Biography of George M. Pullman
Famous American Biographies

GEORGE MORTIMER PULLMAN, the palace car magnate, inventor, multi millionaire and manufacturer, may well be classed among the remarkable self made men of the century. He was born March 3, 1831, in Chautauqua county, New York. His parents were poor, and. his education was limited to what he could. learn of the rudimentary branches in the district school. At the age of fourteen he went to work as clerk for a country merchant. He kept this place three years, studying at night. When seventeen he went to Albion, New York, and worked for his brother, who kept a cabinet shop there. Five years later he went into business for himself as contractor for moving buildings along the line of the Erie canal, which was then being widened by the state, and was successful in this. In 1858 he removed to Chicago and engaged in the business of moving and raising houses. The work was novel there then and he was quite successful. About this time the discomfort attendant on traveling at night attracted his attention. He reasoned that the public would gladly pay for comfortable sleeping accommodations. A few sleeping cars were in. use at that time, but they were wretchedly crude, uncomfortable affairs. In 1859 he bought two old day coaches from the Chicago & Alton road and remodeled them something like the general plan of the sleeping cars of the present day. They were put into service on the Chicago & Alton and became popular at once. In 1863 he built the first sleeping car resembling the Pullman cars of today. It cost $18,000 and was the "Pioneer." After that the Pullman Palace Car Company prospered. It had shops at different cities. In 1880 the Town of Pullman was founded by Mr. Pullman and his company, and this model manufacturing community is known all over the world. Mr. Pullman died October 19, 1897.

[See another biography of George M. Pullman in the New York State biographies]

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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