March 3, 1831 in America was born George Mortimer Pullman (Pullman). When many years later meticulous reporters in the same States and Europe tried to find out where he was from, and in what family he was born, George smiled sweetly and said: “But what, in fact, is the difference? The main thing is not where you were born, but what happened to you! “
Probably, Pulman had something to hide, but what are we up to this? It is enough to know that George was a cabinetman by profession, and if we take into account that this specialty was “elite” and quite closed, often changing from father to son, we can assume that the family of the future inventor was worker-peasant.
However, there is some information about George’s early childhood. As we expected, he was the third child in the family of carpenter and cabinet maker Lewis and housewife Emily Carolina. His father was quite cool and all the schooling for George ended immediately after the boy turned 14 years old. “In people!” – demanded Lewis and his middle-aged was sent by the usual clerk to the bench of his uncle.
But a much greater impact on George had the father after all. His natural cleverness and ability to find a way out of the most seemingly hopeless situation, became a guidebook for his son. One example: when cabinetmaker Lewis Pullman moved to New York with his family, he quickly realized what a business could do: move buildings built on a low foundation in the swampy terrain to a higher level.
After the death of his father, George continued his work, devising a system of collectors that allowed draining swamps along the Erie Canal. They talked about him as a brainy little …
Why he switched from a well-organized construction business to a railroad – it’s easy to guess. Working in Chicago, George often went to Albion, to visit the family. It was absolutely impossible to sleep in these rattling, exhausting cars! On hard topachnah except that it was possible to take a horizontal position. And if you consider that the trains often stopped at the stations, so that passengers could have a snack somewhere, and the parking took up to a half or two hours, it becomes clear that George hated such a life!
He introduced his first sleeping car as early as 1857. Of course, this was the prototype of what we are used to today. A couple of years later, together with his partner Benjamin Field, he signed a contract with a Chicago company that produces sleeping cars. Then there was a “highlight” – comfortable sofas for the seat, which with light movement of the hand turned into comfortable beds.
And everything would be okay, but the Civil War broke out in the United States and it was on the way to progress. But this did not stop Pulman from creating a salon car in 1864, which the inventor called very proudly – the Pioneer!
Perhaps this invention would remain in the shadows, but on the evening of April 14, 1865, during the visit to the Ford Theater in Washington, US President Lincoln was shot by actor J. Booth. The next morning Lincoln passed away without regaining consciousness. And in order for high-ranking officials not to feel even more frustrated while escorting the President’s ashes to the burial site, the Pioneer was attached to the mourning compound. Spoiled by luxury, the bourgeoisie appreciated Pullman’s offspring.
And in the early 70’s, George brought an even greater share of comfort in the journey of travel by rail. To shorten the way from the point, A to point B, without killing time at the train station, Pullman offered to cook food directly on wheels, in a special car called a dining car.
And now a little lyrical digression. Who among us, as a child, did not hear, or maybe sing, the song of the crocodile Genes – “The blue car runs-swinging.” Why blue? Yes, everything is simple – the cars-salons for dignitaries in pre-revolutionary Russia for recognition were painted exclusively in blue.God knows, maybe, and the expression of the prince of blue blood has gone precisely because of the wagons!
But back to Pullman. He was one of the first recognizable people who was not afraid of human rumor and married a black American woman, who gave him first two daughters, and then twins-sons. Maybe this is love? Who knows. But one small remark: the lion’s share of the servants of Pullman were newly freed from slavery blacks. Perhaps it was a good populist move – African Americans did not like the soul in their employer!
He was the first to establish a “territory for compact living of workers” in Chicago, which was immediately named Pullman-Taunom. It amounted to 1500 hectares, and Pulman spent about $ 8 million on housing construction. If we consider that at the same time the young magician Harry Houdini was satisfied with his salary of $ 10 per week, you can imagine the scale.
It is interesting that at the beginning of the 20th century, at an international exhibition in Prague, the inventor even received two medals and a diploma for creating “the most perfect city on earth”. But while the genius drank champagne instead of with the powerful of this world, the inhabitants of his town were not very happy, bitterly joking that we were born in Pulmanovo city, working at Pulmanovsky factory, buying food in Pulmanovsky stores, and when we die, we will get into Pullman’s Hell.
Do not think that George Mortimer Pullman was such an eccentric fellow! He mastered the system of “sweating” very well. And a few “riots” in his “town” – a vivid confirmation of this. In particular, in May 1894, it reached the point of bloodshed. And now let’s remember what we still owe to Pullman? In support of the victims on May 1, 1894, after a while, Labor Day was celebrated. Or, as we were told in the USSR, the International Workers’ Solidarity Day.
Under pressure from the public, the authorities took on Pullman with all severity. The experiment to create a “town” was declared unsuccessful, and the Illinois authorities started a lawsuit with the inventor to deprive his company of control over the settlement for workers.
All that fell on his head, the genius of car building did not survive. He died on October 19, 1897 from a heart attack.
And the dining cars and the “CB” are still plowing the expanses of the world track!
Well, what’s not a fairy tale about a princess on a pea? But she, poor thing, only groaned, and Pulman, as a man active, included his thought in the work …