If you’re looking to put yourself out there in this new year, maybe get into the dating scene or find a long-term relationship, first you have to decide how to do that.

There are plenty of on and offline options to let others know your feelings about long walks on the beach, romantic movies or ideal first dates.

A couple that aren’t really in use anymore but really did get used about a century ago: pneumatic tubes and nightclub telephones!

In the 1920s, some cities had enormous nightclubs, with dancefloors that could host a thousand people at a time.

If you wanted to make a pitch to someone in person, you had plenty of options.

But there were other choices too.

Take the club in Berlin known as the Resi, for example.

In addition to the full band, the water features and the mirrored globes on the ceiling, the Resi had several hundred telephones installed at its tables.

If you saw someone attractive, you could make a note of which table was theirs, call them up and maybe start up a conversation.

If the phone felt too personal for customers, they could use another special system at the Resi: pneumatic tubes built into the handrails.

They could send a note to someone at another table to see if they might be interested in a face to face meeting.

Or they could even send people a little bottle or perfume or other token of affection from the club gift shop.

These features were reportedly very popular with clubgoers.

And while I can’t say for sure that some less honorable patrons didn’t use the phones to bother their neighbors, the pneumatic tube system, at least, was moderated: nightclub employees read every message before they went on to their destinations.

Not only are there stories of people matching up thanks to these systems, there are also reports that at least a few nightclub visitors sent messages through the tubes to ask for someone to help them get out of first dates that weren’t going so well!

Now there’s a feature that the dating apps of today could use.

A cement company in Peru is trying to help blind and visually impaired people more easily find their destinations.

They’ve created Sightwalks or Sidewalks to See, which are concrete tiles that use raised lines to tell people whether they’re in front of a bank, a grocery store, a hospital or a bus stop.

Or maybe even if they’re in front of a nightclub that uses pneumatic tubes.

Flirting in the Club Was Much Easier in the 1920s (VICE)

sidewalk tiles with numbered lines let the visually impaired know the shop they’re passing by (designboom)

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Photo by Martin Belam via Flickr/Creative Commons