They saw the movie.
About semaphore, Samuel Morse did not succeed to sell its telegram to the French government. However, France, replace Semaphore finally in 1846 by the electric telegraph. Nothing to say, but it reminds me of the Minitel, and how France was stick to it.
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