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