"Silver Palace Car" Jonah Woodruff. Chicago, Fort Wayne, Pittsburgh & New York 76. Song & Chorus By H.M. Higgins, Words By R.C. Hoyt. Published by H.M. Higgins, Chicago, 1868. (Transcontinental Railroad Sheet Music, Cover)
Silver Palace cars "were built by two of the three Wilmington car builders, Harlan & Hollingsworth and Jackson & Sharp." The Silver Palace Car illustrated below on the sheet music cover is from the Chicago, Ft. Wayne, Pittsburgh & New York RR line. You can find a map and other information on the page about the Railroads at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. This line which became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad was one of the principal routes used by passengers from the East to get to Omaha, Nebraska for travel west on the first transcontinental railroad. Woodruff built Silver Palace Cars starting in 1866, and the following year competed with Pullman for a contract with the Central Pacific, building a sample car for the CPRR built by Harlan & Hollingsworth. "The CP decided to go its own way, but apparently licensed the Sliver Palace name and design."
Note: This sheet music cover was discovered pasted onto the inside cover of an old scrap book. The accompanying sheet music, regrettably, has been lost.
Courtesy of Glenn and Jan Stinson.
Cover of sheet music entitled "Silver Palace Cars," by H. M. Higgins, with words by R. F. Hoyt, commemorating the fine sleeping cars designed by Theodore Tuttle Woodruff, who patented the convertible car seats which turned the cars from day into sleeping berths by night. Words printed on document read "Silver Palace Car, Songs and Chorus by H. M. Higgins. Words by R. F Hoyt. Published by H. M. Higgins, 122 South Clark St., Chicago. Entered according to Act of Congress of the Year 1868 by H. M. Higgins in the Clerk's Office of the Dist. Court for the North Dist. of Ill." Woodruff established the T.T. Woodruff & Company, with Andrew Carnegie, and by 1858 the cars were in service with eight of the midwestern railroads. The cars were so popular that they even wrote music such as this about the Silver Palace Cars that ran on the Central Pacific. In 1862 Woodruff, as primary stockholder, with his brother Jonah as manager, organized the The Central Transportation Company. In 1864 Woodruff assigned his patent interests to another stockholder and retired from the sleeping car business. Then in 1870 Central Transportation assigned its patent rights to the Pullmans Palace Car Company, after expensive litigation in a patent infringement suit. In the Dec. 1888 Issue of the Official Railway Guide, the railroad industry was startled by an announcement that Union Car Company would begin operating sleeping and parlor cars over 15,000 miles of railroad. (Union had incorporated to obtain control of Woodruff and the Mann Boudoir Car Company, and the two companies operated 34 cars in the East, South and Midwest.) Two months later Union Palace was purchased by Pullmans Palace Car Company for $2.5 million, but Union was dissolved in 1899. Frame measures 8 1/2" x 10 1/2". Document is lightly tinted in shades of blue, gray, and red/brown/burgundy on an ecru background. —Murkett
An 1874-75 stock certificate shows a Jonah Woodruff as President of the
WOODRUFF SLEEPING & PARLOR COACH COMPANY.
Courtesy Auktionshaus Reinhild Tschoepe, Historische Wertpapiere und Finanzdokumente.
Woodruff Sleeping and Parlor Coach Company
$1,000 Bond issued in 1888. (Vingnette Below)