50 results for “Pullman Company”

Report from M. Butler to E.M. Graham, May 11, 1937

The report of an undercover agent to the Pullman Company. Since the late 19th century, the Pullman Company employed African Americans as service workers on its sleeping cars. By the 1920s it was one of the largest industrial employers of African American workers, enjoying a reputation for paternalism. Beginning in the mid-1920s the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) under the leadership of A. Philip Randolph sought to unionize the porters and maids of the Pullman Company. Like other industrial employers, Pullman maintained an extensive network of informants who infiltrated unions and reported back to management.

Date
May 11, 1937
Subjects
African Americans
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Unions
Working class
Places
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
Labor rally poster, Du Sable High School

Unionization will advance the cause of all African Americans. So said Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) leader A. Philip Randolph at Du Sable High School in 1937, according to the Pullman Company informant who attended the meeting. Chicago's Pullman Company was a major employer of African Americans and enjoyed a reputation for paternalism toward its workers, providing good wages and an Employee Representation Plan that the company promoted as an alternative to independent unions. Beginning in the mid-1920s the BSCP worked to unionize the porters and maids working in Pullman's sleeping cars. Like other Chicago companies, Pullman maintained an extensive network of informants who infiltrated unions and reported back to management (see image #121).

Date
May 9, 1937
Subjects
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Labor unions
Pullman Company
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
People
Randolph, A. Phillip
King Debs

In May of 1894, during a severe economic depression, members of the newly formed American Railway Union went on strike to protest the Pullman Company's refusal to reduce rental rates in company housing to match wage cuts. The union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a nationwide boycott on handling and repairing Pullman sleeping cars. Business and government leaders felt that a national railroad strike was tantamount to insurrection because it disrupted trade and mail delivery. Federal troops entered Chicago in July to end the strike.

Creator
Rogers, W. A.
Date
1894
Subjects
American Railway Union
Pullman Strike, 1894
Strikes and lockouts
People
Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926
Chicago Under the Mob

When Frederic Remington wrote and illustrated this article about labor unrest in Chicago he was already a well-known for his images of western themes. The text describes Chicago's immigrant workers as an uncivilized and violent mob. The troops sent to restore order, Remington points out, had recently participated in the massacre of Native Americans at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

Creator
Remington, Frederic, 1861-1909
Date
1895
Subjects
Labor
Pullman Company
Pullman Strike, 1894
Working class
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Main Gate to Works, Pullman

Workers leave the Pullman Palace Car Works, 1893. This picture appeared in a promotional booklet celebrating the paternalistic labor policies of George Pullman. A year later Pullman's workers were at the center of a national strike of rail workers that failed after federal troops intervened.

Date
1893
Subjects
Industry
Pullman Company
Railroads
Working class
Places
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
The Riot at Forty-Ninth Street, 1894

Chicago was relatively peaceful during the early weeks of the American Railway Union's boycott of Pullman sleeping cars. Major violence erupted only after a federal court ordered the arrest of Eugene Debs and other union leaders on charges that they had violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Ironically, the law was intended to limit the power of large corporations. When federal troops arrived in early July to enforce the court's order, several working-class neighborhoods erupted in violence. Soon after, the boycott was crushed. This clipping from the Chicago Herald recounts the turmoil as workers, especially women, took to the streets to prevent trains from leaving the stockyards.

Date
1894
Subjects
American Railway Union
Boycotts
Labor
Pullman Strike, 1894
Strikes and lockouts
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
Scene of Destruction and Pillage in the Panhandle Yards

Chicago was relatively peaceful during the early weeks of the American Railway Union's boycott of Pullman sleeping cars. Major violence erupted only after a federal court ordered the arrest of Eugene Debs and other union leaders on charges that they had violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Ironically, the law was intended to limit the power of large corporations. When federal troops arrived in early July to enforce the court's order, several working-class neighborhoods erupted in violence. Soon after, the boycott was crushed. This clipping from the Chicago Herald recounts the turmoil as workers, especially women, took to the streets to prevent trains from leaving the stockyards.

Date
July 8, 1894
Subjects
American Railway Union
Boycotts
Labor
Pullman Strike, 1894
Strikes and lockouts
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
E.F. Garry to Mr. Lane on Pullman Saving Plan

In the 1920s a growing number of large industrial employers developed welfare, recreation, and representation programs for their employees. This letter, between executives of the Pullman Company, explores the possibility of a company organized savings and investment plan for workers who built, repaired, and serviced railroad cars. Written shortly after the 1922 nationwide strike of railroad shop workers, the letter offers clues as to why employers favored such welfare programs.

Date
1922
Subjects
Industry
Labor
Places
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
Chicago's Interracial Debating Classic, January 25, 1931

Before the advent of television, lectures and debates provided public entertainment. Social activists used these venues to present their ideas and to educate their constituencies. This flyer promotes a debate involving A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen, both leaders of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), as optimists, and Ben Reitman and David Tullman, both white radicals associated with the Dill Pickle Club, as pessimists. Although the exact topic of the debate is unclear, both sides supported unionization as well as racial integration. In 1931, the BSCP was engaged in a campaign to gain formal recognition as the union of African American porters and maids who worked on Pullman sleeping cars.

Date
1931
Subjects
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Dill Pickle Club
Education
Labor
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
People
Randolph, A. Phillip
Reitman, Ben
Sleeping on the Burlington Route and Eating on the Burlington Route

Printed in a guidebook, “How to Go West,” these advertisements for Pullman cars stressed elegance, comfort, and speed. Pullman cars changed the nature of rail travel for middle and upper class travelers.

Date
1872
Subjects
Advertisement
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Pullman cars
Railroads
Tourism