George Pullman

George Mortimer Pullman (March 3, 1831October 19, 1897) was an American inventor and industrialist. He is known as the inventor of the Pullman sleeping car, and for violently suppressing striking workers in the company town he created, Pullman, Chicago.

Background

Born in Brocton, New York, his family moved to Albion, New York. It was here that the young George gained many of his ideas that made him successful. Pullman also manufactured coffins during this time. Pullman dropped out of school at age 14, and eventually became one of Chicago's most influential and controversial figures. He arrived in Chicago in as that city prepared to build the nation's first comprehensive system.

Built on a low-lying bog, Chicago streets were frequently filled with mud deep enough to drown a horse. Unable to drain sewage by placing the sewers below grade, Chicago put its sewers on top of the street and covered them, effectively raising the street level 6-8 feet. Pullman then raised the existing buildings and built a new foundation under them, a technique his father used to move homes during the widening of the Erie Canal. In 1857, with a couple of partners, Pullman proved his technique would work by raising an entire block of stores and office buildings. Pullman added to his reputation when he later raised the massive Tremont House, a six-story brick hotel that stood on an acre (4,000 m²) of ground, with the guests still in it.

Development of Pullman sleeping car

Between 1859 and 1863, he spent time as a gold broker near Golden, Colorado where he raised money and met a future business associate, Hanniball Kimball.

He used his money and success to develop a comfortable railroad sleeping car, the Pullman sleeper, or "palace car." These were designed after the packet boats that traveled the Erie Canal of his youth in Albion. The first one was finished in 1864. By arranging to have the body of President Abraham Lincoln carried from Washington, D.C. to Springfield on a sleeper, he received national attention and the orders began to pour in. The sleeping cars proved successful despite the fact that the sleeper cost more than five times the price of a regular railway car.


Pullman's Palace Cars, marketed as "luxury for the middle class."


In 1867 Pullman introduced his first hotel on wheels, the President, a sleeper with an attached kitchen and dining car. The food rivaled the best restaurants of the day and the service was impeccable. A year later in 1868, he launched the Delmonico, the world's first sleeping car devoted to fine cuisine. The Delmonico menu was prepared by chefs from New York's famed Delmonico's Restaurant.

Both the President and the Delmonico and subsequent Pullman sleeping cars offered first-rate service which was provided by recently-freed former house slaves who served as porters, waiters, chambermaids, entertainers, and valets all rolled into one person.

Pullman believed that if his sleeper cars were to be successful, he needed to provide a wide variety of services to travelers: collecting tickets, selling berths, dispatching wires, fetching sandwiches, mending torn trousers, converting day coaches into sleepers, etc. Pullman believed that the former house slaves of the plantation south had the right combination of training and acquiescence to serve the businessmen that would patronize his "Palace Cars." Pullman became the biggest single employer of African Americans in post-Civil War America.

In 1869 Pullman bought out the Detroit Car and Manufacturing Company. He bought the patents and business of his eastern competitor, the Central Transportation Company in 1870. In the spring of 1871, George Pullman, Andrew Carnegie, and others bailed out the financially troubled Union Pacific and were placed onto its board of directors. By 1875 the Pullman firm owned $100,000 worth of patents, had 700 cars in operation, and had several hundred thousand dollars in the bank.

Marriage and children

Enlarge picture
George Pullman as Young Man
In 1867 Pullman married Harriett Sanger and built a house in Chicago. They had four children: Florence born in 1868, Harriet in 1869, and twin sons George Jr. and Walter Sanger in 1875. Florence, her father's favorite, was his frequent traveling companion. The Pullman family was socially prominent. Pullman spent time with his Prairie Avenue neighbors, the Armours, the Fields and other wealthy Chicagoans at exclusive clubs and lavish social events.

Thousand Islands

In 1877 Pullman completed a half-million-dollar Chicago mansion, which was eventually expanded to the grandest estate on Prairie Avenue. In 1888 built a family retreat, Castle Rest, on Pullman Island in Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands between New York and Ontario. Pullman's mother was fond of the summer resort. Two of her sons attended nearby St. Lawrence University and her family convened seasonally at the Thousand Islands. Pullman built the landmark "Castle Rest" for his mother. His wife preferred another summer home at the seaside resort, Long Branch, New Jersey. The entire family was at "Castle Rest" for mother losely acquainted with President U. S. Grant, he entertained a presidential party at Pullman Island in 1872 (an election year). Ensuing media coverage resulted in a boom of the resort the following season, when grand hotels began to appear.

Pullman company town

In 1880 Pullman bought 4000 acres (16 km²) near Lake Calumet some 14 miles south of Chicago on the Illinois Central Railroad for $800,000. He hired Solon Spencer Beman to design his new plant there, and in an effort to solve the issue of labor unrest and poverty, he also built a town adjacent to his factory with its own housing, shopping areas, churches, theaters, parks, hotel and library for his employees. The 1300 original structures were entirely designed by Beman. The centerpiece of the complex was the Administration Building and its man-made lake. The Hotel Florence, named for Pullman's favorite daughter, was built nearby. (see Pullman, Chicago).

Pullman believed that the country air and fine facilities without agitators, saloons and city vice districts would result in a happy, loyal workforce. The model planned community became a leading attraction during the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 and caused a national sensation. Pullman was praised by the national press for his benevolence and vision. As pleasant as the community may have been, Pullman expected the town to make money. By 1892 the community, profitable in its own right, was valued at over $5 Million.

Pullman ruled the town like a feudal baron. He prohibited independent newspapers, public speeches, town meetings or open discussion. His inspectors regularly entered homes to inspect for cleanliness and could terminate leases on ten days notice. The church stood empty since no approved denomination would pay rent and no other congregation was allowed. Private charitable organizations were prohibited. Pullman employees declared "We are born in a Pullman house, fed from the Pullman shops, taught in the Pullman school, catechized in the Pullman Church, and when we die we shall go to the Pullman Hell."

Pullman strike

When business fell off in 1894, Pullman cut jobs, wages and working hours, but not rents or prices in his town. His failure to lower rents, utility charges and products led his workers to launch the Pullman Strike, a violent upheaval which was eventually broken up by federal troops sent in over the objections of Ill. Governor John P. Altgeld, by President Grover Cleveland.

A national commission formed to study causes of the 1894 strike found Pullman's paternalism partly to blame and Pullman's company town to be "un-American." In 1898, the Illinois Supreme Court forced the Pullman Company to divest ownership in the town, which was annexed to Chicago.

Loathing for Pullman remained, and when he died in 1897, he was buried in Graceland Cemetery at night in a lead-lined coffin within an elaborately reinforced steel-and-concrete vault. Several tons of cement were poured to prevent his body from being exhumed and desecrated by labor activists.

Trivia

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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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Pullman Palace Car Company, founded by George Pullman, 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. Pullman developed the sleeping car which carried his name into the 1980s.
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sleeping car or sleeper is a railroad passenger car that can accommodate all its passengers in beds of one kind or another, primarily for the purpose of making nighttime travel more restful.
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Pullman is a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, twelve miles from the Chicago Loop by Lake Calumet. It is also one of the 77 well-defined Chicago Community Areas.
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Brocton, New York

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Country United States
State New York
County Chautauqua
Area
 - Village  1.
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Albion is a village in Orleans County, New York, USA. The population was 7,438 at the 2000 census.

The Village of Albion is centrally located in the county. The village is partly in both the Towns of Albion and Gaines.
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City of Chicago

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Nickname: "The Windy City", "The Second City", "ChiTown", "Hog Butcher for the World", "City of the Big Shoulders", "The City That Works"
Motto: "Urbs in Horto
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The Erie Canal (currently part of the New York State Canal System) is a canal in New York State, United States, that runs from the Hudson River to Lake Erie, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean.
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Tremont House (1850-1871, pictured right) was a leading hotel in Chicago, United States, that served as the Headquarters for the Illinois Republican Party during the 1860 Republican National Convention held at the nearby Wigwam as they lobbied for Abraham Lincoln's nomination.
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Golden, Colorado
Location in Jefferson County and the state of Colorado
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Colorado
County Jefferson
Founded June 16, 1859
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Hanniball Ingalls Kimball (May 16, 1832 – April 28, 1895) was an American entrepreneur and important businessman in post-war Atlanta, Georgia.

Born in Oxford County, Maine to family of Methodist wheel-wrights, he stayed in that and the carriage business moving first to
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sleeping car or sleeper is a railroad passenger car that can accommodate all its passengers in beds of one kind or another, primarily for the purpose of making nighttime travel more restful.
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The Erie Canal (currently part of the New York State Canal System) is a canal in New York State, United States, that runs from the Hudson River to Lake Erie, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean.
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Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his death on April 15, 1865. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery, he won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was
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Washington, D.C.

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Nickname: DC, The District
Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All)
Location of Washington, D.C.
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City of Springfield
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The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, built 1868–1888.

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Delmonico's Restaurant is commonly said to have been the first restaurant in the United States, and is certainly considered to be the first "fine dining" establishment.[1] It opened in New York City in 1827, originally as a pastry shop at 23 William Street.
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Prairie Avenue

North-South at 300 East[1]
1200 South

13358 South

Chicago

Prairie Avenue is a north-south thoroughfare on the South Side of Chicago which historically extended from 16th street in the Near South Side
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Thousand Islands are a chain of islands that straddle the U.S.-Canada border in the Saint Lawrence River as it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. The islands stretch for about 50 mi (80 km) downstream from Kingston, Ontario.
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Location Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates Coordinates:


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Illinois Central Railroad

Reporting marks IC, ICG
Locale central United States
Dates of operation 1851 – 1999

Track gauge 4 ft 8 in (1435 mm) (standard gauge)

Headquarters Chicago, Illinois The Illinois Central
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Solon Spencer Beman (1853-1914) was born in Brooklyn, New York. Beman is best known as the architect of the planned Pullman community and adjacent factory complex. Several of his other largest commissions, including the Pullman Office Building, Pabst Building, and Grand Central
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The Hotel Florence is a former hotel located in the Pullman Historic District on the far south side of Chicago, Illinois. It was built in 1881. Since 1991, it has been owned by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
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Pullman is a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, twelve miles from the Chicago Loop by Lake Calumet. It is also one of the 77 well-defined Chicago Community Areas.
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World's Columbian Exposition (also called The Chicago World's Fair), a World's Fair, was held in Chicago in 1893, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' "discovery" of the New World. Chicago bested New York City, Washington, D.C. and St.
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The Pullman Strike occurred when 4,000 Pullman Palace Car Company workers reacted to a 28% wage cut by going on a wildcat strike in Illinois on May 11, 1894, bringing traffic west of Chicago to a halt.
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