Friday, August 25, 2017

Information retrieval

[From À nous la liberté (dir. René Clair, 1931). Click any image for a larger view.]

Louis (Raymond Cordy) obliges his friend and employee Emile (Henri Marchand) by requesting information about employee Jeanne (Rolla France). The request travels by pneumatic tube; a worker types in the necessary information (each employee at the factory is known by a number); a drawer springs open; and there’s Jeanne. There must be a cross-reference on her card. More typing, another drawer, and her uncle appears. Into the tube they go. And Louis and Emile smile.

A series of tubes, just like the Internet. See also the New York Public Library and an earlier post with Emile and a butterfly.

comments: 2

Fresca said...

Have you seen the scene of a letter going through the Parisian pneumatic tubes in Truffaut's Stolen Kisses? Fabulous!

Michael Leddy said...

Uhh, yes, just a minute ago :) That’s great! And there are several documentary-like clips that show the postal tubes in action.