Ben Oostdam story # 9
THE IMPORTANCE OF
MR. DUNLOP'S BALLS
The Nationale Handelsbank was on top of it all in the field of rapid information transfer. Even before the invention of telephones and telegraphs, it was known to have used carrier pigeons to fly messages from the Amsterdam "Beurs" (Bourse, Stock Exchange Building) to the Bank's Headquarters on the Singel (circular canal).
The pigeons landed in a cage on the roof of the building, where one messengerboy
would strip off the piece of info-paper wrapped around the pigeons leg, and insert the paper into a ball which he sent down a tube, whence it was removed by another messenger who ran down one set of stairs to carry balls and messages to the legendary Bank Director, Mr. Dunlop.
Once upon a time this last messengerboy collided with another director, who indignantly asked him what the heck he was doing in such a hurry. "I am carrying Mr. Dunlop's balls, Sir!" shouted this young man - even more indignantly.
BLO fecit 19991218 - index of stories