SKATED D£ SCfi/Pr%
Underer omul Eailwa
Explanatory Details and Engravings
ATMOSPHERIC MACHINERY, PNEUMATIC PASSENGER-CAR,
PNEUMATIC POSTAL DISPATCH, UNDERGROUND
TUNNELING MACHINE, ETC.
^ PUBLISHED BY THE BEACH PNEUMATIC TRANSIT CO.
S. W. Green, Print er, 16 and.18 Jacob Street, New-York
THE CHAMPION SPRING BED.
From Scientific American, Nov. 4, 1871.
The sum total of human experience on the subject shows that the bed
question is one of great importance to every body, and that upon the wisdom
of one's choice of bedding material depends much of comfort, health, and
even the prolongation of life. A badly composed bed is too often but the
breeding-place of contagion and disease.
Good feathers and curled hair, in abundant quantities, make good beds ;
but their organic substance renders them unhealthy, and the best medical
authorities discourage their use. A capital substitute for them has been
found in the elastic properties of metals, and the subject of our illustration is
the very latest improvement in this line — the Champion Spring Bed — which
rivals in its softness the old-fashioned down and hair, embodying, likewise,
all the good qualities that experience has shown to be desirable.
This bed is composed of eighty-eight beautiful steel springs, comprising
over eight hundred coils, drawn and tempered with accuracy, yielding and
pliable like watch-springs, the helices united by leather bands, and the whole
so arranged that pressure, applied upon any one portion of the surface of the
bed, is equally distributed and sustained by all of the springs. This imparts
to the bed an even elasticity and general softness, which is a peculiar cha-
racteristic, preventing that sinking down of the bed in one spot, and that
down-hill feeling of the surface, or sloping toward the place where the
greatest weight rests — defects that are common to most of the ordinary
Another striking advantage of this bed is its remarkable flexibility. As
shown in our engraving, it may be rolled up like a blanket, forming a con-
venient package for transportation ; and it may be lifted, turned, and carried
about the household with the \itmost facility.
Its extreme lightness is a distinctive and important quality, the total
weight of a first-class double bed being only 25 lbs. A child may carry it ;
any woman may lift it with one hand. Housekeepers will appreciate this
quality, for they can remove and place the bed wherever they require, as
easily as if it were a bolster.
Another excellent feature is its perfect security against corrosion, the
Springs being inlaid with a firm water-proof fire enamel, which renders the
bed serviceable in any climate, hot or cold, dry or damp.
Both sides of the bed are alike, it can be used either side up, has no
attached frame of wood or slats, but is soft, yielding, and flexible in every
part. In summer-time it forms a cool and luxurious couch ; no under-bed be-
ing required, a blanket thrown over its surface being sufficient. In cold
weather, a mattress of only half the usual thickness is needed.
This bed is noiseless and durable. It is also economical in price, the full -
sized double beds of this pattern being retailed at $12 — the smaller sizes for
less. Rolled up for transport, as shown in our engraving, it forms a light,
compact bundle of steel springs, which may be sent to any part of the world
without risk of damage. Such are some of the merits of this invention, as
claimed by the makers, and they appear to be well founded. [See engraving
on next page of cover.]
-t ' 'Tort nteuw isim/terdam, oj> Je Madia-tans
FORT NEW AMSTERDAM
(NEW YORK), 1651.
When you leave, please leave this book
Because it has been said
"Sver'thing comes t' him who waits
Except a loaned book."
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Gift of Seymour B. Durst Old York Library
BROADWAY UNDERGROUND RAILWAY,
iEOLOR, TUNNELING-MACHINE, ATMOSPHERIC CARS, PNEUMATIC POSTAL
DISPATCH, ETC., ETC.
The present experimental section of the Broadway Under-
ground Railway was constructed by the Beach Pneumatic Transit
Company, under the provisions of their charters of 1868 and 1869,
giving them authority to convey letters, parcels, and merchandise
through tubes not to exceed fifty-four inches mean interior dia-
meter. It was ascertained by the company, alter careful investi-
gation, that the cost of laying down two tubes of the above size,
constructed together, would be but little more than that of
building a single tube. It was also ascertained that the quickest
and best method of construction for the two tubes was to bore
under the streets, below the water-pipes and sewers, and erect a
masonry shell or tunnel large enough to inclose both of the fifty-
four-inch tubes. It is a portion of this outer tunnel that has
been erected ; and as it proved to be strong enough and large
enough for the transit of passengers, the company laid down
therein a railway track and provided a passenger car, for the
purpose of temporarily illustrating, by an actual demonstration,
the feasibility of placing a railway under Broadway, without
disturbance of the street surface or injury to adjacent property.
This experimental section of railway passes below the founda-
tions of some of the heaviest buildings; and although constructed
upon a reduced scale, it has proved to be large enough to show,
beyond question, that a first-class, double track, passenger
RAILWAY MAY BE READILY CONSTRUCTED BY THIS COMPANY, EX-
TENDING fro^i the Battery under Broadway to Central
Park and Manhattanville ; with branch at Union Square,
EXTENDING UNDER FOURTH AVENUE TO HaRLEM ElYER.
By the construction of this railway our citizens will be enabled
to travel between the City Hall and Central Park, West side
and Harlem River, in fifteen minutes, riding in comfortable cars
brilliantly lighted with gas.
The company only wait the grant of proper legislative authority
in order to proceed with this great and important work. The
company's application to the Legislature is supported by large
numbers of the most prominent citizens of New- York, while
their routes and plans are approved by the most eminent archi-
tects, civil engineers, and railway constructors.
ENTRANCE AND TICKET- OFFICE.
The present entrance to the Underground Railway is on the
west side of Broadway, opposite the City Hall, at the south-
west corner of Broadway and Warren streets, through the base-
ment of Devlin's building.
Descending a few steps from the sidewalk, the visitor enters
the ticket-office, where the attention is at once arrested by the
aeolor or blowing-engine, which generates the air-blast by which
the pneumatic cars are propelled.
This immense a?olor is by far the largest machine of the kind
ever made. It consists of a great shell of strong iron, 21^ feet
high, 16 feet long, and 13 feet wide, containing two pairs of
massive wings, geared together by cog-wheels, and so arranged
that the air is drawn in upon one side of the machine, carried
through between the wings, and forced out on the other side.
The seolor is capable of discharging over 100,000 cubic feet of
air per minute. The machine makes 60 revolutions per minute,
and discharges the air through an opening *5 feet square with a
velocity of 60 miles per hour.
The upper portion of the seolor, as seen in the ticket-office, is
beautifully decorated, and j^'esents no outward indication of
being the great reservoir of power we have just described. To
realize this fact, we must go down-stairs and look within its
Leaving the ticket-office, and passing the oeolor on the left, we
WAITING-ROOM OF THE BROADWAY UNDERGROUND RAILWAY.
This is a large and elegantly finished apartment, commencing
INTERIOR OF THE ..PNEUMATIC -PASSENGER-CAR.
at Broadway and extending down Warren street for a distance
of 120 feet, built wholly under ground. The walls are adorned
with interesting pictures, while comfortable settees, saloons for
ladies and gentlemen, and other furnishings, render the place at
once cheerful and attractive.
At the east end of the waiting-room we descend a half-dozen
steps, and find ourselves upon the railway platform, near the
portal of the tunnel, and at the door of
THE PNEUMATIC PASSENGER-CAR.
One of our views shows the interior of the car. It is of cir-
cular form, brilliantly lighted, and very comfortable, with seats
for 22 persons.
- The wheels of the pneumatic car are provided with separate
axles and springs. The general construction is such that the
floor of the car stands below the axle centres, an arrangement
which tends to produce steadiness of motion and security from
accident. Powerful brakes are placed at eacli end of the car, so
made that the brake-shoes press upon a central rail, laid on the
floor of the tunnel, and thus quickly bring the car to a halt.
One of the advantages of the Pneumatic Railway for city
transit is, that the cars may be run either singly or in trains,
without additional machinery or cost. The more frequently the
cars run the better are the public accommodated. On ordinary
steam roads, if the cars are sent singly, a locomotive must accom-
pany each car, which would be expensive ; hence, the practice
is to run the cars in trains. It is probable that pneumatic cars
could, for the same expense, be dispatched through a Broadway
tunnel much oftener than locomotive trains could be run.
THE TUNNEL UNDER BROADWAY,
the portal of which, massive and ornamental, of circular form,
stands before us as we face the east.
We will follow the railway track into the tunnel, and explore
the underground mysteries of Broadway. The rumbling noise
of the vehicles which pass in endless procession, directly over
our heads, can be distinctly heard.
The tunnel commences at the curb-line of Broadway, and
sweeps on a graceful curve a little beyond the centre line of the
street; thence on a straight line down Broadway to a point a
little beyond the south side of Murray street. The bed of the
tunnel is 2 If feet below the pavement. The interior is painted
white ; it is lighted with gas ; the atmosphere is pure, and a
PORTAL OF THE BROADWAY TUNNEL.
walk through it will be found interesting and instructive. The
length of the tunnel is 312 feet, of which the curved portion,
60 feet, is built of iron plates, the interior diameter being 9 feet.
Standing upon the track platform, at a little distance from the
tunnel, and looking within the portal, the iron walls, with their
net-work of gracefully curved ribs, present a very pleasing
appearance. This method of erecting iron tunnels is the inven-
tion of Mr. Joseph Dixon, the secretary of the company, long
known for his persevering efforts to establish the underground
railway in New-York.
The iron track, of the usual T pattern, rests upon longitudinal
beams of wood, secured to the brick walls, and fastened cross-
wise at intervals bv flat oirders of cast-iron.
In summer time, the tunnel is the coolest place in the city.
When the thermometer stands at 95° at the surface of the street,
it indicates only 65° in the tunnel. In winter, the temperature
in the tunnel is usually warmer than the external air.
Telegraph wires extend along the walls of the tunnel, which
are so arranged in connection with the track that the wheels of
the car, when ihe latter reaches the ends of the tunnel, send back
a telegraphic signal to the engineer, who shifts an air-valve,
which reverses the air-current and causes the car to move back
to its starting-place. Proceeding down Broadway to the end of
.the tunnel at Murray street, we come to the
GREAT TUNNELING MACHINE OR SHIELD,
by which Broadway was bored without any body knowing it,
with all the omnibuses and other vehicles traveling directly
above the heads of the workmen.
We present two views of this novel mechanism, one of which
shows the workmen ewgaored in driving the machine ahead : the
other, a perspective interior view, showing the main details of
construction. The machine consists of a large cylinder, open at
both ends, with the shelves arranged within the front end to re-
ceive the earth and prevent it from falling too rapidly into the
front end of the machine. X is the bank of earth through which
the machine is being pushed. At the rear of the machine, placed
around its periphery, is a series of powerful hydraulic rams I,
eighteen in number, all Connected with a single water-pump A.
From the rear of the machine, and passing entirely around it, ex-
tends a band of sheet-steel D v two feet wide, and one eighth of
an inch thick, termed the hood. The brick tunnel W is erected
within this hood, which at all times covers the end of the ma-
sonry, and prevents the earth above from falling upon the work-
men. The operation of the machine is as follows : After a section
of the brick tunnel sixteen inches long has been erected within
the hood, the pump is operated, which causes the rams I to slide
out, and push with great force against the front edge of the tun-
nel, driving the machine forward into the earth X. As the ma-
chine advances, the earth presses through between the shelves,
and falls down upon the bottom of the machine, whence it is re-
moved in barrows and cars. As soon as the machine has been
advanced sixteen inches, its movement is stopped, and a new sec-
tion of the masonry tunnel is erected within the hood. The ma-
chine is then again pushed forward in the manner described. By
means of this machine, tunnels of all kinds and sizes may be quickly
constructed under rivers, also under the streets of cities, without
disturbing the travel of vehicles over the surface. The machine
may be readily moved around curves or on grades. By means
of the present machine, this railway tunnel was constructed and
turned on a radius of 50 feet ; the exterior diameter of the tunnel
is 9 feet 4 inches. Where tunneling at any considerable depth
below the surface is required, the use of this machine saves a
large amount of labor. The first machine of this kind, of smaller
dimensions, was put in operation under Broadway in 1868, and
with it a tunnel of some 5i feet in diameter was constructed. Its
success was so complete that tfte company determined to con-
struct the large machine shown in our engravings. The machine
here illustrated was designed by Mr. A. E. Beach, of the Scien-
tific American. In 1869, a similar machine was put in operation
in London, and with it a tunnel under the Thames River, known
as the Tower Subway, was constructed. This tunnel is 1600 feet
in length, extends from Tower hill to Southwark, and was con-
structed in less than eight months working time.
HOW THE MACHINE AVAS STEERED.
The machine was steered around the curve and down Broad-
way by turning the stop-cocks of the water-pipes belonging to
the hydraulic rams, thus changing the pressure from side to side
as occasion required. During the [progress of the work under
Broadway, the exact course traveled by the machine was deter-
mined by compass and survey in the usual manner, and the lines
were from time to time verified by driving jointed rods of iron
up through the roof of the tunnel to the pavement.
THE UNDERGROUND TUNNELING-MA CHINE.
HOW THE CARS ARE OPERATED.
Having presented a general description of the tunnel, the cars,
and the seolor or blowing-machine, we will now briefly describe
the manner in which the cars are operated. To do this intelli-
gently, reference should be made to the engraving of the general
Two air-valves will be noticed, which operate in connection
with the air-passages of the blower or seolor. When the blower
is in motion, an enormous volume of air is driven through the
tunnel, which drives the car before it like a boat before the wind.
On arrival of the car at Murray street, the car-Avheel strikes a
telegraph connection and sends back a signal to the engineer,
who shifts the position of the two air-valves, thereby reversing
the air-current bv causing the blower to suck the air from the
tunnel, and to discharge it into the area- way of the building. In
this process of suction, the air is drawn in through a tempo-
rary ventilator at the south end of the tunnel, and passes
through the tunnel to the blower at Warren street, the pas-
senger-car being swept by the force of the current back to
Warren street, where the wheel again strikes the telegraph wire,
gives a signal to the engineer, who again shifts the valves, and
back the car moves to Murray street.
The mouth of the temporary ventilator is covered by a large
iron grating, located on the east side of Broadway, within the
grass-plot inclosure of the City Hall Park. A large air-shaft,
of masonry, extends obliquely from the grating, passing under
the sidewalk and carriage-way to the south eud of the tun-
nel, a distance of 78 feet. When the car is in operation, the al-
ternate discharge and suction of air through the ventilator is
readily perceived by persons who approach near to the grating.
The car runs so easily upon the track that only a few grains of
atmosphere pressure to the square inch are sufficient to move the
car with a considerable velocity.
The ride under Broadway is a novel and enjoyable experience.
The air is always fresh and pure ; there is no dust or other an-
noyance, and the car moves along with smoothness and rapidity.
The air presses directly against the end of the car, like a sail-
GENERAL PLAN. SHOWING THE ARRANGEMENT
OF THE MACHINERY, THE AIR-FLUE, THE TUN-
NEL, AND THE MODE OF OPERATING THE PNEU-
MATIC PASSENGER CAR.
boat before the wind. A car mounted on
a track is moved much easier than a boat
upon the water, because the vessel encoun-
ters great resistance in displacing the wa-
ter, while the ear merely has to overcome
the friction of the wheels, which is only one
four hundredth part of its weight. There-
fore only a small air pressure is required to
drive the pneumatic car. Many thousands
of persons have enjoyed the atmospheric
car-ride under Broadway, and the com-
pany's establishment forms one of the most
interesting: attractions of the city.
THE PNEUMATIC POSTAL DISPATCH.
Among other interesting objects to be seen at the Broadway
Underground Kail way Works is an operating section of the
Pneumatic Postal Dispatch.
This consists of a long air-tube, six inches in diameter, which
curves about in various directions, in the sub-basement of the
establishment. A receiving letter-box is attached to one end of
the tube, and the box is also connected with a blowing-wheel,
the arrangement being such that a strong suction of air is main-
tained through the tube. If, now, any letters, etc., papers or
packages, are dropped into the air-tube — for which purpose open-
ings are provided — they are instantly swept along through the
tube into the receiving-box, and are there delivered into a suit-
• The practical operation of this novel apparatus is very interest-
ing to the visitor. The receiving-box is provided with glass
sides, so that the ingress of the letters and papers, as they come
from the air-tubes, may be readily observed. Letters are sent
through at a velocity of from forty to sixty miles per hour.
These postal tubes are designed to be laid under the streets,
and to communicate with the various lamp-post letter-boxes and
postal stations. The air-current being maintained in the tubes,
all letters or packages that may be dropped into the lamp-post
boxes will fell into the air-tube beneath, and be instantly swept
along to the post-office or nearest postal station.
A complete and effective system of pneumatic city postal col-
lection and delivery has been planned, by which it is believed
that letters may be sent from one part of the city to another,
within a distance of three miles, in from five to ten minutes.
The introduction of such a system would greatly add to the
convenience of the public.
THE BROADWAY UNDERGROUND RAILWAY.
The greatest interest in the success and progress of the work
has been expressed by the press of New- York, Brooklyn, and
adjacent places. The almost universal desire of the press and
the people is, that the Legislature will give the company the
right to carry passengers, and thus insure the speedy extension
of the Underground Railway through the whole length of the
The route and plans proposed by this company are the only
ones that have ever been generally approved. They entirely
meet the wants of the community, and they satisfy the best engi
neers. They are undoubtedly the best plans for Rapid City
Transit that have been placed permanently before the public.
We might cover many hundreds of pages with extracts from
editorials and reports of the various newspapers commendatory
of the Broadway Underground Railway, but our limited space
permits us to make only a very few selections:
From Frank Leslie's Newspaper.
THE BROADWAY PNEUMATIC TUNNEL.
The series of engravings pertaining to the Pneumatic Railway
which we tins week present illustrate the progress of a remark-
able work, planned and executed in a remarkable manner. Our
great metropolitan thoroughfare has been bored, arched, and a
track laid down, by a corps of sappers and miners, who have
operated with surprising rapidity and success. They have not
only tunneled Broadway, but have done so with the surging
throne: of humanity, animals, and vehicles marching in endless
procession directly above their spades. No outward indications
of activity below the ground have been exhibited, and, until
quite recently, the public has had no knowledge of the matter.
The works are hidden by the granite pavement of the street, and
but for our engravings, taken from the subterranean structures
themselves, it might be difficult to satisfy our readers that we
have above stated only the facts.
The Underground Railroad, the highway for rapid city transit,
long needed and pressingly demanded by the inhabitants of
New-York, has at last been commenced, and a short portion has
been put in actual operation. We trust it will not be long ere
we shall be able to chronicle the full completion of the work
from the Battery to the Harlem River. It is evident, from the
example now before us, that the construction of an underground
railway in this city is not a difficult nor, necessarily, a tedious
operation. Six months or a year's time is quite sufficient, the
ways and means being provided, with enterprising men as con-
From the New- York Evening Mail. Feb. 3G. 1870.
THE GREAT BORE.
COMPLETION OF THE FIRST SECTION OF THE BROADWAY UNDER-
GROUND RAILWAY A GREAT SUCCESS.
The problem of tunneling Broadway has been solved. There
is no mistake about it. Even as we write, a comfortable passenger-
car is running smoothly and safely between Warren and Murray
streets, demonstrating beyond contradiction that it is only a
question of time and money to give us rapid and comfortable
transportation from the Battery to Harlem and back again.
Nearly three months ago, the Evening Mail was the first journal
in the city to announce the existence of this great bore beneath
Broadway. In our columns were then described the progress of
the work and enough of the plans of the projectors to give a
clear idea of what the public were to expect from them. Since
then the work has been pushed vigorously on by competent
workmen, under a thoroughly competent superintendent, whose
name is Dixon. May his shadow increase for evermore ! This
afternoon, pursuant to invitation, the completed section of the
work will be prospected by the mayor, and other members of
the city government, and the leading capitalists of the city; and
that this visit will be followed by a general hallelujah no sane
man doubts, who has sat in that cozy car over twenty feet
beneath the surface of Broadway, and been whiffed from Murray
street to Warren before he had time to say, " God bless you !"
We have said that the bed of the tunnel is 21J feet beneath
the surface of the street. It will then be understood that it is
below both sewers, and water and gas-pipes, and so far below
them as neither to interfere or be interfered with.
The completed section illustrates satisfactorily that- there is
nothing now to be done but give this company such a charter as
will enable them to go on with the passenger-carrying scheme.
We can afford to wait awhile longer for the parcel-tubes much
better than we can bear the increasing discomforts of the surface
It is truly most gratifying to see how admirably successful
the affair has been carried out so far, and so quietly as to excite
no comment. There is the capacious waiting-room, 120 feet long,
for passengers, as perfect in its appropriateness as if it had been
the starting-place for up-town for a dozen years. There is the
snugly upholstered passenger-car, illuminated with the brilliant
lime light, the tunnel nearly 300 feet in length, the engine and
the monster fans — all under Broadway, and " nobody a bit the
wiser," one might say.
From the New- York Herald, Feb. 27, 1870.
PROPOSED UNDERGROUND RAILROAD A FASHIONABLE RECEPTION
HELD IN THE BOWELS OF THE EARTH THE GREAT BORE
''Up Broadway" and u Down BroadAvay " are familiar routes,
familiar not only to Americans residing in New- York, but by
description to all the inhabitants of the world. " Under Broad-
way" for 294 feet, right away, in a thoroughfare well lighted, in
a scrupulously clean avenue, is not quite so familiar. Yesterday,
hundreds of our citizens, including State officers, members of the
Legislature, city officials, and members of the press, walked
along a part of Broadway they never were in before, and more
enjoyable than if they had been on the sidewalk of the icell-known
thoroughfare of the Empire City, instead of 21 feet below it.
An engraved invitation note asked those who had the good
fortune to receive it to attend an " Under Broadway Reception,"
at the office of the " Beach Pneumatic Transit Company," 260
Broadway, from two to six o'clock yesterday.
Descending an ordinary basement " dive," under Devlin's cloth-
ing store, the visitors found themselves in a comfortable office,
and a few steps lower there teas a kind of Aladdin 's cave opened
to view, in ichich there was more to be seen than the eye could
take in at once, and therefore we must ask the reader's attention
to a few particulars.
First of all, let us explain the reason why this descent was
made into the bowels of Broadway, and why all these important
representatives of the public had been asked to come and gaze
and wonder. Legislative power has been obtained to construct
a pneumatic tube- way from Warren street to Cedar street, for
the purpose of " blowing*' small and large parcels — indeed, all
kinds of " express business" — between these two localities. The
promoters had not proceeded far with their work before they dis-
covered that it would be very little more expense to construct an
underground railroad for the " blowing 1 '' of passengers as well as
freight. Acting upon this hint, they have applied to the Legis-
lature for power to construct this underground railroad / and if
the calm, settled, and earnest approval of their plan by the repre-
sentatives of the scientific and executive ability of the city be an
earnest of their success, it will not be difficult to obtain the sanction
of the Legislature to their bill Virtually, therefore, yesterday's
reception was the opening-day of the first underground railway
THE TUNNEL AND THE BORE.
The length of the tunnel already open is 294 feet ; the iron por-
tion of it is 57 feet; the brick, 237 feet. It is whitewashed and
lighted with gas, has telegraphic wires running alongside the wall,
is about 12 feet high, and formed a very pleasant promenade.
The roar of the Broadway traffic was plainly heard overhead, and,
until the ear got familiar with it, sounded very strangely. This
294 feet takes the tunnel to Murray street, on the south side,
nearly flush to the post-office fence.
The visitor to the tunnel is shown very clearly how this tunnel
has been made, and how it is that the work has been carried on
in a mole-like manner without attracting the observation of the
Broadway pedestrians, and without interfering in any degree
with the traffic. Havino; first obtained an entrance from the sur-
face in Warren street, and gone deep enough to be out of the way
of sewers, gas and water-pipes, a cylinder was introduced, which
in shape resembled a barrel with the ends out, forced by 18 hydrau-
lic rams. This forces itself through the earth, and to moderate
the fall of the earth, a number of wooden shelves are placed
within the cylinder for the earth to drop through; and as the
earth deposits itself, it is shoveled up and carted away. In the
course of the travels of this cylinder, it came upon the remains of
an old stone building, vvhicli was believed to be an old Dutch
powder-magazine. The stones were not too large to come through
the shelves, and they were carted away with the earth. The
cylinder has a projection in the front of it of steel, both broad and
sharp, that finds no difficulty in cutting its way along. In the
rear of it, there is a thin piece of sheet-iron, 16 inches broad,
upon which the brick-work of the tunnel is built up ; and when
finished, the cylinder moves on again its earthy way, to have 16
more inches of brick-work added.
From the New- York Times, Feb. 27, 1870.
THE BROADWAY TUNNEL.
OPENING THE BORE TO PUBLIC INSPECTION — SUCCESS OF THE
UNDERTAKING GREAT CROWD OF VISITORS.
Certainly the most novel, if not the most successful, enter-
prise that New- York has seen for many a clay is the Pneumatic
Tunnel under Broadway. A myth or a humbug it has hitherto
been called by every body who has been excluded from its inte-
rior ; but hereafter the incredulous public can have the opportu-
nity of examining and judging of its merits. Yesterday the tunnel
was thrown open to the inspection of visitors for the first time, and
it must be said that every one of them came away surprised and
gratified. Such as expected to find a dismal and cavernous re-
treat under Broadway, opened their eyes at the elegant reception-
room, the light, airy tunnel, and the general appearance of taste
and comfort in all the apartments ; and those toho entered to pick
out some scientific flaw in the project, were silenced by the com-
pleteness of the machinery, the solidity of the vjork, and the safety
of the running apparatus.
The entrance to this tunnel is on Broadway at the corner of
Warren street. At the bottom of the steps is the entrance to an
office, and the apartment of the u rotary blower," a huge paddle-
box-like affair, neatly frescoed on the outside. To the right a
door leads into a long hall, down a few more steps, and directly
under the Warren street sidewalk, which is the "depot" of the
establishment, and is handsomely fitted up with a fountain,
paintings, and seats. This hall opens toward Broadway to the
tunnel, at the entrance of which stands a car ready for passen-
gers. Adjoining the depot is the machinery for pumping the air
in and out of the tube, which is worthy of an examination. The
tunnel-way itself, how it looks, how it is bored out, has been so of-
ten described in the various daily journals that only a brief account
of it need be given here. The tube is 8 feet in diameter, arched
all the way round with brick painted white. From the bottom
of it to the surface of Broadway is 21 feet, and it is therefore be-
low all pipes and sewers. After curving around the corner of
Warren street, the tube is perfectly straight. On the bottom is a
track about 4 feet wide. The car which runs upon this is about
half as large as a street-car, cushioned, lighted, ventilated, and
elegant in all its appointments. The contrivance that bores out
the tube is a huge iron cylinder, sharp at the end penetrating the
earth, and is forced along by hydraulic pressure. The dirt is
then shoveled out. So far — the tube now being complete 120
feet, or as far as the south side of Murray street — the excavation
has been through sand only, and not a difficult matter. - Yester-
day, the gentlemanly engineer of the company explained the
whole construction of the tunnel, over and over again, to the
visitors that kept coming and going.
Such, in brief, is a description of the various compartments of
the mysterious underground Broadway tunnel, begun but a few
months ago. The enterprise is controlled by the " Beach Pneu-
matic Transit Company," who propose to run their tunnels in
every direction eventually, and make rapid communication be-
tween distant parts of the city. They claim that their cars
can run one mile a minute with perfect safety by the pneumatic
The opening yesterday afternoon was a very pleasant " occa-
sion." It is was intended specially for dignitaries, legislators,
aldermen, scientific men, and members of the press, and scores
of them were present. Mr. Beach himself was conspicuous, mak-
ing his visitors explanations, and entertaining them like princes.
Judge Daly, members of the American Institute, city officials,
and many prominent citizens were observed among those who
came. In the " depot," or reception-room, a first-class subterra-
nean lunch was served continuously from two o'clock until six
o'clock, and was continuously appreciated. The " health" of the
tunnel was not forgotten. At nightfall, the unique occasion was
over, but the " Transit Company" had made a host of friends and
From Harper's Weekly, March 12,' 1870.
The Pneumatic Tunnel, now in process of construction under
the principal thoroughfare of New-York, commences in the sub-
basements of the spacious marble building of Devlin & Co., cor-
ner of Broadway and Warren street, and extends, at present, to
a point a little below Murray street. One of our illustrations on
this page gives an interior view of the tunnel, looking south from
near the entrance.' It is 8 feet in diameter, built of solid mason rv,
is dry and clean, painted white, and lighted with gas. The tun-
nel passes under all the gas and water-pipes and sewers ; but,
though so far below the surface of the street, the rumbling of
wheels and the tramp of horses overhead can be distinctly heard
by one standing within it.
The tunnel is constructed by means of a shield, consisting of a
strong cylinder, something like a barrel with both heads taken out.
It is pushed forward by 18 powerful hydraulic rams, and makes a
bore of its own diameter through the sand. The loosened sand, as
it falls through the rear end of the cylinder, is carried back through
the tunnel in cars, and delivered upon an elevator on Warren
street, where it is raised to the pavement and carted away. As
fast as the cylinder advances, the tunnel is arched with masonry.
By means of this machine, which was designed by Mr. A. E.
Beach, the tunnel is pushed forward without any interruption to
the business of Broadway.
Another of our illustrations shows the mouth of the tunnel and
a passenger-car, as seen from the station, which is a nicely-finished
underground apartment 120 feet in length, lighted from the War-
ren street sidewalk. Another illustration shows the interior of
the passenger-car, which carries 18 passengers, has very com-
fortable seats, and is lighted with oxyhydrogen gas. The cars are
BROADWAY UNDERGROUND RAILWAY— THE EXPERIMENTAL SECTION.
to be propelled by the atmospheric system, consisting in driving
through the tunnel a strong blast of air, which presses against
the rear of the car and carries it along like a sail-boat before the
wind. This air-current of course secures perfect ventilation
within the car. The air is driven into the tunnel by means of an
immense blowing-engine operated by steam. Mr. Joseph Dixon,
long known for his efforts to establish the underground railway,
is the superintendent of the work.
As soon as the necessary authority can be obtained from the
Legislature, it is the intention of the company to proceed to con-
struct a first-class underground railway, with large cars, to run
from South-Ferry under Broadway to Central Park, and above
that point ; together with a Fourth Avenue branch to Harlem
River. They will be able, when their arrangements are complete,
to transport more than 20,000 passengers per hour each way.
From the New- York Post, Feb. 26, 1870.
THE PNEUMATIC TUBE.
A RECEPTION UNDER BROADWAY.
For the first time in the history of New-York a reception with
all the accompaniments of furnished saloons, champagne, and
salads, was held under Broadway this afternoon.
The following invitation was issued a few days ago :
" UNDER BROADWAY RECEPTION.
" To State Officers, Members of the Legislature, City Officials, and Members of
the Press :
" You are respectfully invited to be present on Saturday, February 26th,
1870, from two to six o'cloek p.m., at the office of the Beach Pneumatic Tran-
sit Company, 260 Broadway, corner of Warren street.
" Joseph Dixon, Secretary. A. E. Beach, President."
Owing to the lateness of the hour, we are able to give but a
general outline of the enterprise.
On descending the steps at the corner of Warren street and
Broadway, the visitor finds himself in a neatly oil-clothed room,
on the left of which appears the top of the rotary blower neatly
painted. Advancing a few steps, the visitor turns to the right
and descends three more steps, when he finds himself in a hand-
some and brilliantly-lighted saloon. In the centre is a fountain
with jetting water and gold-fishes swimming in the basin. The
ceilings and side walls are hard-finished, and with neat striping
about the gas-brackets, present an attractive appearance. The
floor is covered by oil-cloth, and the windows are hung with
damask curtains and cornices. The surbase is of alternate
stripes of walnut and white-pine, and about the room are arrang-
ed settees and easy-chairs. A piano also adds to the attractive-
ness of the apartment.
Having reached this floor, the guest turns toward the City Hall
Park, and descending another flight of steps, finds himself at the
entrance of the tube, in full view of the vast machinery to be
used for propelling the cars.
The top of the tunnel is surmounted by a keystone of pressed
brick, over which are the letters in German text, " Pneumatic
(1870) Transit," and encircling this is a row of gas-jets, covered
by alternate globes of red, white, and blue. At either side, on a
pedestal, are bronze figures upholding a cluster of gas-lights.
, The next feature which strikes the spectator is the graceful curve
of the tube into Broadway. The curved arch is supported by
iron plates, and after a straight line is reached, the tunnel is con-
tinued down Broadway by arches of brick. The interior is paint-
ed white, and the entire length is lighted by gas. The track is
supported by a bracing of hard wood.
The present length of the tunnel is 294 feet and 6 inches, and
fifty-eight days and ten hours were consumed in constructing it.
The track is 21 feet under the surface of Broadway, and the only
circumstance which would indicate that the visitor is under a
busy thoroughfare is the constant rumbling of vehicles overhead.
The car is built to conform to the shape of the tunnel, being
semicircular in form. It has comfortable accommodation for 20
persons. The machinery is of immense power, and of very fine
The visitors to-day were handsomely entertained by the of-
ficers of the company.
From the Express, Nov. 18. 1870.
By this system of traveling, the oars are impelled by com-
pressed air only. The air is nncontaminated by dust or gas,
the track is not crushed or damaged by heavy locomotives, and
all the discomforts of steam travel throuo-h tunnels are eliminated.
From the New-York Herald, Dec. 2, 1870.
SECRETARY ROBESON UNDER GROUND.
The Secretary of the Navy, accompanied by Admiral Smith
and a distinguished party of ladies and gentlemen, visited the
Broadway Underground Railway yesterday morning, and rode
back and forth under Broadway by atmospheric pressure. The
secretary was much gratified with the success of this simple method
of locomotion, examined every part of the novel machinery with
great interest, and expressed the hope that the system would soon
be extended throughout the city.
After the riding, he visited the air-chamber of the great blow-
ing-machine and enjoyed personal experience of the mechanical
hurricane which sweeps under Broadway and gives motion to
The Pneumatic Postal Dispatch was then set in operation, and
the secretary witnessed the transmission of a large mail of letters
and newspapers, at a velocity of sixty-three miles an hour,
through the atmospheric pipes. The velocity is so great that the
letters look like mere specks as they issue from the air-tube into
the receiving-box, and it is only when the hopper at the bot-
tom is opened and the letters drop out, that the fact of such rapid
transit is realized.
These tubes, it will be remembered, are to be placed under the
streets in connection with the lamp-post letter-boxes, the ar-
rangement being such that all letters when deposited in the
boxes will slide down into the tubes and be instantly carried for-
ward by the air-current to the post-office or sub-post-office. This
will effect a great saving of time in the collection and delivery of
3J^utual]3enefit pavings 2 an ^T
"\ 166 Nassau Street,
Opposite the City Hull, New- York.
Six per Cent Interest Allowecl,
Commencing on the First of every
Month, with participation in the
profits on the Mutual plan.
ON SPECIAL DEPOSITS
Interest is paid on daily balances,
and checks paid at sight.
Persons residing in the country can send deposits by express, draft,
money order, or registered letter, and a book will be sent as requested. One
Dollar will commence an account. Send for a Circular.
CHARLES K. GRAHAM, President.
A. L. PRITCHARD
G. H. BENEDICT, Secretary.
THEO. W. MORRIS, Chairman Exec. Com.
H. EDWIN TREMAIN, Counsel.
JAMES TURNER, Turner Bros., Bankers, corner Pine and Nassau Streets.
SILAS C. HAY, Banker and Broker, 80 Broadway and 7 New Street.
A. L. PRITCHARD, Sec. and Treas. Chicago and Northwestern R. R. Co., 52 Wall Street.
RICHARD VOSE, Vose, Dirfsmore & Co., Car-Spring Manufacturers, No. 1 Barclay St.
THEO. W. MORRIS, D. S. Schanck & Sons, Glass Importers, 27 Chambers Street.
MARTIN B. BROWN, M. B. Brown & Co., Printers, 201 and 203 William Street.
CHARLES K. GRAHAM, Civil Engineer and City Surveyor, 119 Broadway.
GEORGE W. WHITE, Firm of Charles White & Co., foot of West 40th Street.
NOAH A. CHILDS, Water Purv eyor. Department of Public Works, 235 Broadway.
LORING IRGERSOLL, Ingersoll, Watson & Co., Chair Manufacturers, 71 Bowery.
JOSEPH DIXON. Secretary Beach Pneumatic Transit Co., Broadway, corner Warren St.
J. P. DINSMORE, Manufacturer and Proprietor Medicines and Carter's Ink, 36 Dey Street,
H. EDWIN TREMAIN, Tremain & Tyler, Attorneys-at-Law, 167 Broadway.
G. H. BENEDICT, Secretary, 166 Nassau Street. At the Bank from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily.
EVERETT H. KIMBARK, M.D. Residence, 313 East 19th Street.
JAMES O. WEST, West, Bradley & Gary Manufacturing Co., 364 Broadway and 233 West
COURTLAN DT PALMER. Office, No. 858 Broadway ; Residence, 247 Madison Avenue.