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"One could imagine a very ascetic sort of life ... where the body is ignored. This is something I've played with in my books, where people hate to be reminded sometimes that they have bodies, they find it very slow and tedious."
- William Gibson

Mail-Post Letter-Ball  
  A system of sending mail quickly from town to town via steam-cannon-powered hollow spheres.  

In those days, the ancient method of conveying the post having been found much too slow for so enlightened a people, an ingenious scheme had been devices, by which the letters were put into balls and discharged by steam-cannon, from place to place; every town and district having a piece of toile melalique or woven wire, suspended in the air so as to form a kind of net to arrest the progress of the ball, and being provided with a cannon to send it off again, when the letters belonging to that neighborhood should have been extracted: whilst, to prevent accident, the mail-post letter-balls were always preceded by one of similar description, made of thin wood, with a hole in its side, which, collecting the wind as it passed along, made a kind of whistling noise, to admonish people to keep out of the way.
From The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century, by Jane Webb Loudon.
Published by Not known in 1828
Additional resources -

I enjoyed the juxtaposition of this extraordinary application of technology with the existence of carrier pigeons, which are also mentioned in the story.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century
  More Ideas and Technology by Jane Webb Loudon
  Tech news articles related to The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century
  Tech news articles related to works by Jane Webb Loudon

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