George Pullman was an innovator of improved transportation and is best known as the inventor of the Pullman sleeping car. George Pullman is also known for his vigorous opposition to a labor strike.
Pullman developed a railroad sleeping known as the Pullman sleeper, or Palace Car. The Pullman sleeper resembled the packet boats that traveled the water of the Erie Canal. Public awareness of the Pullman sleeper reached a peak when the body of President Abraham Lincoln was transported from Washington, D.C. to Springfield on a Pullman sleeper. Travel in the Pullman sleeper was a luxury that demanded more than five times the price of a regular railway car.
In 1867 Pullman introduced the President railway car. This railcar was a sleeper with an attached kitchen and dining car that featured excellent food. Pullman's sleeping cars had luxury service that included personal attendants who catered to the whims of their customers. Many former slaves of the South became employed by Pullman. In fact, Pullman became the largest employer of African-Americans in the period that followed the Civil War.
In the late 1800sPullman purchased the Detroit Car and Manufacturing Company including their patents and business of his eastern competitor, the Central Transportation Company. In 1871, George Pullman, Andrew Carnegie, and others financiers bailed out the financially troubled Union Pacific Railroard. As part of the deal they were appointed onto its board of directors. By 1875 the Pullman firm experienced tremendous financial growth with 700 cars in operation.
In 1887, he designed and established a system of vestibulated trains which made an entire train into a single car. The vestibules were first put in service on the Pennsylvania trunk lines.
The autograph of George Pullman is avidly collected by railroad buffs. His autograph is very scarce.