American Experience

The Pneumatic Subway

Clip: Season 9 | 1m 53s

In order to get congestion and filth off the streets of New York, Alfred Ely Beach had an idea for a pneumatic subway, pulled by a rope of air. A giant fan would drive a train through a tunnel, as fast as 10 miles per hour. After gaining the legislature’s approval for an experimental pneumatic tube for packages, Beach began working on a real subway.

Aired: 02/17/97

Rating: NR

Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning

Corporate sponsorship for American Experience is provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Consumer Cellular. Major funding by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Sponsored By:

American Experience.

Explore Free Resources
She Resisted


She Resisted

Celebrate the strategies and tactics of the movement in a new interactive experience. She Resisted explores the final decade of the women’s suffrage movement through its most powerful images, brought to life with color for the first time.