Pullman Palace Car Company Collection, 1867-1982 (bulk 1900-1930)
WInans, Kiara S
Dubin, Arthur D (Arthur Detmers)
Pullman Palace Car Co
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI
Pullman, George M. 1831-1897
Lincoln, Robert Todd
7 cu. ft.: 8 boxes
George M. Pullman developed the railroad passenger sleeping car business into a 19th-century industrial enterprise which eventually overtook its competition. Pullman cars maintained a high standard of comfort, for an extra charge. Initially, Pullman transformed existing railroad cars, beginning Sept. 1858 on the Chicago and Alton Railroad. The first car built to Pullman's specifications was the "Pioneer" (1865). In 1867 "hotel cars", sleeping cars equipped with kitchen-dining facilities, were introduced.
In 1868 Pullman built the "DELMONICA" for restaurant purposes. In 1880 Pullman built the Pullman Palace Car manufacturing plant near Chicago, along the Illinois Central Railroad. Designed as model manufacturing town, it had the usual company town problems and was the site of the Pullman Strike of 1894. Upon Pullman's death, Robert T. Lincoln served as president, 1897-1911. Later innovative developments, such as the introduction of the lightweight articulated cars of alloy steel (1936), the roomette car with eighteen private rooms (1937), and the observation dome sleeper (1956), came about.
After an anti-trust suit in 1940, the company was forced to separate its car-building enterprises from car operating. In 1947 the company sold its sleeping car service, transferring its operating unit to a group of fifty-nine U.S. railways. Pullman service is still available, but provided by individual railroads. Pullman introduced two distinctive practices to the railway industry: (a) he leased sleeping cars to the railroads and provided complete services, supplying porters, conductors, dining staff, food, and linens; and (2) he gave names to each sleeping and dining car, rather than numbers.
Records of the Pullman Company, manufacturers and operators of railroad sleeping cars. Pullman also manufactured hospital and dining cars at its Chicago facilities. Dating from 1867 to 1982 (bulk 1900-1930s), the collection includes background materials, correspondence, financial, personnel and operating records, drawings and photographs. 2012 addendum: two volumes relating to the Pullman Company. One volume contains designs for cars and car components; the other contains photographs of trains, stations and scenes along the railroad.
Pullman Palace Car Company Collection, 1867-1982 (bulk 1900-1930), Archives Center, National Museum of American History