The Lamson Tube


The Auckland Central Police station was equipped with a Lamson Tube system to transport teleprinter messages quickly between the various offices in the building and the teleprinter room on the third floor.

The Lamson tubes used suction to push small (about 10cm diameter) plastic cartridges along a series of steel tubes which connected the printer room with the rest of the station.

To send an incoming message to someone in another part of the building, the printout was folded and placed in the cartridge, and the cartridge was placed into the Lamson tube. Air pressure would then blow the cartridge along the tube and it would emerge at its destination with a resounding thud.



Catching up on some paperwork beside the Lamson tubes in the Auckland Central teleprinter room.

Three plastic message cartridges can be seen below the seventh tube from the left.

Graeme, pictured here, has outlasted the technology and still works at Northcomm although he no longer has time to study the newspaper at work, and the sideburns have long gone.