Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Paris Wide Web
Did you know that the Web was invented in Paris in 1866?! Well, actually that's the date the postal service started building a network of vacuum tubes underneath Paris (in the sewers) where capsules, containing up to 35 five telegrams, could travel from one end of the city to the other. In 1957 the network was 400 km (250 miles) long and each capsule would travel at a speed of 700 meters (almost 1/2 a mile) per minute. It only stopped running in 1984 and at the risk of showing my age, I can still remember receiving a "Pneu" (the name given to these letters) in 1980 to warn me that my plane had been rescheduled... Here is one of the nodes in the network - I took it yesterday in the Poste du Louvre. More about this here, here and here (French).