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Mystery Box: Coles Myer pneumatic tube system

12 July 2021

In this episode of Mystery Box, State Library Victoria’s Senior Librarian, Greg Gerrand, takes us on a journey of discovery as he unboxes ornate pneumatic tubes used in department stores from the early-to-mid twentieth century.

Running for more than forty miles, the pneumatic tube system was likely used at Myer Bourke St to transport payment from a customer and a cashier would then send the notes to a centralised area. In return, the customer would receive their change and receipt.

The pneumatic tube system was also used to deliver messages as well, and you can still see evidence of the interdepartmental communication system on level six at the Bourke St store today.

Click play on the video above and let Greg transport you to another time where a different set of tubes were used for financial transactions and communication.

About Mystery Box

In the Mystery Box video series, we bring to light some of the most extraordinary items in State Library Victoria's expansive collection. Join us as we unbox unique treasures, and explore the stories they have to tell.

Find out more and view all episodes