Founded in 1867, the Chicago-based Pullman's Palace Car Company (later Pullman Company) manufactured, owned, and operated mainly sleeping cars, and also dining and lounge cars on the nation's railroads. By 1899 when Pullman absorbed its last competitor, the Wagner Palace Car Company, it operated as a virtual monopoly. Pullman records at the Newberry Library (ca. 2,500 cubic ft.) document the firm's manufacturing and operating activities until the mid-1920's. After that date, they pertain only to the operation, service, and repair of Pullman cars. Among the records are many that concern individual Pullman cars, including construction and lease contracts, manufacturing journals and ledgers, drawings, specifications, photographs, repair and remodeling records, and sale records.
This digital selection includes images of 1,299 Pullman car drawings, ca. 1870-1969, with the bulk of the drawings created for heavyweight and lightweight cars, ca. 1906-1969. The drawings consist mainly of floor plans, but also include duct layouts, heating pipe diagrams, a few side elevations, and underneath equipment layouts. The originals are located in Record Group 05 (Operating Department), Subgroup 02 (Office of the Chief Engineer), Series 03 (Car Drawings and Specifications, etc.). Descriptive information recorded for each drawing includes call number, title, date, physical description, car plan number, tracing number, issue number, format (linen or paper), subjects, car name(s) where they are available, and any other pertinent information recorded on an individual drawing.
If you have further questions, feel free to contact a Reference Librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the Library's Reference Desk at (312) 255-3506.