Arthur Detmers Dubin Collection of Pullman Material, 1829-1960


Arthur Detmers Dubin Collection of Pullman Material, 1829-1960


Dubin, Arthur Detmers (1923)


Collection of Pullman Material, 1829-1960


3.5 linear feet (3 archival boxes and 3 bound volumes)


Chicago architect, avid historian of the railroad passenger trains, and author of books on the history of railroad passenger trains and specifically Pullman cars.  He was born in Chicago, the son of Henry and Anne Green Dubin.  He received his B. Architecture from the University of Michigan in 1949 and began a partnership in Dubin and Dubin, an architecture and engineering firm in 1950.  He stayed with the firm, through several partnership changes, until 1993.  He was a member of the Illinois Commission on High Speed Rail Transit from 1966-1968, a member of the board for Amtrak from 1972-1995, made an honorary research assistant for the Smithsonian Institution in 1975, and a technical consultant for Paramount Pictures in 1991. 

He is the author of Some Classic Trains published in 1964, More Classic Trains, published in 1974 and Pullman Paint and Lettering Notebook: A Guide to the Colors Used on Pullman Cars form 1933 to 1969.  He also has written many articles on trains for various publications.

The Pullman Company was founded in 1867 by George Pullman, who had created his first sleeping cars in 1859 by remodeling two day coaches from the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad.  His first all new sleeping car was built in 1865 with a polished black walnut interior, chandeliers and marble wash stands.  It weighed 60,850 pounds and no railroad would operate it.  After Lincoln’s assassination, the state of Illinois ordered the car to be attached to the funeral train for the trip to Springfield, Illinois over the Chicago & Alton line. 

When his company first began, Pullman had the cars built by an outside company and then leased them to the railroads with the cars managed and staffed by Pullman employees.  In 1870 he built his own manufacturing plant in Detroit, Michigan and as the demand for cars increased, he built a larger plant in Chicago, which opened in 1881.  Between 1867 and 1927 Pullman acquired all competing car companies and railroad owned sleeping cars in the United States 

In 1894 a nationwide railway strike began with the employees of the Pullman Company protesting wage cuts and high rents in Pullman, a model town created by Pullman for his employees.  The strike was eventually settled by the federal government against the strikers. 

When George Pullman died in 1897, Robert T. Lincoln took over as president of the company.  In 1899 the company was valued at 74 million dollars.  In the 1920s an average 100,000 people slept in Pullman cars every night, with 36 million customers per year paying 92 million dollars for those accommodations.  The trains continued to add the most modern improvements with air conditioning tested in the 1927-1929 cars and the first streamlined, light weight, air conditioned train crossing America in 1934. 

In 1947 the federal government took anti trust action against the company and the Pullman Company was sold to the 57 railroads that used their cars.  After 1947 all new Pullman cars were owned by the railroads and leased to the Pullman Company to operate.  Business declined rapidly after WWII due to the increased number of highways, hotels and motels and use of airplanes for long distance travel.  On December 31, 1968 the Pullman Company ceased to exist.

Pamphlets, booklets, books, reports, articles, news clippings, drawings, blueprints, letters, menus, signs, forms, contracts, patents, and paint samples.  Numerous copies of printed material used for informational or promotional purposes.  Employee handbooks and instructional guides, including step by step instructions n how to handle, prepare and serve food.  Reports written on many different aspects of the company and the Pullman car.  Articles and news clippings pertaining to the company, the train cars and their users, including one with pictures of criminals who might be traveling by train.  Information on the model town of Pullman.  News clippings and articles on President

                                                            Arthur D. Dubin                                                         Page 2


Lincoln’s funeral train.  Business materials include the charter, by-laws, information on stocks, forms, letters, and contracts.  Letters of Arthur Dubin.  Numerous drawings, designs and blueprints of cars, and a box of color samples used for the cars.  Three bound volumes include:  Ground Plans of the Cars, The Pullman Company Operating Department Catalog Material and Supplies, July 1923 and Lot Book (Pullman Cars Built), 1899-1934.


74 black and white photos, 5 drawings, 3 Robert T. Lincoln letters, published material, artifacts and posters were transferred out of the collection.


Access:  Open for research


Acc. No.:  96-17, 2005-5


Processed by:  Cheryl Schnirring, 1996; Connie Butts, March 2001; Cheryl Schnirring,                              May 2005



                                                     Arthur D. Dubin                                         Page 3

Container List


Box     Folder              Pullman File


1          1                      Charter/Financial

            2                      Pullman Company

            3                      First Sleeping Car in 1837

4                      Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen’s Magazine, Indianapolis, Ind., April                            1878

5                      American Railroad Journal, Sept. 8,Oct. 7, 1832

6-7                   George H. Pullman

8                      No. 9

9                      Pullman Car Specifications

10                    Lincoln, Abraham, Funeral Train and Lincoln, Robert T. (Presidency)

11                    Town ofPullman

12                    Pullman Operations (Regulations)

13                    Tickets, Passes, G. M. Pullman

14                    The Story ofPullman

15                    Pullman, World’s Fair

16                    Pullman, Early Rosters, etc.

17                    Pullman Palace Car Co., Catalogue of Printed Forms

18                    Rates inPullman Cars

19                    Pullman Car Signs and Forms

20                    Railway Pioneers

21                    Pullman Co. Employee Brochures

22                    The Detective

23                    PullmanPalace Car Statement of Salaries, Jan. 1878

24                    Frank Leslie Excursion fromNew York to the Pacific, 1877

25                    Boston Board of Trade, Trans-Continental Excursion, 1870

26                    Pullman Car Construction

27                    [Pullman Cars] Interior Design and Marquetry Work

28                    Pennsylvania Railroad Co. Operating Contracts, 1885, 1889

29                    Patents Used by Principal Inventors of Sleeping Cars

30                    Robert T. Lincoln: Correspondence re: Value ofPullman Property

31                    Correspondence re: A. Philip Randolph

32                    Society for the Prevention of CallingPullman Porters “George”

33                    Worcester (Osgood Bradley)

34                    Correspondence re: Pullman Company Blankets and Towels

35                    Robert T. Lincoln, Pullman Co.

36                    Historical Information

            37                    Estate of Marshall Field

            38                    Agreements and Notices

            39                    Sleeping and Passenger Cars

            40                    Deaths

            41                    New York Central R.R.-owned, Post-War Lightweight Sleeping Cars Under                                     Lease to the Pullman Co. (Schedule A)

            42                    Pullman Gothics

            43                    New Passenger Cars


                                                            Arthur D. Dubin                                              Page 3

Container List


Box     Folder              Pullman File


2          1-2                   Pullman Pamphlets

            3                      Pullman, Standard Car Export Corporation

            4                      Pullman, Automobile Construction, 1920s

            5                      Pullman,England

            6                      Pullman inEngland, Chicago-built Cars Sent toGreat Britain

            7                      Wagner Name Roster

            8                      Wagner Palace Car Company “Rules for Uniformed Employees”

            9                      Wagner Papers

            10                    ThePullmanBuilding

            11                    PullmanOfficeBuilding

            12                    Association Cars

            13                    Miscellaneous

            14                    Worchester Excursion

            15                    Woodruff

            16                    Monarch

            17                    Mann Boudoir

            18                    Lucas

            19                    Jones Vestibule

            20                    Gates

            21                    Erie andAtlantic

            22                    New York Central (Wagner)

            23                    Instructions for Employees and a List of Car Equipment

            24                    Repertory for Commissary Employees and Culinary Guide

            25                    Pullman Standard and Slumber Coach

            26                    Pullman, Awards

            27                    Train of Tomorrow

            28                    Press Handbook

            29                    Union Pacific Railroad Co. Diagrams

            30                    Turbotrain

            31-32               Brochures

            33                    Pullman: Anti-Trust Suit andSale to Railroads


3          1                      GM Aerotrain-Jet Rock

            2                      Press Book of the New York Central System’s “Xplorer”

            3                      A.F.C. Talgo

            4                      LRC-Intercity Passenger Train

            5                      Blueprints and Descriptions

            6                      Private and Business Cars built byPullman

            7                      Dubin Correspondence

            8                      Descriptive List of Cars,September 1, 1942

            9                      Chicago andEastern Illinois

            10                    Mexico,Pullman Built, New or Second-hand, for Mexican Service

            11                    Experimental Lightweight Trains by Pullman-Standard AFC, BUDD,                                                Montreal Locomotive Works

            12                    New Haven

                                                            Arthur D. Dubin                                              Page 5

Container List


Box     Folder              Pullman File


3          13                    Missouri Pacific/Texas and Pacific IGN/Gulf Coast

            14-15               Blueprints

            16                    The Barney and Smith Car Co.

            17                    Pullman Archives atPrincetonUniversity

            18                    Pullman Manufacturing

            19                    Norman Rockwell

            20                    List of the Pullman-Standard Cars Rebuilt, 1931-1947, Pre-Anti-Trust

            21                    Complete List of all Lightweight Passenger Cars Built by Pullman-Standard,                                   1933-1960

            22                    PullmanCo.Building of Cars, Includes Detroit/Chicago

            23                    History of the Sleeping Car, Compiled by Charles S. Sweet

            24                    Painting Instructions for Cars (3 books)

            25                    Paint Samples (1tin box)


Oversize BV 1                        Ground Plans of Cars, The Pullman Company (undated)


Oversize BV 2                        The Pullman Company Operating Department Catalog Material and Supplies,                                   July 1, 1923 (in gray box)


Oversize BV 3                        Lot Book (Pullman Cars Built), 1899-1934                                       



“Arthur Detmers Dubin Collection of Pullman Material, 1829-1960,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed October 20, 2018,