Sunday, May 01, 2005

Plush upholstery

From: "Larry Mullaly"

Recently I came across an interesting description of a passenger coach in service between San Francisco and San Jose in 1877. The British author, speaks red plush upholstery and interior blinds. Would these features be typical of SP/CP passenger cars on what was basically a commute line? Would such a car of a higher quality than usual? The full quotation reads:

"One of our hosts lived out an hour and a half from the city, southwards, at a place called Menlow [sic] Park. As we write the name, the scene again is present before us.

We are in a long car again, with all the blinds drawn down of the windows on the side on which the sun is glaring: the red plush of the cushions looks as hot as it feels to the touch. A good deal of white dust eddies in at the open door at the farther end. The car is well filled, a number of the rich citizens return after a very short day’s work a their offices, their wives and daughters, in cool muslin or Holland dresses and light veils, taking home their purchases."

Wallis Nash , Oregon: There and Back in 1877 (reprinted by Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, 1976), p.253.

Larry Mullaly


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Plush, commonly of red or green, but sometimes also patterned with a floral design, was the typical upholstery for coaches of the 1870s-80s. The blinds would be wood slat blinds that could be raised or lowered, but the slats themselves were not adjustable. see examples on restored cars such as at California State Railroad Museum and Nevada State Railroad Museum.

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

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5/01/2005 4:25 PM  

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