Pullman Car Records

Interior of Pullman lounge car.  Pullman 13/01/01, box 16, folder 723.
Interior of Pullman lounge car. Pullman 13/01/01, box 16, folder 723.

The business archives of the Pullman’s Palace Car Company and Pullman Company held at the Newberry (2,500 cubic feet, covering the years 1867-1981) are a primary source of immense importance for the study of American social, technological, business, and family history. They include records of the entire firm until the mid-1920s when separate manufacturing and operating (sleeping car operation, service, and repair) companies were formed. After that date, the records mainly chronicle the activities of the operating company.

Pullman manufactured three types of Pullman cars: wood (19th century), heavyweight steel (1900s-1920s), and lightweight steel (1930s-1960s). In general, the Newberry’s records are most complete for heavyweight cars, although we do have information on wood cars and lightweight cars.

This research guide is available as a PDF file.