The strike erupted following harsh measures by George Pullman to recoup his profits following the economic depression caused by the Panic of The Pullman strike spread across the nation and was suppressed by federal troops. But everything came at a cost.
See Article History Alternative Title: George Mortimer Pullman George M. Early life and career Pullman was the third of 10 children born to James and Emily Pullman.
His specialty was moving structures out of the way of the canal with jackscrews and a device he patented in The pullman strike When he died inGeorge Pullman took over the business, winning a contract with the state of New York the following year to move some 20 buildings from the path of the Erie Canal.
In Pullman opened a similar business in Chicagowhere much help was needed in raising buildings above the Lake Michigan flood plain, in part to facilitate the installation of a modern sewerage system.
As Pullman realized, however, the city would have less need of his services as new buildings were erected with better foundations. After exploring several possibilities, he decided on the manufacture and leasing of railroad cars. The American railroad system at that time was The pullman strike enormously.
He himself frequently used railroads in pursuit of business but did not enjoy the experience. Regular cars were uncomfortable and dirty, and sleeping cars, which were then just beginning to appear, were unsatisfactory, with cramped beds and inadequate ventilation.
In partnership with Benjamin Fielda friend and former New York state senator, he decided to build a better sleeper, one that was not only comfortable but also luxurious, and he persuaded the Chicago, Alton and St. Louis Railroad to allow him to convert two of its cars. Debuted in Augustthe Pullman sleepers were an immediate success.
Some reviews compared them to steamboat cabins and declared them to be the most-luxurious way to travel. Pullman also briefly caught the gold fever then spreading through the country in He relocated to Colorado, where he quickly realized that a profitable business could be made in catering to the needs of miners.
He and a group of partners soon opened Cold Spring Ranch in Central City, which became popular with miners needing a meal, a bed, and supplies. Pullman returned to Chicago in the s and, like most wealthy men, hired a replacement to serve in his stead in the Civil War — He devoted his time to expanding his business, introducing new and even-more-luxurious train sleepers.
It contained folding upper berths and seat cushions that could be extended to make lower berths. In the partnership between Pullman and Field was dissolved, and Pullman became president of the newly launched Pullman Palace Car Company.
The company grew steadily during the next two decades.
The company also manufactured and sold freight, passenger, refrigerator, street, and elevated cars. The town, inaugurated on January 1,was not a municipality in the normal sense: The 1, original structures included housing for workers, shopping areas, churches, theatres, parks, and a library.
Pullman believed that the country air and the fine facilities—as well as the absence of labour agitators, saloons, and red-light districts—would produce a happy and loyal workforce. What enthusiasts failed to see was that Pullman was little more than a company town and that George Pullman ruled it like a feudal lord.
The housing within it reflected the social hierarchy of the workforce. Freestanding homes were for executives, row houses for skilled or at least senior workers, tenements for unskilled workers, and rooming houses for common labourers.
George Pullman prohibited independent newspaperspublic speeches, town meetings, or open discussion.
The churches often stood empty because approved Protestant denominations would not pay the high rent, and no other congregations were allowed. Pullman, who founded the town to house his employees; in the Newberry Library, Chicago. As pleasant as the town might have been, however, Pullman expected it to make money.
On payday he issued workers who lived in the town two checks, one for the rent and the other for the balance of the wages. A paymaster delivered the checks with a rent collector in tow, and workers were required to immediately endorse and hand back the rent check.
Nor did he reduce the rents or the prices of goods and utilities in Pullman. For those who lived in the town, wages beyond rent had been barely enough to live on even in prosperous times; now there was hardly anything left afterward.
When a grievance committee of workers attempted to meet with Pullman, he had them all fired. Debsfor help. After Pullman refused arbitration of the dispute, Debs called for a nationwide boycott of Pullman cars.The strike was an intensely bitter battle between workers and company management, as well as between two major characters, George Pullman, owner of the company making railroad passenger cars, and Eugene V.
Debs, leader of the American Railway Union. The Pullman Strike of was a milestone in American labor history, as the widespread strike by railroad workers brought business to a standstill until the federal government took unprecedented action to .
The Pullman Strike of threatened an entire nation with social and economic upheaval. Describing both its immediate results in business and its far-reaching effects on trade unionism, the author treats the dramatic story of the strike no as an isolated conflict, but as a culminating explosion in labor-capital relations.5/5(1).
The Pullman strike—also known as the Chicago strike, Pullman boycott, Debs Revolution, or the American Railway Union strike—was the most dramatic U.S. labor challenge to the power of capital in the s.
A local strike that expanded into a national boycott and strike, it . Oct 15, · George M. Pullman: Biography of George M. Pullman, U.S. industrialist and inventor of the Pullman sleeping car, a luxurious railroad coach.
In workers at his Pullman’s Palace Car Company initiated the Pullman Strike. Learn about Pullman’s accomplishments, the town he built for his workers, and the significance of the strike.
Pullman Strike: Pullman Strike, in U.S. history, railroad strike and boycott that severely disrupted rail traffic in the Midwest in June and July of The federal government’s response to the unrest marked the first time that an injunction was used to break a strike.
Read more about the strike and its significance.