Friday, February 17, 2006

Pullman Palace Cars - Palmyra

From: "Night Audit"

I am interested in obtaining information (blue-prints, photographs, etc.) relating to the Pullman Palace Car "Palmyra." Would you be able to guide me in the right direction? Also, which railroad museum contains the most, or the best of the Pullman cars from the 1870s?  

David Escobar


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


A photo of the Pullman Palace Car Palmyra.

Information and links about Pullman cars.

Comments regarding the Pullman drawing and document collection at the Illinois Railway Museum.

2/17/2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


There is very little systematic information about the 1860s and 70s Pullman cars (or for that matter most of the 1880s cars). In general the best systematic information surviving is for the cars bult at Pullman (Chicago). In the 1860s and through the early 1870s Pullman contracted with other car builders (and some railroad shops) for most cars. Pullman acquired the Detroit works in the early 1870s. The Pullman works wasn't opened until the late 1880s. I sincerely doubt there are original plans available for the Palmyra (but let me know if you find them).

Books to check include:
Ralph Barger – Pullman Cars, vol. 2 – a listing by plan number and lot number of all wooden Pullman–owned cars, including Palmyra.

John White – American Railway Passenger Car – best overall survey of passenger cars, including a chapter on sleeping cars.

August Mencken – The Railroad Passenger Car a reprint. Includes 1860s Pullman patent drawings for hotel cars and some others.

Books by Lucius Beebe that include useful photos –
Central Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads
Mansions on Rails
Mr. Pullman's Elegant Palace Cars

Original Pullman photos are available form the Smithsonian Institution, and from the California State Railroad Museum Library.

Pullman patents available from the US Patent Office web site.
Download the freeware viewer that is linked form the site. You must access the patents by number only. Among patents that may interest you are:
Pullman Hotel Car – 1869 #89,538
Pullman general patents – 1864-65 #42,182; #49,992
Pullman Dining Car – 1869 #89,537

That should get you started.


2/17/2006 1:16 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "alvaro escobar"

... which railroad museum has the most/best Pullman cars from the 1870s?

—David Escobar

2/19/2006 9:02 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


If you are specifically referring to Pullman sleeping cars of the 1870s, there is one in Britain (built in 1874, the current subject of consideration of what to do with it – conserve or restore), and none in the US.

There is a former Central Pacific Silver Palace sleeping car of 1869, built by Jackson & Sharp, majorly rebuilt as a coach in 1887, in the back lot of Old Tucson theme park.

There is a Central Pacific coach of 1869, built by Wason, at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown, California.

There is a Central of New Jersey coach of about 1870, built by Wason, at the B&O Museum.

There are two Virginia & Truckee coaches of 1872, one restored and one not, built by Kimball, at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.

There are two Virginia & Truckee coaches of 1874, both unrestored, built by Brill, at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.

There is a Virginia & Truckee coach originally built by Central Pacific in 1868 as the private car that went to Promontory for the golden spike ceremony, at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.

There are probably some others, but those are the ones that come to mind.


2/19/2006 9:06 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

See related discussion.

6/25/2014 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pullman Archives:

"The Newberry (Library) holds the archives of the Pullman Company, which was the single largest employer of African-Americans in the early 20th century. If you’re researching your family history, these materials (& our entire collection) are open to you. All you need is a Newberry reader’s card."

3/02/2022 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pullman archives:

Pullman car drawings

Pullman business archives

Pullman employee records

Courtesy Dennis Hogan, at the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Internet Message List.

3/03/2022 10:46 AM  

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