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The only ones who protested, at least at first, were other men named George.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection Reproduction#: LC-USW3-015552-E (b&w film nitrate neg.)He was a black man in a white jacket and sable hat.But, curiously, it didn't destroy the names of the first two primitive Pullman cars, remodeled day coaches 9 and 19 of the Chicago, Alton & St.Louis Railroad, or the names of the first three paying passengers, all from Bloomington, Illinois.Porters, meanwhile, were moved to concoct mythic forefathers in their bid to lay claim to a heritage.Characters like Daddy Joe, a Bunyanesque figure tall enough to pull down upper berths on either side of the aisle at the same time, agile enough to make down the uppers and lowers simultaneously, eloquent enough to talk a band of marauding Redskins into accepting a pile of Pullman blankets in place of passenger scalps, and so appreciated by his riders that his pockets were weighed down with silver and gold.Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection Reproduction#: LC-USW3-000050-D (b&w film neg.) Chicago, Illinois.
Pullman porters receiving reservation diagrams for their trains through pneumatic tubes from the reservation room.He was part chambermaid, part butler, shining shoes, nursing hangovers, tempering tempers and performing other tasks that won tips and made him indispensable to the wealthy white travelers who snapped their fingers in the air when they needed him. That much is known about the first porter to work on George M. What is not known is his name, age, birthplace, date of employment, or just about anything else about him.Historians will say the reason for that is that a fire in Chicago destroyed the early archives of the Pullman Company.Pullman understood that railroads would soon link the urban East Coast with the newly settled West.He knew that passengers on such longer runs were tiring of sitting up all night, or trying to sleep in beds so hard that passengers labeled the experience a waking nightmare and so soiled that men kept their boots on and women never considered climbing in.And he realized that, if travelers could try for themselves his spacious new surroundings, lucious linen and bedding, and smooth-riding paper wheels they would line up to lay out the extra 50 cents for a berth on the Pioneer. In order to fit its spacious sleeping quarters the Pioneer had been built to dimensions too high and wide to fit under platforms and onto bridges used by railroads of the day.