Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Suck It And See

Paris iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Suck It And See ~

Suck It And See, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!


As you might have guessed, this gloomy passage is not actually one of Paris' glamorous 19th century galleries on a par with Galerie Vivienne or heaven forbid, Les Galeries Lafayette!

Nope. Here we're a few metres underground and we're looking at some very interesting pipes indeed.

If I remember correctly, the bottom one is for drinking water, identifiable by the omnipresent humidity due to its lower temperature. The second is for Seine water used for cleaning the streets and you'll often see it gushing along the gutters on an average Paris morning in your neighbourhood if you pay attention to such things.

The top pipe is electricity (with internet being out of view over my head in, well, not in this shot), but it's the other two which interest me most.

Here we're looking at the now defunct old pneumatic communications network. This is a large network of tubes which used compressed air to propel, either by pushing or sucking, capsules around the city in record time.

Haussmann's extensive and relatively spacious Parisian drain system, including a tunnel for every street (and two rats per person as I'm sure I mentioned the other day), was ideal for this then revolutionary system.

There are plenty of other blog posts that deal with the history of this technology, but I couldn't resist including a couple of pics, the first of the surprisingly extensive Paris network, and the second of a couple of the capsules themselves.

Paris' network was withdrawn from service in 1984, but it may be that it is still used for extremely confidential, or high-value items being transferrred secretly between certain shady service departments... who knows?!

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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