Scope and Contents
The collection consists of materials from 1867-1982 (bulk 1900-1930s), and includes background materials, correspondence, financial records, operating records, personnel records, drawings, and photographs. Of note is the documentation of hospital cars and instructions for porters. The collection is not a complete record of the Pullman Palace Car Company's activities.
Series 1, Historical Background, 1867-1982, contains newspaper clippings and articles about the Pullman Palace Car Company and George Pullman. Also included is a 318-page typescript titledThe History of the Sleeping Car 1923, by Charles S. Sweet; documentation on how Pullman cars were named; and other histories of the Pullman Company including its hospital cars and maquetry design.
Series 2, Correspondence, 1912-1960, consists primarily of documentation about the sale of cars and equipment by Pullman Palace Car Company to specific railroad companies. The correspondence details the cost per car and in some instances, leasing costs, operating costs, and other relevant statistical and financial information about the transactions. There is some consolidated data on cars sold to the railroads as well as summary data on the type of car sold, name of car, selling price, purchasers, and the date the sale was approved. The correspondence is organized chronologically within Pullman Company correspondence wrappers which were used to maintain the correspondence in a uniform manner and in consecutive date order.
Correspondence about hospital cars contains information on the rental of Pullman cars to the United States government as well as letters discussing specifications for building hospital unit cars for the United States Army. There is one folder of miscellaneous correspondence with individuals seeking copies of photographs from the company and/or offering their historical writings about the company.
Series 3, Financial Records, 1875-1930, consists primarily of details of cost documentation created by the Pullman Company's Manufacturing Department. The cost sheets are arranged chronologically and represent an itemized financial breakdown of costs by material, labor, extra equipment, sundries, and recapitulation for a variety of Pullman cars. The cover sheet for work orders notes the lot number, plan number, type of Pullman car (e.g. baggage, parlor, private) being manufactured or serviced/repaired, to whom the order belongs, and associated dates. For example, one private, steel car for Mr. D. J. Reid or general service parlor car for Southern Railway.
Series 4, Operating Records, 1875-1972, consists of records used by the company for daily operations, particularly instructions for porters as well as repair logbooks, volumes detailing car building completion, published supplements noting specific changes to cars, correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, and lists of cars built by Pullman and cars withdrawn from service. Also included is the Illustrations Accompanying the Report of the Engineer-in-chief, H.C. Mais, on Observations on Railways Made During His Tour in 1883. Henry Coathupe Mais (1827-1916) was an English born civil engineer who spent most of his career in Australia. Mais toured railways and other works in Europe and America. His lengthy report with many detailed illustrations was printed in 1884 as a parliamentary paper. Some report pages were moldy and have been separated. These pages include: the index, pages 1-7; page 58; and pages 98-111.
The reports found in the "general file" include Sleeping, Parlor and Lounge Equipment (1945) and Pullman Passenger Survey A Continuing Study--Part II, (1955). The latter report by McFarland, Aveyard and Company studied attitudes and opinions of Pullman passengers. There is a typescript of a presentation made by George W. Bohannan of the Pullman Company to the American Association of Passenger Traffic Officers (1964).
The records documenting the completion of cars are bound volumes arranged chronologically. The volumes detail lot number, plan numbers, date of order, type of car, account name, date of delivery, destination route, estimate price, cost price, and contract price. In some instances, new information was glued or taped into the volume. The repair books capture the date, name of car, yard, name of porter, and date shipped.
Series 5, Personnel Records, 1873-1979, includes a payroll list for the General Ticket Department, 1876; instructions for passengers with cholera, 1873; reward notices for an 1878 robbery; instructional manuals for Pullman porters; photographs of Pullman Company employees working, and general correspondence, 1896-1979; ancedotes about Pullman porters; an obituary for George Arthur Kelly, an executive vice president for the Pullman Company; articles and newspaper clippings about porters and conductors, particularly the Society for the Prevention of Calling Pullman Car Porters "George." Started in 1916, the Society for the Prevention of Calling Pullman Car Porters "George" was founded by George W. Dulany, Jr., an Iowa lumber merchant. Dulany organized the society for fun after hearing passengers call every porter George. The society became a hobby and there were no meetings, dues, or activities associated with his work. Dulany's campaign was solely to have passengers use a porter's correct name or simply call them "porter."
Series 6, Drawings, 1907-1939 and undated, contains bound volumes arranged chronologically of records of tracings of drawings for Pullman cars. The volumes detail the negative number, date, type of car, job number, and remarks.
Series 7, Photographs, 1932-1950s and undated, consists primarily of black-and-white copy prints (8" x 10") documenting employees, especially porters, passengers, and hospital cars. Many of the hospital cars depict both the exterior and interior, but none with patients. The passenger photographs are almost exclusively interior images of persons dining, sleeping, playing cards, and in general seating areas. The Southern Pacific dining car photographs are original prints and bear the Pullman Car Company embossed stamp and unique number. This range of photographs is (Pullman photograph #32867 to #32873) and the images depict exterior and interior views of the dining cars. There is one album of ninety-nine photographs taken by Ricardo Villalba (active 1860-1880) in Peru. The album was made for W.W. Evans, Esquire in 1875. The images depict landscapes, bridges, train tracks, railroad cars, railroad engines, and buildings, such as the Pano Cathedral.