These pages trace the history of capsule pipelines. No single comprehensive reference source covers the history of capsule pipelines. There is a lot of primary research yet to be done.
- The earliest developments in capsule pipelines can be traced back to the beginning of modern western science.
- The first implementation of the technology was in Victorian telegram conveyors. These used small diameter pipelines to move messages between important locations within cities. Such systems formed an important part of communications networks until the mid 20th century.
- The Victorians also built a number of larger diameter pneumatic despatch systems. These were designed to move freight (and in some cases passengers) around cities. They were less successful than telegram conveyors.
- The Victorians started to introduce tube transfer systems into shops. Such systems remain in common use in shops, offices and hospitals. They are used to transport cash and other small items within large buildings.
- In the second part of the 20th century there were many pneumatic capsule pipeline developments, with new technologies designed to make large diameter pneumatic systems a viable mode of freight transport.
- Air is not the only means of propelling capsule. Various types of alternative propulsion have been developed, including water and magnetic induction. These methods dominate recent research.