Pullman Company was found in 1867 by George Pullman. The company manufactured railroad cars in the mid to late 1800s through the early decades of the 20th century, during the boom of railroads in the United States. Many of the Pullman porters were recently freed slaves and highly skilled in service. In 1925, the porters formed "The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters." This marked the beginning of a twelve year struggle for dignity, better working conditions, and fair pay. The leaders were A. Philip Randolph and former porter Milton Webster, Head of the Chicago Union Local. Their eventual triumph marked the first time in American history that a black union forced a powerful corporation to the negotiating table. It was a significant step forward for black equality.
Labor unions, Black
Permanent Collection, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum