Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum


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Car Builder's Dictionary, 1884
(This is Lewis Metzler Clement's signed personal copy of this book.
L. M. Clement designed the CPRR's Emigrant Sleeping Cars.)
This first image is a detail of the gold embossed book cover.
[Click on a picture to get an enlarged view in a separate window.]
car_builders_dict.jpg, 144.4K

Illustration of a Locomotive from the Car Builder's Dictionary, 1884, by Matthias N. Forney, et. al.
Wagner's Sleeping Car, gold embossed book cover detail
Wagner's Sleeping Car
Dining Car
Central Pacific Fruit Car
Central Pacific Fruit Car, details
Emigrant Sleeping Car
Emigrant Sleeping Car, Exterior, Berths
Pullman Palace Sleeping Car, and Drawing-Room or Parlor Car
Photograph of Interior of CPRR Silver Palace Car (Houseworth Stereograph #1494, detail)

Emigrant Sleeping Car Berths
"Designed & first built at the Sacramento Shops of the C.P.R.R."
(manuscript annotation by Lewis Metzler Clement in his copy of this book)

[Scroll horizontally to see the entire page] >
Lewis Metzler Clement designed the Emigrant Sleeping cars:
Emigrant Sleeping Car Berths

Palace Cars

"The first luxury cars, sleepers, diners and buffet cars, used by the Central Pacific between Promontory, Utah and later Ogden and San Francisco were the Silver Palace cars build by Jackson & Sharp at Wilmington, Delaware, and the service continued until July 1, 1883, when Pullman Palace cars replaced them. ... By the fall of 1869 transcontinental sleepers service ... was available ... and passengers changed cars ... from the Pullman sleepers of the U.P. to the Silver Palace hotel cars of the Central Pacific."
Beebe, Lucius. "Mr. Pullman's Elegant Palace Car" New York, Doubleday & Co., 1961. pp. 114-117ff.

There was a Silver Palace Sleeping Car Company operating cars under Woodward patents on several eastern railroads, much like the Pullman contracts.  In fact, the Woodward company was earlier than Pullman.  The Central Pacific chose not to contract out the operation on their railroad, but instead licensed the use of the Silver Palace designs.  In 1869 Central Pacific had cars built by Jackson & Sharp and by Harlan & Hollingsworth, both in Wilmington, Delaware.

In 1875-76 and 1883 Central Pacific had additional sleeping cars built by Barney & Smith.  While referred to as additional Silver Palace cars, these were actually much like the Pullman cars that Barney and Smith were then building for the Pullman Palace Car Company, so much so that Pullman filed suit against Barney & Smith for patent infringement.

In 1883 Central Pacific and the associated Southern Pacific signed a contract with Pullman for the operation of sleeping car service.  The newer sleeping cars (built by Barney & Smith) were rebuilt as Pullman cars while the older Silver Palace cars went into secondary service for Pullman, and were later returned to Central Pacific and rebuilt into a variety of other types of cars, including business cars, dining cars, and coaches.  One (converted to a coach) still survives, in poor condition.
Courtesy Kyle K. Williams Wyatt, Curator of Railroad Operations, California State Railroad Museum.

Pullman Party
Stereoview: "Pullman guests over first road." (photographer unknown)
Group of Well-Dressed People Posing and Clowning for the Camera at a Railroad Station. In manuscript pencil on verso: "Pullman guests over first road." In margin of verso, in manuscript pencil: "Mother," with light pencil line drawn to a woman in the foreground. c. 1869.  In the foreground of the group, one man in top hat aims a rifle at the butt of a small keg held by another. One man looks off in the distance with field glasses, and one hold a buffalo head atop his own. From the pencil notation on verso, this appears to be the June 1869 excursion from Chicago to Sacramento over the newly completed trans-continental road, organized by George Mortimer Pullman to tout the benefits of his sleeping cars. Pullman, however, lost out to sleeping cars owned by the railroads themselves, with all profits therefor passing to the railroad companies. See: R&LHS "Railroad History," issue 135, Fall 1976.  Interestingly, Lewis Metzler Clement got his start building canals, and George Pullman made his reputation moving houses out of the way of a new canal, both in New York.  Pullman's outstanding accomplishment forshadowing his later career was to move an entire hotel which did not lose a day's business, forshadowing his ultimate success in creating mobile hotel railroad cars.  "Pullman knew how to promote his product.  In 1870, the Union Pacific put his Pioneer, the car that rode with Lincoln's body [but which Lincoln found to be too ostentatious to ride in while alive], into public relations service, ferrying a group of Boston financiers cross country on the newly completed transcontinental railroad. The money men shot buffalo from the train windows, sang hymns and popular songs to the accompaniment of an organ, and published a newspaper en route. They dined on antelope steak, golden plover, and prairie chicken and when they reached the West Coast, they ceremonially mixed a bottle of water from the Atlantic with one from the Pacific."
Caption by William F. Robinson, with additional quotes from "Made in America" by Phil Patton.

More Pullman Links.
Pullmans Palace Car Company
Pullmans Palace Car Company 
Wagner Palace Car Company
Theodore Tuttle Woodruff's Central Transportation

Ely, Richard T.  "Pullman: A Social Study." Harper's Magazine 70 (February 1885): 452-466.

Books about Pullman Cars

George Mortimer Pullman: Builder of Hotel Rooms on Wheels

Abraham Lincoln's Son, Robert Todd Lincoln, became President of the Pullman Company from 1897 to 1911, as the successor to George Pullman.

> For more detailed information about Pullman Cars, Kyle Williams Wyatt, Curator of History & Technology, California State Railroad Museum, recommends the following resources:
Pullman collection: Newberry Library - Pullman Archives Guide Adobe Acrobat PDF format
Overview of the Pullman Company: Builders of Wooden Railway Cars - The Pullmans Palace Car Company
General List of Pullman sources: Pullman Historic Foundation - Links
Another List of Pullman sources: Mid-Continent Railway Museum - The Pullman Company
Mechanical drawings for Pullman cars: Illinois Railway Museum - Pullman Library [Contact Info]

Pullman car images including Pullman interiors:

Seven Pullman images c. 1870's #43-49 (click on image to go to next)
Five Pullman images (click on image to go to next)
Pullman Car in Florida
Pullman Sleeping Car Wooden Door Marquetry Panel, c. 1880

Passenger Car images (Comment and identifications courtesy Kyle Williams Wyatt, Curator of History & Technology, California State Railroad Museum.)
True Silver Palace cars were built for the Central Pacific in 1869 by Jackson & Sharp and by Harlan & Hollingsworth.  These were delivered by rail after the completion of the line at Promontory. In 1875-76 Barney & Smith built a series of sleepers for Central Pacific that appear to be more along the lines of the Pullman cars being built by B&S for Pullman.  Not long after 1880 Pullman sued Barney and Smith for using Pullman patented designs in cars built for others, quite possibly including some additional cars built by B&S for CP/SP in preparation for the completion of the SP line to Texas and New Orleans.  Perhaps in a related move, CP/SP signed a contract with Pullman to take over all the CP/SP sleeping car service in 1883:
A - Silver Palace car interior
B - Interior of Pullman dining car - also the "next" image
C - Pullman sleeping car interior - also the "next" image
D - "Silver Palace" cars built in 1875-76 by Barney & Smith for CP - also the "next" image
E - Barney & Smith cars "may" be slightly visible at right edge of photo.
F - Central Pacific arch roof cars in excursion before 1869 - NOT Silver Palace cars.
G - Barney & Smith cars are vaguely visible behind the open excursion car at the end of the train.
H - A Jackson & Sharp Silver Palace car
I - This is at the interchange at Ogden - can't distinguish any passenger cars in the view
J - This is also at the interchange at Ogden - hard to distinguish the types of passenger cars in the view

Pullman Palace Dining Car
Pullman Palace Dining Car, with building supplies and other equipment in the foreground.
Untitled Alfred A. Hart CPRR strereoview from the series "Scenes in the Valley of the Sacramento."
Courtesy of Alan Wohlleben.

Pullman Sleeping Car, Early Patents
Courtesy Lawrence K. Hersh.

Pullman Sleeping Car PatentB. Field & G.M. Pullman. Sleeping Car. No. 42,182. Patented Apr. 5, 1864.

Pullman Sleeping Car PatentB. Field & G.M. Pullman. Sleeping Car. No. 49,992. Patented Sept. 19, 1865.


Car Builders' Cyclopedia of American Practice
By American Railway Association, Master Car Builders' Association, Mechanical Division, Association of American Railroads, Master Car Builders' Association
Published by Simmons-Boardman Pub. Corp. [etc.], 1881

Car Builders' Cyclopedia of American Practice
By Master Car Builders' Association, American Railway Association Mechanical Division, Association of American Railroads Mechanical Division
Published by Simmons-Boardman Pub. Corp., 1895

additional information about Car Builders.

Also see: "The Sacramento General Shops: Southern Pacific Company – Pacific Lines." by D.L. Joslyn, 1948.

Andrew Carnegie, George Pullman and the "Berth" of a Company Town by Gregg McPherson.

Also see: Railroad Passenger Car Composite Diagram (1899) [Enlargement]:

Railroad Passenger Car Composite Diagram (1899)

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