Pullman National Monument

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OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Hello and welcome to the audio-described version of Pullman National Monument’s official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure for Pullman National Monument visitors. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit.

This audio version lasts about 90 minutes which we have divided into 41 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience.

Sections 1 to 23 describe the front of the brochure, which includes a mixture of historic photographs and illustrations alongside information regarding industry, labor, regulation, equality, and a wayfinding map of the site.

Sections 24 to 41 describe the back of the brochure, which contains information on the Pullman company’s business practices, promotional efforts, and the planned efficiency of the factory integrated into the town design. The center of the back prominently features a panoramic Illustration of the core manufacturing buildings, some key town buildings and a small portion of residences as they were designed.  Below the illustration is a collaged section that discusses the on-board service workers, with an emphasis on the Pullman Porters. It also highlights the national rail network and Pullman repair shop workers.  

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OVERVIEW: Pullman National Monument

Pullman National Monument is a National Park Service unit located in Chicago, Illinois. This National Monument, designated in 2015, tells the story of the Pullman Palace Car Company, the town built for its workers, and its connection to the American labor movement. The National Monument, situated 15 miles south of Chicago’s downtown, is the entire neighborhood of Pullman. Homes that were once occupied by Pullman workers, now owned by everyday Chicagoans, line the streets of the monument. At the center of the monument district, a majestic clocktower, which now serves as the National Park Service Visitor Center, rises above the main streets. Visitors come to experience the pedestrian scale of the neighborhood, a model of urban planning and architecture, learn about the great Pullman Strike of 1894, as well as the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first labor organization led by African Americans to receive a charter in the American Federation of Labor. We invite you to explore the neighborhood’s extant buildings, visit our partners, and take a ranger-led tour of the factory grounds.

For those seeking to learn more about the monument during their visit, informative audio guides and tactile maps can be found at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center and factory grounds are entirely wheelchair accessible. To find out more about what resources might be available visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

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OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure

The front side of the brochure shows the standard National Park Service black branding band for brochures on the left side. The content includes text related to the industry, labor, regulation, and equality. The major headings talk about Pullman (the man, the company, the town), the Pullman Strike and Boycott, and Pullman Porters.

The images displayed include a mix of historic photographs, posters, and illustrated scenes. A map of Pullman National Monument, which encompasses an entire city neighborhood, takes up one third of the right side of the brochure along with partner and contact information.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Pullman

IMAGE and TEXT: Pullman section image

DESCRIBING: Printed stylized text. 

SYNOPSIS: Graphic design element of printed stylized text font of the word "Pullman".  The color is in a traditional Pullman company darker green color that is between forest green and olive green. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The unique Pullman font was used to name rail cars and was meant to be read from a distance.  The spacing between each letter is exaggerated to about five times the spacing between letters in typical printed text. The vertical portions of each letter in this font appear in thicker lines.  The horizontal portions of each letter are rendered in thinner lines.  At the top of each letter is a serif flourish or decorative strokes, where the line extends outward and thickens slightly at the top and bottom of each letter.  This flourish makes each letter more decorative, stylized, and memorable. 

CAPTION: ABOVE: Pullman Lettering



From the prairie south of Chicago, a perfect town began to rise in 1880. Through “scientific planning,” it integrated offices and industrial shops with housing, all in a parklike setting.

Both town and company bore the surname of the owner, George Pullman (1831–1897). He built luxury sleeping rail cars and leased them to railroads, along with staff who provided on-board services. Pullman’s business model gave the company a nationally competitive edge.

A worker’s status and class influenced which Pullman home he could rent. High earners lived closest to their workplace. The company hoped the hygienic homes and elegant landscape would lead employees to strive toward a higher social class and behavior. Some praised Pullman’s genius; others called his experiment un-American. By the 1890s, the company and its workers began to clash. Events at Pullman and rulings in the state and federal courts set precedents that echoed throughout the nation.

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IMAGE: Industry - Rail Car

DESCRIBING: A small, rectangular, horizontally oriented, historical black-and-white photograph.

SYNOPSIS: This photo shows a side view of one historic wooden Pullman sleeping rail car. The rail car is labeled "PIONEER" in capital letters on a small oval placard below the window line. The rail car has sixteen windows through which light is visible. There is an overhang above the exterior platforms at the front and back of the car. On top of the car is a smaller, window-lined roof section.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The rail car is resting on railroad tracks by itself. The vertical planks on the surface of the rail car appear weathered and distressed. In the middle of the car, below the window line is a raised oval placard with the word “PIONEER” in capital letters. Above the placard, extending to the right and left, along the length of the car are 16 windows. The windows are vertical and rectangular in shape, bisected with a frame that separates the top from the bottom. Blinds are pulled down half-way in most of the windows. It appears that one window has been lifted open from the bottom up. 

Above the windows, the words “PULLMAN SLEEPING CAR” are painted in the center of the car, extending roughly half its length. Running along the top of the rail car is a roof that has two parts. The upper portion has a flat top and is lined with small windows providing natural light and greater ceiling height within the car. The lower portion is a smooth paneled and welded roof that has a curved edge. The lower roof extends the length of the car, curving down at each end to provide an overhang for the exterior platforms at the front and back of the rail car. The platform on the right side of the photograph has a visible metal railing at the end of the train car in addition to a metal coupler for hitching this car to another.

Underneath the train car are two four-wheel trucks that allow the car to move along the railroad tracks to its destination.

CAPTION: Pioneer, the first Pullman sleeping rail car, built in 1864.


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IMAGE: Industry - Upholstery workers

IMAGE: Industry - Upholstery workers section image

DESCRIBING: A small, square, sepia tone photograph

SYNOPSIS: This photo shows white male workers at their workstations in the upholstery room of the Pullman rail car factory. The room bustles with activity as the workers upholster furniture for the Pullman cars. 


Approximately fifty white male workers are pictured at their workstations throughout the large airy room with high ceilings and abundant natural light. They are shown in various stages of upholstering the chairs and benches that will furnish Pullman cars.  Although some men are seated, most are standing. The men are wearing white shirts with dark colored trousers. Some men are wearing dark colored vests. Most are wearing medium colored knee length aprons that hang from a slender cord around the neck.

Supplies are attached to the support beams, line the walls, and lie on the sturdy wooden tables with drawers throughout the room.

Running down the center of the room are three large rectangular support pillars for the ceiling. Angular beams attached to these supports connect to the ceiling giving a regular branch-like appearance to each support pillar.

There are three rows of evenly spaced pendant light fixtures running the length of the room. These fixtures have a sleek, simple design with a single bulb and are suspended from the ceiling by a slender metal rod.

The large windows on the right side of the picture start at about 8 feet up the wall and are covered by large horizontal blinds with light colored wooden slats running the length of the room. These blinds are open and angled down flooding the room with natural light.

A dark colored clock with an encased pendulum featured prominently on the back wall is visible.

CAPTION: Upholstery Room.


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IMAGE and TEXT: Pullman Strike and Boycott - Jane Addams

IMAGE and TEXT: Pullman Strike and Boycott - Jane Addams section image

DESCRIBING:  A small, faded, black-and-white photograph

SYNOPSIS: Right side profile photograph of Jane Addams shown from the waist up reading a book.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: Jane Addams, a white woman, sits in profile, facing to the right. Her head is bent down, reading a book. Her dark hair is tied in a low bun at the nape of her neck. Her face expresses thoughtful contemplation. She wears a high-necked white blouse with a snug lace collar under dark striped jacket festooned with black lace. Her head and upper body occupy most of the frame, and the book she is reading is found at the bottom right corner of the image.  

CAPTION: (1860–1935) A social reformer, Jane Addams saw the strike as a class conflict and tried to mediate it. She brought the workers to the bargaining table, but George Pullman refused to meet with her. 



A depression in 1893 caused a nationwide decline in orders for rail cars. The Pullman company cut workers’ wages by 25 percent but did not lower rents. George Pullman refused to negotiate with employees over either issue. Workers walked off the job in May 1894, and across the country, American Railway Union (ARU) workers responded in solidarity. They boycotted any train that pulled a Pullman car, halting commerce.

By July the strike and boycott led to occupation by US Army troops of rail centers across the nation. When the Pullman shops reopened, the workers had gained little of substance. But they discovered that labor, when organized, had power. They also learned a harsh truth—that the government would side with industry and even use force to restore order.

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IMAGE: Pullman Strike and Boycott - Eugene Debs

IMAGE: Pullman Strike and Boycott - Eugene Debs section image

DESCRIBING: A sepia toned horizontal rectangular photograph. 

SYNOPSIS: Eugene V. Debs empathically orates to a crowd of onlookers. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION:   Eugene V. Debs, a white, middle-aged man, stands in the foreground. He is mostly bald, with short gray hair around his ears. He wears spectacles and a dark suit jacket. 

His mouth is open, mid-speech. The contours of his face express great intensity of emotion. His body language is that of a passionate orator. His hands are flat together horizontally in front of him in an emphatic expression. His body leans forward, in the direction of his attentive audience. 

The audience is in soft-focus in the background of the image. The audience appears to be entirely white men, dressed in formal clothing, a variety of mostly dark hats and dark three-piece suits, white shirts and slender straight ties. The large crowd of hundreds spills out of the frame, and is tightly clustered together, very close to Debs. 

CAPTION: (1855–1956) The founder of the American Railway Union, Debs tried to build labor’s power by reaching out to railroad workers across the skill lines that separated them. The federal government prosecuted and jailed him.


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IMAGE: Labor - Grand Mass Meeting

IMAGE: Labor - Grand Mass Meeting section image

DESCRIBING: An 1894 broadside poster with a tan background and dark olive-green printed text.

SYNOPSIS: A poster advertising the Grand Mass Meeting of Pullman Employees on May 22nd, 1894, led by the American Railway Union. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION:  This poster primarily uses five different fonts in mostly capital letters to promote the details of the Grand Mass Meeting of Pullman Employees meeting.  The fonts are varied by each line.  The size of the letters and spacing make it easy to read without having to stand close to the poster. Text: Grand Mass Meeting of Pullman Employes [sic] and Railroad Men, will be held at Central Turner Hall Tenth, Bet. Market and Walnut Streets, St. Louis, Tuesday Eve'g, May 22d, '94 at 8 o'clock, under the auspices of the American Railway Union E.V. Debs, President and G.W. Howard, Vice-President A.R.U. and other prominent speakers will address the meeting. All are invited to attend.

Mclean and Tomkins Ptg Co, 615 Chestnut St.

Text on trademark in bottom right corner not legible, in the shape of an oval bisected horizontally by a thin band of text.

CAPTION: Broadside aimed at railroad workers in St. Louis, 1894. 


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IMAGE: Labor - Strike at Pullman

IMAGE: Labor - Strike at Pullman section image

DESCRIBING: Newspaper clipping.

SYNOPSIS: Newspaper clipping from the Chicago Evening Journal of May 11, 1894 reporting on the Strike at Pullman.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: This newspaper clipping is slightly discolored, to a tan color. The text reads as follows:

Strike at Pullman. Employes of the Palace Car Works Quit. Men Walk Out of the Shops Without Notice. Officials Taken Greatly By Surprise at the Sudden Move. While They Are Settling Minor Differences, the Strike Occurs. Two Thousand Men Quit Work in Response to the Call of the Grievance Committee.

About 11 O clock this morning the trouble between the Pullman company and the 4,300 employees of the works at Pullman reached a crisis, when greatly to the surprise of the officials, a large number of men in the shops threw down their tools and walked out, thus precipitating the strike that has been threatened for several days past and which it was thought yesterday had been averted, for the time being at least.

     Vice President Wickes and other officers of the company were at the works this morning investigating charges made by the employes’ committee, and they were entirely unprepared for the sudden seriousness that the situation had assumed. The men marched out quietly and for a time the officers thought that the strike was confined to the disaffected few who had decided to move without waiting for the decision of their superiors.

     Inquiries at the general offices in Pullman brought forth the information that some of the men had quit work and that it was not known how far the strike would extend. By noon, the city offices in the Pullman Building said their information was that 2,000 men had gone out. What had precipitated the strike was not known, as the men and company officers at Pullman were not known to have any further conference, and matters were supposed to be in the condition in which they were left at the close of Wednesday night's conference.

CAPTION: Chicago Evening Journal headlines, May 11, 1894. 


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IMAGE: Labor - Illustration of Strike

IMAGE: Labor - Illustration of Strike section image

DESCRIBING: A small full color illustration

SYNOPSIS: An illustration of a large group of angry workers moving toward a steam locomotive and obstructing the train tracks, preventing the train from moving. A line of uniformed police raises clubs in defense of the train.  

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION:  In the foreground, a dense group of workers, seen from the back, swarm toward a locomotive train. The predominantly male crowd is dressed in muted earth tones of yellow, green, blue, and brown. Most men are wearing hats in these same earth tones.

The steam locomotive is located in the center of the frame. Grey smoke billows from the locomotive exhaust pipe. The train attempts to move through the disruptive crowd. The train engine is black with a prominent yellowish cowcatcher and large red spoked wheels. Brown railcars with an orangish yellow tinge are pulled by the locomotive. 

Police officers, dressed in navy blue and grey uniforms, stand in a defensive formation alongside the tracks. They wear tall white 19th century police bobby hats and wield brown batons over their heads. 

CAPTION: Police raise clubs against workers who obstruct tracks at 43rd Street, Harpers Weekly, 1894. 


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IMAGE: Regulation

IMAGE: Regulation section image

DESCRIBING: A political cartoon depicted 

SYNOPSIS: Political Cartoon for the Chicago Labor Newspaper, July 7, 1894

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A political cartoon depicting a caricature of George Pullman, a white man, turning the handle of a circular vise to crush a European immigrant worker between two large, thick horizontal plates. The top plate is labeled, "LOW WAGES." The bottom plate is labeled, "HIGH RENT."

The caricature of Pullman is an exaggeration of Pullman's features. He wears a top hat, formalwear, and a devilish goatee. His portly body has legs spread apart in a partial squat and his slender arms extend forward, turning the handle of the vise. 

The caricature of the employee being squeezed in Pullman's vise is a slender bearded man, with the world "EMPLOYEE" written across the shirt sleeve of his right arm. He has an expression of open-mouthed panic as he desperately reaches forward toward nine coins bouncing out of his grasp on the floor

CAPTION: “The Condition of the Laboring Man at Pullman,” Chicago Labor, 1894.


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TEXT: Federal and State Laws Change

After the strike ended, the tide began to turn in favor of labor. The US Congress passed the Erdman Act in 1898. It required railroad companies and unions to arbitrate labor disputes.

Also in 1898, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled the original Pullman Company charter was for manufacturing only, and Pullman began to sell its non-industrial holdings. The ruling paved the way to home ownership for Pullman residents.

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IMAGE and TEXT: The Great Migration

IMAGE and TEXT: The Great Migration section image

DESCRIBING: Horizontal, sepia-toned photographic family portrait arriving in Chicago from 1922.

SYNOPSIS: An intergenerational photograph of an African-American family including two men, four women, and two children. They are all standing behind two distressed suitcases, gazing straight at the camera. The women are wearing dresses with their overcoats draped over their arms and the man wear suits. Everyone is wearing a hat.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The people in the portrait take up nearly the entire frame, grouped in a staggered line. Moving from left to right, the first figure is an adolescent girl wearing dark, mid-calf boots. A knee-length plaid skirt peaks out underneath her loose, button-down black coat with a slight sheen. Her hat is somewhat crinkled. Behind her stands a tall middle-aged man wearing a dark suit, white shirt, with a fedora tipped jauntily to his right. Slight in front of him stands an older man wearing a dark overcoat, a dark double-breasted suit with a white shirt and wide tie. His dark fedora sits squarely on his head.

In the center are two women, one middle-aged and one older. The middle-aged woman wears a poke-shaped hat with a white band, a white blouse, pearl necklace, a checkered skirt that drapes down to her mid-calf. The older woman stands with her head slightly to her right. Her hat features a wide bow and she wears a dark overcoat and dark clothing. She holds a checkered overcoat on her arm. In front of them, at the center of the photo, stands a small child. His wide-brimmed hat frames the steady expression on his face. He wears a white shirt, light colored coat, slightly disheveled and knee-length britches, and tall socks.

On the right stand two more middle-aged women wearing similar clothing. They wear dark dresses with white collars and wide-brimmed hats. Their dark overcoats are draped over their arms.

All members of the family hold steady gazes at the camera and have a sense of determination and purpose. 

 CAPTION: A family arrives in Chicago, 1922.



A Pullman porter job was a way into the middle class for African Americans—despite continuing racial discrimination. Based near major train hubs, porters earned a good income and had opportunities to travel. They absorbed news and information from across the country and carried it home. Their eyewitness reports helped fuel the Great Migration of African Americans to northern and midwestern industrial cities. Pullman porters helped inspire others to seek change in order to support their families and build new lives. Hundreds of thousands of people made the transition.

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IMAGE: Equality - Poster

IMAGE: Equality - Poster section image

DESCRIBING: A vertical rectangular color drawing.

SYNOPSIS:  A rectangular, multicolored illustration of an interior vintage dining railcar. Two fair-skinned, mustachioed male passengers are seated across from each other at a small dining table. They are looking up at a dark-skinned dining car attendant who is holding a bottle of whisky and a box of cigars. In the background, outside the railcar window, is a massive red brick factory for the Mosler Salt Company. A tree-lined street with carriages runs in front of the factory. A large boat is anchored along the water that runs on the side of the factory.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION:   Two fair-skinned male passengers are seated on red upholstered benches across each other at a small table in a train dining car. The man on the left wears a three-piece suit with a light blue jacket, charcoal gray trousers, and a white shirt with a sky-blue straight tie. He has a prominent friendly mutton-chop beard and bushy mustache. He wears a black short, brimless fez-style hat. He has one hand in his lap and one hand on the table holding a bottle in his left hand. On the right, behind the attendant, is the other passenger. The second man wears a short-brimmed straw hat with a large band of black and blue vertical stripes. His expression is neutral as he looks toward the attendant. He has a trimmed mustache. He wears a three-piece blue suit with thin red stripes, a white collar, with a broad blue tie with a red diamond pattern. He rests his right forearm on the table. A single gold cufflink shines from the corner of his sleeve. 

The table between them has a short white cloth. On the table is two shallow bowls and two stemmed glasses, as well as cutlery. Below the table is a brown suitcase.

On the right side of the image stands a dark-skinned dining car attendant holding a box of cigars. He wears a white, brimless clap with a gold braid, a white button-down jacket and white apron that extends to the bottom of the. In his right hand, he holds a silver tray with a tall whiskey bottle and three glass shot glasses. In his left hand, he presents an open box of cigars neatly packed. 

They sit in front of a large window. The upper band of the image, the wall of the dining car, is an ornate decorative pattern in alternating tan and chocolate brown. Attached to the wall is a metal basket-like piece of shelving, a storage compartment, holding two objects. On the left, an oblong case with a narrow handle rests on the edge of the storage compartment. Prominent black text on the case reads “Wing Shot: Manufactured by Oriental Powder Mills" on the object. Next to it sits a gray rounded package. Above the window is a gold curtain rod; on either side are velvet moss green curtains pushed to either side of the window.

Through the window, a prominent red brick factory with a clocktower in front and two prominent smokestacks to the rear. Four smaller smokestacks sit on either side. One the roof, the words “Mosler Salt Company” are clearly visible. Along the clocktower, moving toward the horizon is a lively treelined street with carriages. Adjacent to the factory, on the bottom right corner of the window is a body of water with a large boat butted up against the street. 

CAPTION: Travel poster advertising Pullman dining car on the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton Railroad. 


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IMAGE: Equality - Porter Portrait

IMAGE: Equality - Porter Portrait section image

DESCRIBING: A black and white 3/4 portrait photo on a postcard of a Pullman Porter, ca. 1940. 

SYNOPSIS: A black and white portrait photo of an African American man from the knees up. He stares off towards the right. He wears a billed cap with the words “Porter” on it.  He is in a dark Pullman Porter uniform that includes a bow tie and a glimpse of his white shirt.   

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A black and white portrait photo of an African American man from the waist up. He stares off towards the right with his right hand on his hip and his other hand resting on an ornate wicker chair at his left. He wears a traditional Pullman Porter dark colored uniform.  His flat-topped billed cap has a gold trim and ornate name plate with the words “Porter” on it.  His dark dress jacket has a collar and six metal buttons.  He's wearing a dark bow tie and underneath the tie, his white shirt is visible. Behind him and his left arm is a thick and heavy drape that is drawn half-way down with a light colored thick braided cord, creating a curved soft drape at the top. 

The overall image around the porter shows some fading and wear with aging. 

 CAPTION: Postcard of porter T.R. Joseph, ca. 1940.


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IMAGE and TEXT: Black Workers Unite and Win - Translucent job posting

IMAGE and TEXT: Black Workers Unite and Win - Translucent job posting section image

DESCRIBING: A historic poster advertising a Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters meeting. 

SYNOPSIS: A historic poster used as the background of a photograph of the Administration Clocktower and Front Erecting shops. The poster is composed of text in a variety of styles and sizes. Bold words at the top read “Pullman Porters and Maids” and just below the word in all capitalized text reads “Attention!” in larger bold font which spans the width of the image. Smaller text gives details of Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters meetings.

IN-DEPTH: A historic poster used as the background of a cutout photograph of the historic Administration Clocktower and Front Erecting shops. The poster is composed of text in a variety of styles and sizes.

At the top of the poster, medium-sized text reads, “Do not sign petitions or statements of any kind.” Below that are three thin black lines, stacked together, which extend from one edge of the poster to the other. Bold words below the lines read “Pullman Porters and Maids.” Just below that, the word “Attention!” in all caps and larger bold font spans the width of the image.

Smaller text is ginto sections divided by a single black line across the image. The section of text below “Attention!” is much smaller, but a few capitalized words grab the reader’s attention. They are “Intimidation, Coercion, Threats” “Force” and “Yellow Dog Contract.”

Centered on the page, nearly halfway down, words clearly read “You are not disloyal if you do not sign this statement or petition,” Short black lines at the top and bottom further highlight this text.

Below this, smaller text gives details of upcoming Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters meetings and gives the address of their headquarters. Even smaller text warns readers against company efforts to thwart the Brotherhood’s agenda with Loyalty Contracts. This text runs into the outline of the Clocktower building and is partially cut off.

The remaining text on the bottom third of the page starts with small text in all caps. The visible text reads “Every bona fide pullman por is welcome at these” Below a description of the meetings, we can see the text that says “Read this circular and pass it on.”

At the bottom is the name, “M.P. Webster, Division Organizer.” Three stacked lines appear just below.



The American Railway Union opened its membership to Chicago railroad workers in 1893 but barred African Americans. In 1915 an all-African American railroad brotherhood, the international Railway Mens Benevolent Industrial Association, organized Pullman porters under federal World War I railroad labor regulations.

The loss of wartime emergency protections doomed the association’s survival but convinced African American railroaders that federal recognition was crucial. In 1925 Pullman porters organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), aided by labor and civil rights activists A. Philip Randolph (1889–1979) and former Pullman porter Milton P. Webster.

In 1937 the porters won their first Pullman company contract after suing in federal court. They achieved a 240-hour work month, 4 to 6 hours off duty each night, and wages rather than tips. Their success inspired African Americans in other trades to demand equality and recognition in the workplace. 

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IMAGE and TEXT: Black Workers Unite and Win - A. Philip Randolph

IMAGE and TEXT: Black Workers Unite and Win - A. Philip Randolph section image

DESCRIBING: A colored artistic portrait of a man’s shoulders and head 

SYNOPSIS:  This color illustration portrays a Black man, Asa Philip Randolph, prominently in the foreground with his head held high and proud. Behind him is the inside of a sleeper rail car.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A vertical portrait painting of the upper shoulders and head of Asa Philip Randolph. Randolph’s head is slightly turned to his left while his gaze is forward to the viewer. The source of light comes slightly from the right, illuminating his eyes, nose, and lips while creating a shadow on the left side of his face and shoulder. His close-cropped greying hair, trim dark eyebrows, dark eyes, prominent wide nose, and neutral closed lips with a small chin cleft compose a compelling and captivating gaze. There are some artistic brush strokes on his face that add to this appearance, making him look aged. He is wearing a grey suit coat, white shirt, and black tie. 

The slightly obscured background is the interior of a sleeper car. A lower birth with white linen, a pillow and seat edge are visible on the right. The shades are pulled down. On the upper left, a berth ladder and upper birth with linen is visible. The birth underneath this one has its dark green curtains drawn closed. The sleeper rail car looks like it has been prepped for bed. The floor of the sleeping car is dark brown or burgundy

 CAPTION: During the 1940s, A. Philip Randolph linked the struggles for labor and civil rights. He rallied African Americans to demand jobs and an end to segregation in the war industries


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IMAGE and TEXT: Black Workers Unite and Win - Wake Up Poster

IMAGE and TEXT: Black Workers Unite and Win - Wake Up Poster section image

DESCRIBING: A weathered poster with bold black lettering

SYNOPSIS: A weathered, sepia-toned poster with bold black lettering of decreasing size. The top line of text reads in all capitalized text “Wake up, Negro America!” Below this call to action are three lines of texts, slightly smaller than the top row, also in all capitalized text. They read, “Do we want to work? Do we want our full rights? Do we want justice?” The bottom portion of the poster is smaller text with an all capitalized headings that give details of the black labor movement headed by A. Philip Randolph. The text fades toward the bottom.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A weathered, sepia-toned poster with bold black lettering of decreasing size. The top line of text reads in all-caps “Wake up, Negro America!” Below this call to action are three lines of texts, slightly smaller than the top row, also in all-caps. They read, “Do we want to work? Do we want our full rights? Do we want justice?” The bottom portion of the poster is smaller text with all-caps headings that give details of the black labor movement headed by A. Philip Randolph. The headings read “What is it?” “Who is its leader?” “What has the movement done?” “What needs to be done?” The text under each heading is indented and fades toward the bottom.


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IMAGE and TEXT: Black Workers Unite and Win - Porters' Wives

IMAGE and TEXT: Black Workers Unite and Win - Porters' Wives section image

DESCRIBING: A rectangular sepia tone historical portrait photograph 

SYNOPSIS: A sepia tone photographic portrait of a group of more than 75 African American women and one man. The women are lined in six rows with approximately 15 to 20 women in each row. The first three rows are seated, and the rest are standing. They sit on a grassy area between two buildings in an urban setting. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: This historical photograph captures around 75 African American women posing for a group portrait. A handwritten print at the bottom of the image reads, “First National Convention of the Women’s Economic Council Auxiliary to the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, September 24 through 28, 1938, Chicago Illinois.” The group is positioned on a patch of grass between two brick buildings. 

With the sunlight entering from the left side on the image, a few women and the one man in the photo are highlighted in the sun while the rest sit in shadow. Through a hazy glare, apartment buildings rise up in the distance behind them. 

The first row has twelve women who sit on the ground with their legs to the side, their long skirts covering their knees. Behind the first row, there are two rows of women sitting in chairs. Behind the chairs, another row of women stands on the ground. And finally, in the back row, it appears the women are standing on a platform. On the far-left side of the group, an African American man stands next to the group of women in a light colored double breasted three-piece suit and tie. He is A. Phillip Randolph, the leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. 

The women wear dresses or flowy skirts and blouses. Some wear dark colors and others wear flowered or small patterned fabrics. Each woman has a distinct look. Some women wear tailored jackets. One woman’s jacket has a fur collar, and another has a wide lapel. The skirts or dresses fall below the knee. Most dresses or skirts flare out from the waist. About ten of the women wear a strand of pearls. Several of the women wear stylish hats. They wear their hair pulled away from their face, some with straight hair and some with close waves, all with neatly styled hair. 

All of the women wear a light-colored wide rectangular ribbon pinned on their left chest. The women wear a mix of expressions from serious to slight smiles.

CAPTION: Women’s Economic Council Auxiliary Porters’ wives, and the maids who worked alongside porters, organized to support the BSCP. In 1938 the women’s auxiliary held a national convention in Chicago.


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IMAGE and TEXT: An End to the Monopolies

IMAGE and TEXT: An End to the Monopolies section image

DESCRIBING: A large photograph, half sepia toned and half black-and-white.

SYNOPSIS: A historic photograph of the Administration Clock Tower Building reflected in Lake Vista. The image is stylized. Half of the image is sepia toned, half black and white. The Clock Tower Building and the Car Shops that flank it are sepia toned. The Lake Vista and the reflections within the water are black and white.


This historic photographic of the Administration Clock Tower building shows the Pullman factory grounds in the 19th century, well before the days of the NPS Visitor Center.

The photograph is stylized. The top half of the photograph, the background, is sepia toned. The sepia portion shows the Administration Clock Tower Building and the Car Shop manufacturing buildings flanking it. The Lake Vista, a sprawling manmade body of water occupying much of the bottom of the image and extending out of frame, is in black and white.

As the manufacturing center of Pullman, the Administration Clock Tower Building and Factory Complex are unusually ornate industrial buildings. The Administration Clock Tower Building is located at approximately the images center.

From this buildig rises the clock tower and roof, which is echoed in the shapes of the gabled pavilions which marked the outer end of the long facade.

To the left and right of the Administration Clock Tower Building are manufacturing buildings, the Car Works, extending out of frame both ways. Myriad windows line the facades of the buildings.

The power and majesty of the manufacturing complex is intensified by its mirror image in Lake Vista in grey scale, in front of the buildings, in the images foreground.

CAPTION: Pullman Administration Clock Tower Building, before 1957.



In 1943, a federal district court dealt a sharp blow to the Pullman Company’s business plan, ruling that it could not insist on an “exclusive right” clause when leasing cars or service staff to railroads. The court directed Pullman to choose between operating or manufacturing train cars. The company chose the latter.

The ruling ended the monopolies that created great wealth for the company and its shareholders—but also resulted in the loss of all service jobs. In the 1950s, as people began to drive long distances, the company pivoted to manufacturing freight and passenger cars for short-distance travel.

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MAP and TEXT: Visiting Pullman Today

MAP and TEXT: Visiting Pullman Today section image

DESCRIBING: A wayfinding map used to identify key sites within Pullman National Monument


A wayfinding map used to navigate through and identify key sites within Pullman National Monument. The vertically-oriented map depicts the boundaries of the Pullman National Monument, Pullman State Historic Site, and the Pullman National Landmark District  Public roads and major sidewalks, as well as commuter rail line stops are also depicted. The map covers 12 city blocks from north to south, spanning a distance of 1.5 miles or 2.4 kilometers. The map covers an east-west distance of 0.75miles or 1.2 kilometers.

The map is of an urban neighborhood within the City of Chicago. Buidling footprints are shaded gray. Public streets are symbolized by white lines, and railroad tracks bound the Monument District to the West and East. Interstate 94, a major highway, is visible on the eastern edge of the map. Orange shapes symbolize the key historic buildings within the monument district.


Based on a Chicago city map, the wayfinding map is a portion of an urban neighborhood called Pullman.  It is used to identify key historic and visitor destination sites within Pullman National Monument boundaries. The top of the map is north. Streets are symbolized by white lines.  Railroad tracks bound the monument district on the West and East. Interstate 94, a major highway, is on the eastern edge of the map. The Pullman National Monument area is shaded light green and the Pullman State Historic site is shaded dark green. All of the sites are located within the boundaries of the Pullman National Historic Landmark District symbolized by a gold border. Orange shapes mark the key buildings within the monument district. The tan background depicts urban areas which are not within any monument boundaries.

The map is oriented vertically from north to south for twelve blocks.  The northern boundary of the monument starts at 103rd street and stretches south to 115th street at the bottom of the map.  The western edge of the national monument is along South Cottage Grove Avenue.  Just west of Cottage Grove Avenue is the public railroad tracks.  The eastern edge of the park boundary are railroad tracks that extended north and south beyond the map. The map spans approximately one and a half miles from north to south or 2.4 kilometers. From east to west, the map spans approximately 0.75 miles or 1.2 kilometers. The main east-west streets from north to south are East 103rd Street, East 111th Street, and East 115th Street. The main north-south street is South Cottage Grove Avenue to the west. Each city block is 1/8th of a mile, or 200 meters in length, and 100 meters wide from east to west.

The legend, located near the center right of the map, denotes essential information. Shown first is the scale bar. Two inches is equal to 400 meters, or 0.25 miles. Below that are symbols for the Parking and Public Transit Metro train stops, which are denoted through the use of a capitalized P and M, respectively. Then, key buildings symbolized in orange, the boundaries of the Pullman National Monument symbolized in light green, the boundaries of the Pullman State Historic Site symbolized in dark green, and the boundaries of the Pullman National Historic Landmark District symbolized by a gold border.

Pullman State Historic Site is located north of 111th Street and includes the National Park Service Visitor Center, which is within the Administration Clock Tower Building. Also found within this area of the Pullman State Historic Site are the Front Erecting Shops, the Rear Erecting Shops, and public parking facilities. The entrance to the Parking Lot is found off of 111th street, at 610 East 111th Street.

Pullman State Historic Site also includes the Hotel Florence, which sits just south of 111th Street, directly across the street from the factory grounds. Pullman Park is located just west of Hotel Florence at the southeast corner of East 111th and South St. Lawrence Avenue. The Pullman House Project Welcome Center is located directly east of Hotel Florence, on the corner of South St. Lawrence and East 111th Street. Further South of Hotel Florence is The Historic Pullman Foundation Pullman Exhibit Hall and Arcade Park, both of which border East 112th Street.

Moving eastward from Cottage Grove Avenue along East 112th Street, one will find the Pullman Stables, the Greenstone Church, and Market Hall. The Pullman Stables are directly South of the Pullman Exhibit Hall, on the corner of South Cottage Grove Avenue and East 112th Street. To the East of the Pullman Stables is Greenstone Church and Market Hall. Within this area there is housing. Nearly all of the housing within the Pullman National Monument boundary is historic worker housing, but it is privately owned. The footprints of privately-owned buildings within the Monument boundary are shaded in gray on the map.

One block north of the Front Erecting Shops, the Historic Pullman Fire Station can be found on the south side of 108th street. On the corner of East 104th Street and South Maryland Avenue is the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum. The Pullman Wheelworks, which is a private residence, is located to the east of the Porter Museum.

Four Metra rail stops are located along the Western side of the Monument, alongside Cottage Grove Avenue. The northernmost Metra stop is at 103rd street. The stop is called Rosemoor/103rd. Heading south along South Cottage Grove Avenue, the next stop is found at 107th street. Further south, at East 111th street, is the Metra stop called Pullman/111th.The southernmost Metro stop along South Cottage Grove Avenue is located at East 115th Street.


Pullman National Monument is a historic district with many destinations within its boundary. Explore the monument on your own or through programs, tours, exhibits, and media offered by the National Park Service and its partners.

Thank you for respecting the many private homes and buildings in the historic Pullman neighborhood.

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TEXT: Partner Information

Bielenberg Foundation

Historic Pullman Foundation

National A. Philip Randolph 
Pullman Porter Museum

Pullman State Historic Site

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OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure

The back of the brochure includes content on the town of Pullman built in the 1880s and the manufacturing center that was built along with it. It also includes information on the Pullman company’s workers and the manufacturing process.

The images displayed include a mix of historic photographs, illustrated scenes and photos of archival material and artifacts. An illustrated, horizontal map of the town of Pullman that shows a section of its buildings commands the middle side of the brochure.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Strictly Business

IMAGE and TEXT: Strictly Business section image

DESCRIBING: A black and white portrait photograph.

SYNOPSIS: A small, square, black and white portrait of a middle-aged, white man, George Pullman.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: This small photograph is a portrait of George Pullman. There is a hazy, fadeout along the photograph’s edges. Pullman is in the foreground against a muted, light-gray background. He is fair-skinned with dark eyes and thick eyebrows. He has a distinctive white, full goatee beard, but is clean shaven on the jowls and the sides of his cheeks. His short gray hair is parted on the right side of his head and styled close to his head. Pullman is intensely gazing to the left. He wears a white collared shirt with a cravat underneath a dark suit jacket with wide lapels. 

CAPTION: George Pullman excelled at moving and raising buildings along the Chicago lakeshore in the 1850s. He saw opportunity in the rapidly growing city.



“Let it once be proved that enterprises of this kind are sage and profitable and we shall see great manufacturing corporations developing similar enterprises, and thus a new era will be introduced in the history of labor.”—George Pullman, 1867. 

George Pullman built his company and town according to the principle of “scientific planning” in a rational, orderly manner. The same tools and machines used in the first industrial shops to manufacture rail cars were used to build workers’ houses. The use of capital to build houses was a “strict investment” on which shareholders received a 6 percent profit. The beauty and amenities of the town would result in “elevated and refined” employees. As a result, residents would refrain from consuming alcohol, swearing, or striking.

A writer for Harpers Weekly appreciated the cohesive town plan, but criticized its overly restrictive management and the lack of residents’ participation in town affairs: “The idea of Pullman is un-American… It is benevolent, well-wishing feudalism, which desires the happiness of the people, but in such a way as shall please the authorities.”

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IMAGE and TEXT: Order, Precision, and Power - People Walking

IMAGE and TEXT: Order, Precision, and Power - People Walking section image

DESCRIBING: A horizontal, rectangular, black and white photograph

SYNOPSIS: A large group of workers stream away from the South Gate into an open walkway.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: This photograph captures the movement of workers as they leave the factory for lunch.  In front of the factory gate, there is a wide plaza with one road leading to the left. A large group of male workers walk away from the factory gate towards the viewer. They wear dark colored clothing that is loose and baggy. The jackets fall below their hips. Mixed within the group of factory workers are administrative employees with dark suits and ties. They wear a variety of hats - bowler, straw, wool flat caps, and more. The front most factory workers look off to the left. An administrative employee grasps and reads a newspaper while walking. They all are intently walking to their next stop. On the road leading to the left, a horse and carriage are waiting. 

In the foreground across the bottom of the image, there is a patch of grass enclosed by stanchions with a loose, swooping chain connecting the poles that are waist height. A small boy rests in the grass, while staring intently at the viewer. His legs are outstretched while sitting upright. Walking to the left, a blurred man turns his head towards the viewer. 

 In the background a long one-story building spans the entire image. This building has multiple doorways and windows and is covered by a sloped roof. Fences on either side of the building demarcate the space. Behind this building in the hazy distance is a taller, brick building with an ornate roofline and curved windows. Branches of a tree reach into the right side of the photo above the buildings. The top of the photo fades, by design, into the brochure.

On the bottom left, in handwritten capital letters it reads, "Pullman gate noon hour."

CAPTION: The South Gate at noon, undated. It was only a short walk from the factory gate to the workers’ housing, which had varied amenities and rental rates. Rent did not include use of the Pullman Public Library. Patrons paid a fee to use it.



In the Administration Clock Tower Building, natural light from tall windows filled the central area where designers, engineers, and administrative staff worked. In two flanking wings, skilled artisans finished train cars.

The layout was intended to save time and unnecessary movement. A visiting economist enthused, “the planning of these workshops is remarkable… Tiny little locomotives are running along the lines which are built in the spaces between the various workshops … Everything is done in order and with precision; one feels that each effort is calculated to yield its maximum effect, that no blow of a hammer, or turn of a wheel, is made without cause.”

The Corliss Engine, which powered the car shops’ machinery, could be seen by people traveling on the Illinois Central Railroad as it passed Pullman. It was displayed in a building with plate-glass windows. The exhaust water discharged to an artificial lake in front of the shops, where it cooled. Lake Vista also functioned as a landscaping feature.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Order, Precision, and Power - Painting

IMAGE and TEXT: Order, Precision, and Power - Painting section image

DESCRIBING: A horizontal, rectangular color illustration of various factory workers

SYNOPSIS: Five stylized painted scenes of different factory workers span across the background of the image. In the foreground, a draftsman works on blueprints at a large drafting table.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: In the foreground of the illustration, there is a fair skinned man with his back to the viewer, bent over a dark brown drafting table. He wears a bright yellow shirt with the sleeves rolled up at his elbows, tucked into brown pants, with a tan belt. He has short brown hair. The artist uses contrasting colors of brown and green to highlight the folds and drapes in his shirt. His left shoulder is hitched up higher than his right as he leans towards the table. The drafting table is in the bottom third of the photo, spanning the entire length of the illustration and has clean crisp edges. Ocean-colored blueprints with pale linear markings are spread out on the table. On the left side, a long, right-angle ruler stretches from the left edge of the table to where the man is working. The colors of the man and the drafting table are brighter, and sharper compared to the background images.  

In the top two-thirds of the image, five scenes of workers tell a story. The colors in these scenes are more subdued and are in gray and amber tones. The workers are wearing typical factory clothes including overalls with shirts underneath, gloves, and for some, protective eyewear. They have broad, tall frames and visible muscles in their necks or forearms. 

Moving from left to right, the first worker is in profile, facing towards the center of the painting. He plants his legs apart and leans forwards as he presses a nail gun, stabilized between both hands, into a wall. He has a closely shaved head and wears glasses. The wall behind him has a grid like pattern at the top and a sheet of metal with rivets at the bottom. This scene is in shades of gray. 

The second worker from the left is a welder and he is facing the viewer. He wears a heavy apron and welding mask. He leans his head down as he holds welding tools working over a bright flame. The flame casts bright light on the front of his mask. Just over his right shoulder, there are two large gears in the background. This scene is in shades of amber and gold. 

The worker in the middle is seen from the back. He holds a lighted tool in his right hand and shines it up towards the ceiling. This worker has a mask that covers his nose and mouth. This scene is in shades of gray. 

The next worker, second from the right, is in profile. He faces toward the center of the painting and has his gloved hands on a horizontal bar that rotates a large machine. In the background towards the left, a large pot tips forward with bright liquid pouring out. In the far background, light passes through a grid-like pattern inside the window panes. This scene is in shades of amber and gold. 

The final worker on the far right is seen from the back. He leans forward with left arm outstretched to operate a large machine in front of him. He has tightly cropped hair and wears safety glasses. This scene is in shades of grey. 

Along the top edge of the painting, a banner reads, "Pullman Facts No. 4." Along the bottom edge, a banner reads, "Building a Pullman car." The text is in gold capital letters set against an earthy brown background in an Art Deco style font. 

CAPTION: Building a Pullman car, ca. 1930


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IMAGE and TEXT: The Pullman Neighborhood - Group of people sitting on front stoop

IMAGE and TEXT: The Pullman Neighborhood - Group of people sitting on front stoop section image

DESCRIBING: A nearly square black and white photograph.

SYNOPSIS: In this black and white photograph, two families sit on the front porches of their homes. The family on the left sits side by side on the steps and includes two adults and 7 children. On the right, a couple sits together on the adjacent front porch. 


This black and white photograph captures two fair-skinned families sitting on the porches of their brick homes. The homes share a wall and a front lawn in the middle. 

On the left, seven steps lead up to a covered porch. There is a heavy veil of creeping vines that hangs from the porch’s roofline. Two women and seven children sit together on the top two steps. The young girl furthest on the left wears a long sleeve white dress with a ribbon in her hair. The boy next to and behind her wears a round straw hat, white long sleeve blouse, an ascot, and dark trousers and boots. The girl that sits next to him also wears a round straw hat with a dark strip underneath the brim. Her hair blonde hair peeks out from underneath her hat. She also wears a white long sleeve dress. The girl next to her wears a floppy, dark colored hat and has a braid that rests on her shoulder. She wears a white dress with long sleeves similar to the other girls and her dark boots show resting on the porch stairs. 

The two adults and remaining three children sit on the other side of a dividing porch wooden railing. A young woman with neatly tied back dark hair looks down at the child to her left. She wears a dark bow, a horizontally striped long sleeve blouse, and a dark skirt that brushes the wooden steps. The small girl to her left looks forward, her head tilted and mouth agape. She wears pigtails, a white long sleeve dress, and dark stockings and shoes. The second adult sits next to her and has a similar appearance to the first woman, but her blouse instead has a diamond striped pattern. The smallest child sits in her lap wearing a white gown or dress. The last child, a boy, sits on the outer porch railing propping his feet against the front post. He wears a gray soft hat, a long sleeve green top, gray knee length shorts, and dark stockings and boots. 

The grassy lawn in between the two homes leads up to a three-sided bay window that separates the two porches. On the second porch on the right, three adults sit for the photo. An old man with white mutton chop bear sits on the upper railing of the porch turned three quarters of the way towards the camera. Next to him, an older woman sits in a porch chair with just her top half visible. She wears her dark hair pulled back and a long sleeve white blouse. The final person, a woman, also sits in a porch chair with just her top half visible. Her hair is also dark and pulled back and she wears a long sleeve dark patterned blouse. 

CAPTION: Unidentified family on their front steps in Pullman. 

CREDIT: Chicago History Museum


The company’s dual role as employer and landlord changed after George Pullman’s death in 1897. By 1909 most houses in Pullman were privately owned, and buyers were not required to work at Pullman. Some purchased homes from former employees who lost their jobs when the company switched from wood to steel car construction. The city of Chicago absorbed the town. Through the 1940s, as car and air travel increased, the Pullman workforce grew smaller. The company built its last rail car in 1981, for Amtrak.

Today, people of different ages, races, and occupations live in the historic Pullman neighborhood, which public and private organizations help preserve and interpret.

Private ownership of homes transformed the company town to a neighborhood.

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IMAGE and TEXT: The Pullman Neighborhood - Children Sitting Under a Tree

IMAGE and TEXT: The Pullman Neighborhood - Children Sitting Under a Tree section image

DESCRIBING: A black-and-white, rectangular photograph

SYNOPSIS: A black-and-white photograph of three small children standing in front of Pullman homes. Neatly organized trees, manicured lawn space, and well-kept rowhomes are present in the background.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: In the foreground, at the bottom right corner of the frame, three small, fair skinned children stand beside a tree. The children appear relaxed and at play. The two children to the left are likely boys, dressed in loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts, breeches, and long, dark stockings. Their hair is cropped short. The child to the right, standing slightly further away from the pair, is likely a girl, wearing a long, white dress. She wears her hair in a short bob, with shortened, straight bangs.

The children stand in a parkway that is neatly lined with trees of varying size and what appears to be manicured grass. The children stand close to a tall tree, to the right of the trio. The tree extends out of frame. The parkway space separates a roadway, seen at the left of the image, from the sidewalk and homes, occupying the right of the image.

At the children’s feet, between the two rightmost children, is a sewer grate. Behind the boy at the center is what appears to be a large stone, perhaps the object that drew the children to play in this location.

Behind the tree is a black streetlight, with an ornate, diamond shaped fixture. Past the streetlight is a sidewalk, which runs in front of a row of Pullman homes. The sidewalk is protected by a fencing of posts and some sort of cabling, likely chain or rope. The white sidewalk is remarkably clean, free of detritus.

The row houses are made of brick and have many windows. Though the houses run closely together and are clearly aesthetically united, each home has its own unique characteristics. The home closest to the children, and most visible in the image, has a small lawn space in front of it, home to a small shrub. This front lawn is separated from the sidewalk by a wood fence.

CAPTION: Children playing in front of homes on Erickson (now Maryland) Avenue. Both photos undated.


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IMAGE and TEXT: Promoting Pullman - Coin

IMAGE and TEXT: Promoting Pullman - Coin section image

DESCRIBING: One side of a round silver-colored metal coin approximately one inch wide 

SYNOPSIS: Image of one side of a round, silver-colored metal coin approximately one inch wide. In a narrow rim around the outer circumference of the coin face is the text “Worlds Columbian Exposition.” There is an image in the plain center of the coin of a lone figure of a man standing on a pedestal top. The man is leaning on a globe on a pedestal and is holding a piece of paper in his other hand. 

IN-DEPT DESCRIPTION: A round, silver-colored metal commemorative coin approximately one inch wide. In a narrow rim around the outer circumference of the coin face is the text “Worlds Columbian Exposition” arched over the top. The bottom rim has the words “Chicago 1892 to 93” printed on it. The center background of the coin shows a statue of Christopher Columbus standing on a square pedestal top. We see him looking directly forward. His left arm and hand are casually resting on a globe that is displayed on a stand. The four-footed ornate wood stand and globe reach Columbus’ waist. The image on the globe is of the America’s. Extending from Columbus right hand is an unfurling scroll of paper that has unreadable text on it. Columbus has check length long hair swept away from his face with a prominent and slightly balding forehead. He is dressed in an armor breast plate, puffy cloth shorts that end at his upper thigh, leggings, and soft shoes. Underneath the breast plate he is wearing a long-sleeved shirt with a collar of thick stiff ruffles surrounding his neck. The shirt has long puffy sleeves with three gathers conforming around his arms and end in a soft ruffle at the wrist. The clothing style is common for the late 1400s.   

CAPTION:  Commemorative coin for the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition.



Idealizing illustrations about Pullman appeared in ads and national and international newspapers and magazines. Reports from the 1890s often mentioned the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. George Pullman donated funds and served as a board member. The exposition celebrated all that was modern, new, and innovative—like Pullman.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Promoting Pullman - City illustration

IMAGE and TEXT: Promoting Pullman - City illustration section image

DESCRIBING: A historical panoramic illustrated map

SYNOPSIS: This panoramic image spans the breadth of the entire brochure and depicts the manufacturing ground and portions of the historic district as it originally existed. Moving from left to right, which is north to south, the sepia-toned artistic rendering shows an active manufacturing complex, with smoke billowing from several smokestacks, bordered by parklike features. All of the buildings are in the Queen-Anne architectural style, featuring peaked rooflines and arched windows or bays. At the bottom edge of the illustration, a black steam locomotive pulls two white and six red railcars toward the Depot on the right.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: This panoramic bird’s eye view of a portion of the historic Pullman district includes manufacturing sites, utilities, public spaces for worship and shopping, green spaces, and residential areas. From this viewpoint, the district has an orderly, planned appearance with all buildings constructed in a similar architectural style.  The town, lake vista, and opposite shoreline is in the bottom half of the illustration. The top half is a cloudless pale blue sky. 

Along the top of the image, the sky meets the pale blue waters of Lake Calumet. On the opposite shore, wispy clouds hang above a hilly tree-lined shore. 

On the far left, we see three main buildings. In the front is the Allen Paper Wheel Company, a wide two-story structure with neat rows of arched windows and peaked roofs on either end. The center of the structure is three stories tall. The roof is punctuated with smokestacks. Behind the Allen Paper Wheel Company are the Rolling Mill and Round House. The Rolling Mill is a single-story building with several smokestacks. The Round House is a crescent shaped building with seven arched bays. 

Just south of the Allen Paper Wheel Company is a collection of manufacturing buildings, the Blacksmith, the Machine Shops, and the Corliss Engine Shop. The colonnade-style Water Tower juts out from behind the Machine Shops, dwarfing the buildings around it. A prominent smokestack extends from the rear of the Corliss Engine Shop. A massive block of Rear Car Shops lies adjacent to the Corliss Engine Shop, extending all the way to the edge of the manufacturing grounds. Beyond the shops, we see rows of railcars ready for dispersal. 

At the center of the illustration stands the three-story Administration Clock Tower Building with a bright American flag perched atop a spire and flanked by single-story Front Car Shops. The Clock Tower rises above the roofline. Lake Vista, a man-made lake, shimmers in the foreground, bordered by trees and a curving landscape. 

A wide street separates the factory grounds from the residential buildings. In front of a small, circular garden, a two-story Railroad Depot greets the pedestrians, who stroll toward the town while a horse and carriage head toward the factory. The wide road leads to the Gas Works which is on the lake’s edge. The Gas Works is a relatively smaller single story building with arched windows. The largest section of the building has a high apex roof surrounded by several equally tall chimneys. 

The grand Hotel Florence lies just south of the factory complex, its inviting veranda welcomes guests to the picturesque town. The south end of the veranda looks out upon the imposing Arcade, a three-story building, by far the largest in the town. A stately stable building sits at the edge of the illustration. Just behind the Arcade, the steeple of the Greenstone Church rises above, rivaling the height of the Clock Tower. A large round stained glass rose window adorns the main entrance. 

In the distance, the two-story Market Hall sits amidst the workers’ row homes. The right corner of the illustration shows orderly rows of homes. The homes are single, two- and three-story buildings constructed in a simpler architectural style compared to the more ornate public buildings. The row homes enclose large open courtyards with trees peppered throughout.

Moving towards the lower right of the image, a prominent wide archway is visible on the front center of a long stable. In the front right corner, a large section of grass is bordered by bushes and four tall trees. 

Adding some contrast to this otherwise sepia-toned image, two bright American flags fly over the Arcade and the Clock Tower. At the bottom left edge of the illustration, a black steam locomotive pulls two white and six red railcars toward the Depot and its passengers on the right.

CAPTION: Visitors marveled at the Arcade, with 30 stores under one roof. 


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IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Map

IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Map section image

DESCRIBING: A color map of the United States.

SYNOPSIS: Pictured is a map of only the United States, with state boundaries, and the many railroad tracks that connect the country. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A map of the United States is shown with the webbing of railroad tracks that connect the lower contiguous 48 states. The map is tan, the state boundaries are thin gray lines, and the railroad tracks are shown as bright orange, which stands out starkly against the background. Pullman National Monument is in a green callout box, which points to its location in the Chicago area. The map conveys a sense of centrality of Pullman National Monument within the rail system, a major connector for not only the Midwest, but for the United States as a whole. 

CAPTION: US railroad network, ca. 1916.


Pullman staff who provided on-board service lived around the country. African Americans made up nearly 40 percent of the Pullman workforce in the early 1900s. All followed detailed car-service rules published by the company.

“While the Pullman porters helped push forward our rights to vote and to work, and to live as equals, their legacy goes beyond even that. These men and women gave their children and grandchildren opportunities they never had.”—President Barack Obama, 2015.

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IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Porters

IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Porters section image

DESCRIBING: A square black and white photograph

SYNOPSIS: In this photo, a group of ten male Pullman employees stand in an angled line on a train platform that is lined with decorative columns and an ornate roof. Pictured are a Conductor along with Attendants and Porters. Each man wears the uniform of his station and an accompanying black railman's cap with a shiny black brim and gold metal plate indicating his job title. Behind the row of men, running the full length of the photograph, is a dark colored train car with windows along the top half of the whole length of the car. To the right of the row of men is a small portion of a dark-colored steel train car and the railroad ties under the track on which it sits.

IN DEPTH DESCRIPTION:   As the line composed of one Pullman Conductor, two Pullman Attendants, and seven Pullman Porters angles from right to left, the feet of the men come closer to the edge of the concrete train platform.

The fair-skinned conductor stands on the far left of the group of attendants and African American porters. The conductor, who supervises the attendants and porters, wears a dark two-piece suit with brass buttons, a dark tie, white shirt, and well polished dark dress shoes. He also wears a black Conductor's cap with a flat circular top and a short, shiny black brim.  In addition, just above the brim is a gold braid with a knot on each end attached around a brass button on both sides. Above the gold braid is a gold colored metal plate with black writing stating, "Pullman Conductor."

The porters and attendants stand to the right of their Conductor. They all wear the same style of black cap as the Conductor except with their own titles written on the metal plates.  All but one of the attendants and porters also have the gold braid attached to their hats.  The attendants and porters all wear dark trousers and dark dress shoes, some more worn than others.  The attendants wear black bowties and white jackets with mandarin collars and white buttons.  The porters wear white jackets with mandarin collars and black buttons along with straight ties with only the knot of the tie visible at the top center of the jacket.

One of the attendants and all of the porters are African Americans with varying complexions. The second attendant is of Asian descent. The conductor and most of the these men are smiling. A couple of the men have neutral expressions.

The concrete train platform on which the men stand has an ornate dark colored roof and is supported by three light colored Ionic columns with narrow evenly-spaced grooves along the length of the column and detailed symmetrical scrollwork carved at the top.

Behind the row of men, running the full length of the photograph, is a dark colored steel train car with a sleek design. It has a decorative long oval frame surrounding all the windows. The windows run along the top half of the entire length of the railcar. To the right of the row of men is a small portion of a dark-colored steel train car. There is a bed of gravel under the dark railroad ties on which the rails sit.

CAPTION: Pullman conductor, attendants, and porters.


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IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Group Photo

IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Group Photo section image

DESCRIBING: A vertical rectangular black and white photograph 

SYNOPSIS: A casual black and white photograph of an African American family, Porter William Warren, his wife, and three children standing outside a door of a home on a porch. On the left top step stands Mr. Warren in his Pullman Porter uniform. At the right appears to be his wife in a dress. In front of the parents on the next step below is a young daughter in a dress, an older adolescent brother in a three-piece suit, and an older teenage sister in a blouse and skirt. Mr. and Mrs. Warren are smiling at the photographer, while the children are not.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A casual black and white photograph of porter William Warren, his wife, and three children standing on a wooden porch and steps outside of a home. The African American family is standing in front of what appears to be an open door that has a closed screen door visible. A shadow from a roof overhang is cast over the doorway. The white building has narrow horizontal clapboard siding. 

Mr. Warren stands to the left of the screen door in his Pullman Porter uniform. He wears the dark Pullman porter cap with visor squarely on his head, with the large shiny “porter” name plate visible. His white collar barely shows under his dark porter suit coat with five shining buttons. He is smiling at the photographer. 

Across the step to the right of the doorway, stands his wife. She is also smiling. Her dark cheek-length hair has a left side part and is set in gentle waves. She is wearing a dark shiny shirtwaist dress with white stockings and dark shoes with a thin strap. 

On the step below the parents stand the three children. On the left below her father is the youngest girl. Her short black hair is cut into a bob, parted on her left side. She gazes forward with a neutral expression. She is wearing a light colored long-sleeve dress with a simple rounded collar. Her hands are clasped in front of her, and she has on white stockings.

In the middle of the step is the adolescent brother. He has close kept dark hair and a slight grin on his face. He is wearing a light-colored three-piece suit with white shirt and dark tie, his jacket unbuttoned. The chain of a pocket watch dangles from his pleated trousers below his vest. His left shoulder is pulled back with his left arm bent at the elbow and left hand resting at his waist. 

The older daughter stands on the right side of the image, below her mother. Her dark hair is also cut in a short bob. She is looking forward with a neutral expression. She is wearing a light colored long-sleeve collared blouse that hangs over her flounced knee-length skirt. Her hands are loosely clasped in front of her. Her legs are bare, as she is not wearing white stockings like her mother and sister.

CAPTION: Porter William Warren and family, Fort Worth, Texas, ca. 1930.


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IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Porter's Hat

IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Porter's Hat section image

DESCRIBING: A small image of a Pullman Porter cap.

SYNOPSIS: An image of a Pullman Porter uniform hat. The boundaries of the image are the hat itself.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A Pullman Porter uniform cap, angled slightly to the right. The cap has a stiff, very dark navy colored fabric crown and a black plastic or leather visor. Metal buttons are on both sides of the cap where the visor meets the crown, the right buttons being just barely exposed due to the angle of the cap. The buttons are silver colored, and a cream-colored corded strap connects both buttons and rests on the visor. The corded strap is knotted on both sides.

A tarnished silver colored plate at the front center of the cap has black lettering that reads “PULLMAN PORTER.” A black metal grommet is found in the top of the hat, above the plate.

CAPTION: Porter’s hat 


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IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Name Card

IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Name Card section image

DESCRIBING: A small, color photograph of a name identification card

SYNOPSIS: Pictured is a small, color photograph of a Pullman Porter's name identification card

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A Pullman Porter Name Card was used to identify who was serving the car. The small, black, rectangular card features cream colored text. The text on the card reads "This Car Served By T. McCord, Porter, The Pullman Company."

CAPTION: Porter’s name card.


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IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Red Book

IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Red Book section image

DESCRIBING: A photograph of a rule book.

SYNOPSIS: The front cover of a dark red book, just big enough to fit in a pocket, titled “Pullman’s Palace Car Company. Car-Service Rules 1893”.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A dark red book, just big enough to fit in a pocket. The book has worn edges along its sides, has small pieces of white paper that peek out on the right, and a bit of the binding coming loose on the left. It has been well used. The title is in slightly faded yellow lettering. The first line of the title reads “Pullman’s Palace Car Company”. Below the first line is a dividing yellow line. The second line of the title is “Car-Service Rules”. In slightly larger writing the year “1893” is typed.

CAPTION: Car-service rule book.


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IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Application for employment

IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - Application for employment section image

DESCRIBING: A photo of an application for employment form that fades out towards the bottom of the photo. 

SYNOPSIS: The image is the top third of a Pullman company form titled “Application for Employment.” There are pre-typed boxes and lines where responses are recorded written in ink in cursive. It includes information about the applicant Mary Louise Penn who is 29 years old and from Livingston Kentucky. She is seeking employment as a maid. Her included photograph is of a light skinned woman with dark cheek length hair, dark eyes and a neutral expression. She is wearing a short-sleeved top with a fancy collar/scarf and long beads around her neck.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The image is the top third of a Pullman company form titled “Application for Employment.” There are pre-typed boxes and lines where responses are recorded in cursive ink. On the right top the date is completed as April 24, 1928. The name of the applicant is Mary Louise Penn, and her address is 420 W. 46th Street Apartment 1. The position desired is maid. 

To the right of this text box is an added black and white photograph of Mary Lousie Penn. It shows her from the chest up. She appears to be light-skinned, has black check-length hair set in waves with a left side-part. She has a neutral expression with her lips closed. She is wearing a short-sleeved top with a rounded lace collar or scarf. She has a long string of beads that look like pearls around her neck that are knotted at the sternum. 

The information at line 4 shares that she is 29 years old, her birthday is June 29th, 1899, and she was born in Livingston, Kentucky. The image begins to fade at this point and the following lines become difficult to see. The bottom of the image blends into the background text.

CAPTION: Mary Louise Penn’s employment application, 1928.


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IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - People in Overalls

IMAGE and TEXT: A Railroad Nation - People in Overalls section image

DESCRIBING: A horizontal black and white historical photograph

SYNOPSIS: A black and white 1939 photograph shows a group of twelve white men closely huddled together in an industrial site. The men fill almost all of the frame. Many are smiling at the camera. Most of the men wear full overalls while a few wear what appear to be thick cotton trousers and light-colored shirts. A large train wheel is found on the right-hand side of the image. It appears to be made out of metal and sits in front of a large industrial building which has 6 windows varying in size and shape. Through the windows, large machinery is visible but indistinct.

IN DEPTH DESCRIPTION – A group of eleven white men stand closely huddled together in an industrial site. Nine of the men stand in a staggered row. In front of them, two men crouch down on one knee. They all assume generally relaxed poses, and most are smiling at the camera. 

Scanning the photo from left to right, the first man wears newsboy cap, white button-down shirt, dark belt and thick trousers. His right-hand hangs casually at his side, clasping a pair of gloves. To his left stands a man also wearing a newsboy cap, a collared white shirt, and coveralls. He has both hands stuffed into his pockets and he appears to be leaning back slightly. The next man wears a similar outfit. His left shoulder droops down as he leans toward the man on his left. Between these two men, we see only the head of a man peaking out from behind the group. He wears a brimmed hat, slightly cocked to his left, and smirks at the camera. 

The fifth man in the standing row also wears coveralls and a collared shirt. He does not wear a hat. He has dark hair combed to the side. He squints a little in the sun and appears to have his right hand resting on the shoulder of the man on his right. In front of him, a man crouches down on one foot, squarely facing the camera. He wears a white collared shirt, tie, and coveralls. He rests his left arm on his knee. Both hands loosely hold a hat in front of him. He grins, squinting, at the camera.

The sixth man in the standing row wears a light-colored cap, white collared shirt partially unbuttoned and dark trousers. He has a determined gaze. The seventh man in coveralls wears a white short-brimmed hat. His arms hang at his side. In his left hand, he delicately holds a pair of glasses. 

The eighth man in the standing row wears a light jacket, white shirt and dark trousers. He leans against what looks like a large piece of machinery. He peers out from behind his dusty short-brimmed hat, which sits at a slant on his head. The last man in the standing row wears a newsboy cap, medium-toned collared shirt and coveralls. His left arm is somewhat akimbo as he grasps the edge of his coveralls. In front of him is a man in a light newsboy cap, light collared shirt and coveralls. He crouches on his left leg, resting his arms on each knee. His body faces the left side of the frame while his head is turned toward the camera.

 CAPTION: Pullman mechanics at repair shops, Richmond, California, 1939.


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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

The National Park Service partners with private organizations and public agencies to share Pullman’s history. As people throughout the world continue to seek equality and opportunity, Pullman’s stories resonate.

The new NPS Visitor Center is universally accessible and has many features for people with varying abilities. The exhibits were developed following universal design principles, with no barriers and include audio, visual, and tactile components.

We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all; call for more information (773) 468-9310 or our web page on accessibility within the park at https://www.nps.gov/pull/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm. The website includes information on:

On-site parking lot with accessible parking spots

Wheelchair available for on-site use

Audio Description devices available

Braille Pullman Unigrid brochure available

ADA-compliant restrooms

Infant changing tables in all restrooms

Benches inside and outside for rest

The National Park Service  Visitors Center at the Clock Tower has no stairs or ramps and the first floor is accessible at grade. The veranda of Hotel Florence is accessible via ramp on the south side of the building.

Four public rail line stops for the Metra Electric commuter line are located on the western edge of Pullman National Monument. They include 103rd Rosemoore, 107th, 111th Pullman, and 115th Kensington. Of these, only the 115th Kensington stop is ADA accessible with an elevator. All Metra Electric cars are accessible.

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OVERVIEW: More Information

Emergencies call 911

For firearms regulations check the park website.

ADDRESS: 11001 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL 60628

PHONE NUMBER: 773-468-9310

EMAIL: PULL_visitorinfo@nps.gov

WEBSITE: www.nps.gov/pull

Pullman National Monument is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks, visit www.nps.gov.

National Park Foundation.
Join the park community.

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