Library of Congress Book Conveyor Tunnel

The ‘electric dynamo’ book conveying apparatus.

In the age of the Industrial Revolution, libraries at the cutting edge experimented with an array of pneumatic and mechanical devices that had books flying around, over, and under their technologically delighted patrons. There was no greater example of this steampunk marvel than the Library of Congress, which once connected with the U.S. Capitol Building with a single-purpose book conveyor tunnel.

The Library of Congress Jefferson Building opened to the public in 1898, replacing the original fire-prone library inside the Senate wing of the Capitol. The…

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