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Pullman Palace: 1901

Pullman Palace: 1901

Circa 1901. "Water tower and shops entrance -- Pullman Palace Car Co., Pullman, Ill's." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Photographic Company. View full size.


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re: Water and smoke

The water tower is the tall building in the center.

Water and smoke

We see a lot of water towers in vintage photos. I presume their purpose is to supply pressurized water. However why would smoke be coming out of the top of the tower?

[It's not. - Dave]

Hold the ornament

Solon Spencer Beman, with his relatively unadorned (for the time) designs, might have seemed an unlikely architectural partner, for Pullman - whose lavish car interiors were likened to cuckoo clocks - but nevertheless a favorite he was ... obtaining not only the commission for the townsite shown here, but also the office/apartment building in the Loop.

All have gone the way of the Pullman car itself.

(Note: the building on the right - with the ginormous double-hung windows! - appears to have been the home of the famous Corliss Engine)

This preceded by a few years --

the "Pullman Finger" gag.

Pullman strike

It's ironic that this shot of a major industrial center shows just one lonely person peering from a high-up window.

Seven years earlier, this spot was the center of one of the most contentious labor events in American history, when workers, led by Eugene V. Debs, went on strike against George Pullman and his company town. Boycotts and violence spread, federal troops were called in, and Debs went to prison. President Grover Cleveland, who sent the troops, later appointed a national commission that criticized Pullman's treatment of workers as "un-American."

Labor Day was established the same year. It was set in September to try to distance American labor from more radical movements that in 1889 had designated May 1 as International Workers' Day.

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