George M. Pullman

George M. Pullman

George Mortimer Pullman was born in Brocton, New York, on 3rd March, 1831. He trained as a cabinet-maker before moving to work as a contractor in Chicago.

Pullman moved to Colorado and became a store-owner before joining with his friend, Ben Field, to design a sleeping railroad car, the Pioneer, in 1865. Two years later he established the Pullman Palace Car Company to build sleeping cars. He introduced dining-cars in 1868. The company was highly successful and in 1880 he established the town of Pullman, close to Chicago, for his workers.

In 1894 Pullman decided to reduced the wages of his workers. When the company refused arbitration, the American Railway Union called a strike. The Pullman Strike started in Chicago but eventually spread to 27 states. The attorney-general, Richard Olney, sought an injunction under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. As a result, of Olney's action, Eugene Debs, president of the American Railway Union, was arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned. George Mortimer Pullman died on 19th March, 1897.

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