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"The science fiction method is dissection and reconstruction. You look at the world around you, and take it apart into its components. Then you take some of those components, throw them away, and plug in different ones, start it up and see what happens."
- Frederik Pohl

Bounce Tube  
  A people-sized pneumatic tube system used for short, quick trips in the vertical dimension.  

Didn't I see these used on the Jetsons? That show premiered in 1962; I think the original version shows the family using some sort of pneumatic tube in place of an elevator.

On arrival I decided to forego the main entrance and took a bounce tube from the sub-basement to the twenty-first floor, I having at the time a vague feeling that this was not the place to let my public recognize me.
From Double Star, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Doubleday in 1956
Additional resources -

It's kind of a pneumatic tube for people. The biggest problems I can see are 1) maintaining pressure in the tube and 2) exiting the tube. Pressure behind the traveling capsule is maintained by virtue of the capsule having a collar that is in effect a gasket the same diameter as the inner diameter of the tube. Few people would choose to wear such a thing.

As far as exiting the system is concerned, in an actual "tube room" (I worked in one while working my way through college), pneumatic tubes are unceremoniously dumped into a padded bin. Not a very dignified form of arrival.

This may be a "rediscovery" idea by Heinlein; the concept was originally proposed by George Medhurst, a London businessman in the early nineteenth century. His second proposal in 1812 was for a system that delivered people!

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Double Star
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Double Star
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

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