Interview With W.W. Eisenhart

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Woodrow Wilson Eisenhart

Mr. Eisenhart worked for the Pullman Company for 40 years. He was interviewed by Frank Beberdick from December 17, 2001 to March 8, 2002.

March 15, 2002, Woodrow 'Woody' Wilson Eisenhart, Oak Lawn, IL. Interviewed by Frank H. Beberdick from December 17, 2001 to March 8, 2002. Tapes No. 1 - 3

F. Woody, when and where were you born?

W. On October 6, 1912 in Sunbury, PA.

F. Did you go to high school or college?

W. I graduated from high school in 1929. After that I took correspondence courses from Pennsylvania State College and Bucknell College. These were courses in history, lumber and physics. After high school I worked one summer in the Pennsylvania Railroad roundhouse as a laborer in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. This was as a general laborer on steam locomotive repair.

F. Why did you come to Chicago?

W. I used to visit my aunt who lived in Shamokin, PA. My aunt said that a nice girl from Chicago, Mary Barbara Vedral, visited her aunt in the summertime. This aunt lived across the street from my aunt. My aunt said that she would introduce us on her next visit. Well, my aunt did introduce us on her next visit and I found her tall and good looking. In two weeks time we became better acquainted and she said at the end of her visit: If I can get you a job at Pullman-Standard would you come to Chicago? I said: I suppose so. About six moths later I got a phone call on a Monday night; the date was March 15, 1937, two days before St. Patrick's Day. I left Sunbury on a Pennsylvania Railroad train on March 17th and arrived at the Englewood Station on the 18th where my future wife met me.

F. What happened after you arrived in Chicago?

W. Mary took me down to Father Jones' house on 108th and Forest Avenue in Roseland. The address was 10735 Forest Avenue. He was the priest of All Saints Episcopal Church located at 111th and Indiana Avenue. He was a good friend ofF.B. Baker, whom later was to become vice president of purchasing. Father Jones took me to the purchasing department of Pullman-Standard and they took me to a man by the name of Hoffmeyer. From there we went to the office of Mr. Baker and I was introduced to him. He said take this man to the employment office and hire him right away. My next stop was at the doctor's office for a physical, and an eye exam. In those days they had a dentist and I was given a dental exam. I was finished at about 3:00 PM and I was told to go back and see Mr. Fred

W. Hoffmeyer. He said that tomorrow was Friday and that the plant does not work on Saturday so come in Monday. He said to go to the gate on 111th Street at Champlain Avenue across from Frigo's Tavern. I was to go through the gate and walk across the transfer table to Bldg. 12. There I was to ask for Russ Kruger. I didn't even know what a transfer table was. This all happened on the 18th of March. This is how I hired into the steel division ? Steel Stores, Store E. The various stores were called A, B, C, D, E, F, etc.

F. Did you have any problem finding your way to Mr. Kruger?

W. No. I approached a man in the general area and he asked if I was Woodrow Eisenhart and I replied yes. He said he was Russ Kruger and he would take me to my work area. He took me to Bldg. 52 and introduced me to Percy Harvey, the foreman in Steel Stores at that time. Bldg. 52 was located along the south side of the boiler room. Russ Kruger was a sharp man and later went to Shop C as a foreman and he later left the company to take a political job.

F. Where was the medical department located?

W. On 108th Street between the fire house and Cottage Grove Avenue and inside the company fence. There were two doctors there, two nurses and a clerk. One of the doctors was Dr. Such and the head nurse was Miss Anderson. There was also dentist on certain days of the week. When the plant was working nights a nurse would be on duty. The medical department lasted until the 1960s and the building was torn down then.

F. Were the working conditions good or bad in Bldg. 52?

W. The building had no heat and it was cold in there in the winter. I said to myself what the hell did I get into? The next season they installed a heating system. Mr. Reed came in later and said - I put heat in this building and I don't want to see the doors open. I said: Mr. Reed I need to open the doors to get material in and out. He said OK but otherwise keep the doors closed we don't want to lose any heat. Everyone was afraid of the supervisors. I recall that the paint building, Building 5, was heated and had no ventilation. The painters wore face-masks to reduce the danger of inhaling the paint. At that time there were no environmental concerns like today. Bldg. 5 was across the transfer table from Bldg. 3, the building that burned down in 1998. The paint operation lasted in Building 5 until the startup of Building 100 around 1940. In Building 100 the paint operation was located in the northwest corner.

F. What date did you leave the company?

W. March 3, 1977. I had 40 years of service.

F. Over the years that you worked for the company did you always work in Steel Stores?

W. Yes.

F. What was your job title when you hired in?

W. Steel handler ? laborer. I handled the steel for the steel cabinet shop.

F. Last week you mentioned that you had an interesting boss ? a Jack Springe. Would you tell me about him?

W. Jack Springe was the supervisor of the forge shop. He had such a terrible temper that he had a stroke while on the job there. He was off of work for a year and a half and was still being paid by the company during this time. After a time he got a job at Gately's Department Store up on Michigan Avenue. The plant manager paid a visit to Gately's and saw Jack there and said that if he did not come back to work he would be fired. Jack came back and became my boss in the Steel Stores department. His office was in Bldg. 8 at 109th Street. There were five or six clerks in this office and the head clerk was Karl Seder whom, it seems, could never do anything correctly. Jack would chew him out often and do it in front of the whole office force. Jack's father was a physician with an office in Roseland.

F. When you retried from Pullman-Standard what was your job title?

W. General Steel Storekeeper.

F. After you came to Chicago did you always work for Pullman-Standard or did you work for any other companies?

W. At the end of 1937 the car orders became very slow and a group of us were laid off for about six weeks during November and December. I obtained a job at Marshall Fields during that time. I worked from 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM collecting charge checks from various locations in the store. I would take these to the office and clerks would determine if the customer had good credit. At that time Marshall Field had a north side warehouse and a south side warehouse. Company trucks were dispatched from these points to the customers' homes with items that had been ordered. If it was determined that the credit rating was not acceptable a clerk would crank in the item number in a teleautergraf (sp.?) machine to the warehouse and the item would not be delivered. There was one machine for each warehouse. They looked something like the old wall-mounted old-time oak cased telephones with a side crank. While working at Fields I noticed that coal was delivered after midnight for their heating plant through sidewalk doors on the Wabash Avenue side underneath the Elevated.

F. What was the ethnic makeup of the workforce from 1937 to the start of WWII?

W. The largest group was Italian, next came the Swedes and then Germans.

F. Woody, would you give me an idea of your job duties?

W. Steel came in from the steel mills in gondola cars and we unloaded the 5-ton bundles of this material in the steel yard at 108th Street on ruble cars, a 4-wheel standard gage vehicle. I don't know why it was called a ruble car. This car had roller bearings and was easy to push when empty. The other car that we used was called a common car. It had plain bearings and was hard to push. The transfer table would then move the ruble car, or common the car, with its load to our track at the steel storage building. This was Building 52, called the furniture steel shed. We would then get a tractor to push the car off the transfer table and into the building. Inside Bldg. 52 were small circular turntables that were used to turn the ruble car to designated sites for the particular bundle. One time we pushed the car and could not stop it and it went through the east wall and five tons of steel flew off the car. Outside of the building the car upended. All of us almost got fired over this. If the bundles had water or snow on them we would let them drain overnight. The next day we would cut off the bands, unwrap the bundles and put the steel sheet in piles. The next thing that we would do would be to put the scrap paper and bands on the ruble cars and push the car outside and dispose of the scrap material. The steel used to be piled flat, one bundle arranged on top of the other. One day I said to Mr. Harvey, Percy Harvey, he was the foreman in charge there: what do you do when you take inventory? He said: well, we get down on our knees and pray (describing the method of counting the 20-sheet bundles by kneeling on the floor). Well I said: Mr. Harvey you are the boss here and I am just a laborer; why can't we do something like this here (Woody described by gesture his proposal). Mr. Harvey said: what? And I said: why don't we put the first bundle on the floor and the next bundle on top of that but offset it about two inches. The 3rd bundle would have its edge in line with the 1st sheet and so on through 20 5-ton bundles. Now you have 20 bundles of 20 sheets each giving a total of 400 sheets. The top bundle would have to be counted because some of the sheets may have been removed to go to the shop.

F. Did the foreman accept the idea?

W. Yes he said: that's all right with me, that's a good idea. James Harvey, the son of Percy, was the first car works employee to die in WWII.

F. So the end result was that at inventory time the job could be completed sooner.

W. Yes.

F. How many employees worked in the steel storage department?

W. Including the crane operators and hook-ons we had about 40 employees. Other storage areas carried such as nuts, bolts, grab handles, glass, and those sorts of things. These other locations would have been A, B, C, D, etc.

F. When did you marry?

W. On July 3, 1937 Mary and I went to Du Page County to obtain a marriage license. We had to go out of Cook County because my wife worked in the county at Libby McNeil Libby and married women by company policy were not allowed on the payroll. One week later we went to Elmhurst and were married in the Episcopal Church there by the pastor of the Episcopal Church at 111th Street and Indiana Avenue here in Chicago. I recall that the church was filled with flowers from a wedding on the previous day. The wedding was for a rich 75-year old man and a 35-year old woman. The pastor had asked that couple if they would leave the flowers for our wedding and he said: sure! sure! I never did find out the name of the couple so that I could send them a thank-you note. Libby's policy was later changed to permit the hiring of married women.

F. When did your wife die?

W. She died on January 21st 1989. I married a second time on May 2, 1992 to Sharon Rayfield.

F. Were you satisfied with your retirement income and did you think it fair?

W. Not really, I thought that I should have more.

F. At the time that you retired did you belong to the union?

W. No, I was part of supervision.

F. Was there a union at Pullman-Standard when you hired in?

W. Yes, it was called the Pullman 20 Year Service Club. I never joined it and was never asked to join. The man that was in charge of this organization was Johnny Watts and he was a cocky arrogant Englishman. He ran the shoe department; that is, he sold safety shoes to the workers. But I never joined the Pullman 20 Year Club. Many men did, a lot of the old timers. They were almost forced to join and were even threatened that they would lose their job if they did not join.

F. So essentially it was a company union?

W. Yes. Around 1937 they had big meeting there and they came in with the CIO; it was the steel workers' union.

F. And that union lasted up to the time that the shop closed?

W. Yes. I think that the union number was Local 1834 of the U.S.W.A., but I am not sure.

F. How was scrap metal handled at the plant?

W. The site where Bldg. 100 was constructed had a scrap yard about two blocks long and a traveling crane operated over this area. Metal was separated by kind such as brass, stainless steel, aluminum, etc. This was generally sold by the freight car load or truckload to scrap dealers. It was the practice to ship out iron and steel scrap by the carload. High-grade scrap such as stainless steel and aluminum was sold by the truckload. For many years Pete Wagner was in charge of this operation and he had an on-site office. When Bldg. 100 was constructed the yard was then relocated west of the Pullman Railroad tracks about halfway between 104th and 108th Streets. The Purchasing group, located at the main office on Michigan Avenue and Adams Street, headed the scrap operation. The scrap operation was in charge of Melvin Bock who was working for the company when I hired in. At that time he had an office in the clock tower building but later moved to Michigan Avenue. Melvin retired around 1972 after he had become the vice-president of Purchasing. He had a brother who worked in the engineering department as a draftsman.

F. Was the high-grade scrap sold by weight or by the truckload?

W. We had a scale to weigh the trucks carrying high-grad scrap. Our scale broke down and it was not repaired. After that time we sent the trucks toW.D. Young Cartage located south of 115th Street west of the Sherwin-Williams plant and close to 116th and 117th Streets.

F. You mentioned earlier that Frigo's Tavern was located on 111th Street. Do you know anything about the interesting buildings on 111th Street?

W. Frigo's Tavern was at Number 605 on the southwest corner of 111th and Champlain Avenue. In the old days it was the office and residence of Dr. McLean, the company physician. The Frigo family also took in boarders. A building extension, for their business, had been built on the corner of the building. That extension was torn down, probably in 1977 or 1978.

F. What were the house addresses that you were at during your time at Pullman-Standard?

W. I first had room and board with Father Jones and Family at 10735 Forest Avenue. This was in Roseland. Next I lived in an apartment at 10855 Vernon Avenue for 15 years. We then moved in 1953 to 243 E. 113th Street. I sold this building and moved to Oak Lawn on June 13th of 2000. At the Vernon Avenue furnished apartments we paid $10.50 cash per week payable on Saturdays. The rent was paid directly to the owner - Ernest Keppler.

F. Woody, how did you get to work.

W. I generally walked. On Vernon Avenue I would walk east past Cottage Grove and enter the plant gate at 109th Street. There was also a gate on 108th Street just east of Cottage Grove or the gate on 111th Street. When I lived on 113th Street a man by the name of Bill Nelson picked me up in the morning and after work drove me home. Bill lived in Blue Island. If I had to work late I would walk home, as the distance from Bldg. 100 to 113th Street was not too great. Bldg. 100 is now the Ryerson Steel warehouse and is located to the northwest of the Pullman Bank. The Pullman Bank moved from their old location on 111th and Martin Luther King Drive to a new building on 111th Street during the first half of the 1970s. Before the street was renamed it was called South Park Avenue.

F. During the 1930s were surplus wooden cars burned on the property?

W. They were burned in the Calumet shop area. The fires were started about 4:00 AM and continued until maybe the evening. At 7:00 AM, going to work, we could see the black smoke coming from that direction. Nobody paid any attention. There were never any complaints about the smell or the smoke. Sometimes it went on for 24 hours a day.

F. What happened to the scrap steel and iron after the burnings were complete?

W. This material was sold to scrap dealers.

F. Was there any shop activity during the early part of the depression?

W. I understand that in 1931 when the shops were completely closed, about 100 to 150 men were called in and they started to install air conditioning in the cars. They worked three days a week on this order from the Pullman Co. At the Calumet shops maintenance work was done on the cars all through the depression. In the later 1930s some men transferred from Pullman Co. to Pullman-Standard and vice versa. This way the company, depending on work available, was able to keep the most experienced workers.

F. Did you attend any of the churches in the Pullman area?

W. I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in my home town in July of 1933. In Chicago I was a member of the Episcopal Church located at 111th Street and Indiana Avenue. At that time it was a basement church. A few of us volunteered to keep the area clean. As I was tall I could walk along the side of the building and remove the leaves from the gutter with my hands. The total membership was about 35. The pastor of the church was Father Walter

F. Hayward and he was paid $125.00 per month. He was not married and lived at the YMCA just west of Michigan Avenue on 111th Street. East of the YMCA, on the same side of the street, I recall that there was a drug store called Schmid & Lofgren and on the corner of 111th and Michigan there was a tobacco shop. The tobacco shop had a large red sign that spelled out 'Prefecto Garcia Cigars.' This may have been one of the last of these cigars signs in Chicago.

F. Where did the Bldg. 100 employees park their cars?

W. Cars would be parked by permit alongside the east side of the building. There was a road off of 111th Street along the building which gave access to the parking lot. A large stretch of land was available south of Bldg. 100 for parking.

F. When was Bldg. 100 constructed?

W. I think that it was around 1940. There were old shacks in the area but I don't know what they were used for. They were all torn down when construction started. My job location changed to this building shortly after it went into operation. A short time later, Store E, used for steel storage, was built on the north side of 100; probably during 1941. This was really an extension of the original Building 100. My office was on the east side in this building about 2/3 the way down.

F. What did Pullman-Standard produce in Bldg. 100?

W. This building was use for passenger car construction. My steel stores activity was in the north end of the building. Here we had a 10-ton overhead crane to move the material as required. Then came the fabricating section that had shears, presses, rollers, punch presses, straightners, etc. Next was a welding area. The middle section was one bay wide and that was the width necessary to hold the passenger cars during erection. The building width was three bays, each 90 feet wide. The transfer table was located outside and provided the means to move cars out of the building and be prepared for the customer. The erection section had a heavy overhead crane that had the capacity to lift a Pullman car. In this section the car would be laid out and the under frame constructed. In this position the bottom components would be attached such as piping, brake controls, electrical conduit, etc. Chains would be attached to the under frame and the crane would lift it and it would be turned right side up. In this horizontal position the flooring would be started. Side panels and car ends would be attached next. Steel weldments ranging in thickness from ? inch to 5/8 inches would make up the car ends. After this operation the car would be lifted by the crane and moved to the truck area and the car lowered slowly to the trucks. During this operation there would be a man on the floor at the end of the down-coming car and they would signal the crane operator on moving the car and also to indicate the correct lowering speed. These would be men like Charlie Bradshaw, Jim Emory and fellows like that. As the car was just above the trucks the king pin would be inserted in the truck bolster and the final drop would be made. [Ed. Note. The bolster was the heavy beam section bearing the car weight that would be transferred to the wheels. The king pin, a piece of steel about 2 inches in diameter and 12 inches long, would center the car with the bolster and this permitted the car to move with respect to the trucks/wheels when the train would be turning on a curve.]

F. Were freight cars built in Bldg. 100?

W. The only time that freight cars were in this building was when some refrigerator cars arrived to have their trucks changed to those of high-speed design.

F. Was there a cafeteria in Bldg. 100?

W. No, but coffee machines were located in the various areas of this plant. In the morning a milkman came in and you could line up to buy milk.

F. Woody, please tell me about the photograph that I am using as a cover sheet for this oral history.

W. This 1975 photo was taken in the interior of Bldg. 100. In back of the group is a Davenport gas-electric switching locomotive on a truck that is ready for shipment to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL. Pullman-Standard donated this small industrial locomotive to the museum. The man on the left is Robert Bretz of the car works, the second man is Nick Kallas from the Illinois Railway Museum, third is Dennis Daugherty of the car works, fourth is Jerry O'Brien of the car works, fifth is me, and I do not recall the sixth man's name but I think that he was from the museum.

F. Were freight cars produced at 103rd Street?

W. Freight cars were produced at 103rd Street prior to my working for the company. At 103rd Street C-47 wing sections were made during WWII for the Army Air Corps.

F. Was the 103rd Street Shop used for any other purpose?

W. During the depression Pullman-Standard bought about a $10 million inventory of steel to help out the steel mills. This was done because of an interlocking directorship between Pullman-Standard and U.S. Steel. This steel was stored at 103rd Street. During one winter the skylights started to leak snow and rain because of lack of maintenance; even the roof was starting to fall in. About 10-12 men had to unpack the steel bundles, clean off the sheets with an abrasive brush to remove the rust. We then coated them with oil and repacked the bundles. Around 1939-1940 the company started to sell off this inventory and car after car was loaded and moved out of the plant for shipment elsewhere. We shipped out about two to three cars per day for two months.

F. Was steel removed from this site for production?

W. We removed material from this site to the steel shop at 111th and Cottage Grove for production needs. This was Bldg. 3. It had been built around 1908-1910 as an erecting shop. This was the building that had to be demolished because of the 1998 fire. During the summer season under frames would be fabricated in this building and then moved to the transfer table. The transfer table would then move them to a site where erection would continue outside. The warm weather made this type of operation possible. Of course, winter production was always inside Bldg. 3. Even so, the building had no heat. Cars were being produced in this building when I hired in during 1937.

F. What was the north wing of this building used for? That is, the shop directly north of the administration building.

W. Originally, it was an erecting shop. When I came with the company in 1937 part of it next to the clock tower building was office space; beyond that, sub assemblies were made. At the north end of the building was the personnel office. In this area, south of personnel, was also located the template shop. Drawings were made by the engineering department for the shop. The templates were then made in this shop for use in the production operation. I think that the template operation was under the jurisdiction of Engineering. The templates were made from galvanized sheet steel. After a car order was complete the templates would be stored in a building east of the clock tower for possible future car orders. Mostly Scots worked in the template shop.

F. Did the 103rd plant have a separate boiler plant?

W. They had a separate boiler house on the east side of the main plant. I think that this still stands today.

F. Were cars produced in the south erecting shop towards the end of the depression?

W. Yes but not at 103rd Street. This building was used for storage only.

F. Was there a cafeteria in the plant at 111th and Cottage Grove where you could buy lunch or were there small vendors' trucks or wagons parked near the plant that would supply food and drink?

W. No cafeteria in this plant but there were small trucks parked near the plant where sandwiches and coffee could be purchased. You could go out from 1200 to 1230. This period was later extended to 45 minutes. The salaried people had one hour for lunch.

F. When you came to the plant in 1937 were three shifts operating?

W. No.

F. So the only workers on three shifts would be the boiler house, the power plant and the security men at the gates?

W. Yes. There were also rounds-men, two for each shift. They would check all buildings and they used a watchman's clock.

F. When you hired in during 1937 did the plant generate its own power?

W. Yes.

F. Was compressed air furnished from one location?

W. Yes. I think it came from the boiler house.

F. Describe any utility tunnels.

W. From the power plant area there was a big tunnel that you could enter by going down a ladder and walk north. It ran to the 104th Street shops. It had a large steam pipe, maybe three feet in diameter, supplying steam to those shops. I don't know if the tunnel extended north under 103rd Street to the 103rd Street shops.

F. Was there enough room to stand in the tunnel?

W. Yes and I remember that there were rats in the tunnel.

F. Do you know if the tunnel was finally filled in?

W. No.

F. How was refuse handled?

W. At the 104th Street shops we had an incinerator with a tall stack. All day long 6 or 7 trash buggies were pulled, coupled together, to the incinerator.

F. In your job did you ever deal with anyone in the main office at Michigan and Adams?

W. No, only local people.

F. Was it possible to purchase surplus material from the company?

W. Not from Pullman-Standard but it was possible to purchase material and items from the Pullman Co. at the Calumet shops. That office chair (pointing it out) was purchased for $15. You could buy any surplus items used on Pullman cars such as linen, blankets, china, silverware, etc. You could also buy surplus material such as pipe, linoleum, etc. Today, some of the Pullman houses still have this linoleum used in entranceways. On the cars this heavy material was used on the floors of the vestibules. I bought a chair for $5.00 that was used in the heavyweight sleeper bedrooms. This type of chair was also used in the ladies restroom. It didn't pay to steal stuff!

F. Sure, fellows tried to steal and when they were caught they lost their jobs. I used to tell the fellows not to steal. I said if they wanted anything to come to me and we would get an application to purchase.

F. How many people were in the engineering department?

W. About 50. This department was made up of graduate engineers, draftsman, clerks and estimators. When I came with the company the engineering department was on the 3rd floor of the main office on Cottage Grove. Most of the people in this department were Swedes, Germans, Englishmen and Scots. After I hired in a new engineering office was constructed on Cottage Grove at 109th Street where Sherwin-Williams used to be. I understand that the Salem Baptist Church recently purchased this building along with the parking lot from Sherwin-Williams.

F. Did you deal with the engineering department?

W. Yes, after I became a foreman. For example, when they issued a bill of material I would look for surplus material from another job if we did not have all of the order in stock. I would also see if there could be substitutions. I would then go to engineering to see if this would be acceptable. This would in some cases save us from using new material or having the purchasing department place an order with a steel mill. We wanted to utilize as much of the existing stock as possible.

F. Were any of the steel suppliers better than others?

W. U.S. Steel supplied the best quality steel. Whenever I had a quality problem I would call Dick Smitt at the LaSalle Street office of U.S. Steel and he would pay a visit. Dick was a Purdue graduate metallurgist and would take care of the problem. We would usually go out to lunch when he made a plant visit.

F. Do you recall any of the names of the people that you dealt with in engineering?

W. George Gustafson. The people in charge of engineering were a kind of arrogant group of individuals. Some were of brilliant mind, some were intelligent, and others weren't as far as I was concerned. The engineers had private offices facing west towards Cottage Grove Avenue. The draftsmen faced windows on the east side of the building. I don't recall many of the names anymore.

F. Did Pullman-Standard make all car parts or was material purchased from outside vendors?

W. The company purchased items that could be secured at lower cost compared to having them produced within the plant. These included light fixtures, kitchen equipment for diners, car window shades, generators, air hoses, etc. They purchased from suppliers the material used to assemble car trucks such as springs, bolsters, side frames, bearings, etc. The equalizers for the trucks were made in our forge shop. Glass was purchased from Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. and used in car window fabrication.

F. Do you have any information on the town sewage system?

W. The sewers were rebuilt around 1910. The contractor was William Hales of the Hales Construction Company. He always had the sewer work in the town and in the shops. [Ed. Note: The sewers were probably rebuilt after the sewage farm was closed]. The son of William Hales, Bill Hales, was a good friend of mine. Bill Hales lived at 116th Street and Wallace Avenue in West Pullman. Bill married Eda Van Steenberg who was the daughter of a carpenter-contractor. This contractor built a lot of houses in Roseland.

F. When you came to Chicago did you hear of any organized gambling at the Hotel Florence?

W. I heard that a lot of money could be lost at the hotel over a weekend. I did not gamble or drink so I really can't say first hand if this activity went on.

F. Were there any brothels in Pullman?

W. Not to my knowledge.

F. Do you know if the hotel restaurant was used for company business meetings?

W. I think that company luncheon meetings were held at the hotel especially for out of town Pullman employees. There were no good restaurants up on Michigan Avenue, only holes in wall ? mostly Greek restaurants.

F. Did the estimators have a special office area within the engineering building?

W. Yes. I knew the chief estimator; his name was Clarence Poole. The estimators had an office enclosure within the building with an open top. Windows were around the sides of this office and it had an entrance door. There were about 10 estimators in that office. Clarence Poole lived at 11131 St. Lawrence Avenue with his mother-in-law, Mrs. Schwartz. She ran a sort of boarding house where breakfast, lunch and dinner could be had. No live-in boarders lived in the building; only Mrs. Schwartz and her daughter and son-in-la

W. Clarence married the only daughter of Mrs. Schwartz. Mrs. Schwartz came from Detroit years ago after she had worked at the Detroit shops. She also ran a boarding house in Detroit. On St. Lawrence Avenue she catered only to professionals such as doctors, teachers and high-priced executives that came in for meals. Here is photo showing Clarence Poole. [Ed. Note: Woody is showing me a photograph taken at the Swiss Chalet Club/Restaurant in the Bismarck Hotel in Chicago. See below]. Helene Hockney was the daughter of the former manager of the Pullman Arcade Theatre, Harold Mounday was the manager of the Richmond, California Pullman Co. shops. Photo taken at the Bismarck Hotel June 16, 1949. Left to right: Clarence H. Poole, Jr., Helene Hockeny, Woodrow Eisenhart, Ellen Poole, Harold Mounday, and Mary Eisenhart. More…

F. During WWII was it necessary to have a security clearance to enter the engineering building?

W. During the war those employees that had business with engineering had to have special colored badges to enter the building. Those employees also had a gray marker stripe on their white hats. I was cleared to go in this building and anywhere in the plant because I was in charge of the steel department. At the southeast corner of the building there was a guard at the door and he would press a button to release the electric lock on the door for you to go in.

F. What was the position of George Gustfson?

W. George was the chief engineer. He gave his secretary, Evelyn Danielson, a lot of surplus material such as documents, photos, drawings, bound company magazines, etc. George took early retirement while he was still at the engineering office on Cottage Grove Avenue. When Evelyn died her will specified that this material was to go to me. This is the material that I gave you for the Newberry Library. Another chief engineer was William Vander Slys, a graduate of Stephens Technological Institute in Hoboken NJ. He came with the company around 1950 and retired about 1980. At first he had an office in Bldg. 100 and then moved to the main office downtown.

F. As I understand the organization, there were two engineering departments, one responsible for the design of passenger cars and the other responsible for plant maintenance, construction, utilities and power production.

W. This is correct. The plant engineering office was located across the street and west of Bldg. 52 and east of the boiler house. This was part of the PL & M, or Power, Light & Machinery department. There were 7 or 8 employees working in this office. Their maintenance group consisted of mechanics, millwrights, electricians, pipefitters, etc.

F. What were the jobs of the people in the plant engineer's office?

W. There was an engineer in charge. I don't recall his name but he had beautiful white hair and was soft spoken. When you went to his office to talk over a problem he would have you sit down and a good discussion followed; he didn't think that you were a dummy. He would sometimes walk over to the steel shed, Bldg. 52, and visit for a few minutes. The others in his office were clerks and supervisors.

F. Was the plant engineer there when you started to work for Pullman?

W. Yes, he had been there for maybe 35 years. I recall that he wore beautiful ties and shirts. Sometimes when he walked around the plant his tie would be blowing over his shoulder by the wind. He wore a nice Panama hat in the summertime. He was a gentleman and a good engineer.

F. When he retired who took his place?

W. No one. At that time the company was in decline.

F. Were the engineers working in both departments of the company graduates of any particular university?

W. Most of them came from Purdue University.

F. Was there an emergency crew in the plant?

W. When the fire whistle blew certain foremen would go to the location of the fire. The whistle was coded for the fire location. The foremen had lists that indicated the code and location.

F. Did the plant have a fire truck?

W. No. The Chicago Fire Department had a firehouse on 108th Street east of Cottage Grove. Fire alarm pull-boxes around the plant alerted the 108th Street firehouse. I recall that this firehouse was heated by steam from our plant.

F. When was the 108th Street fire house closed?

W. It was in operation in 1937 when I came with the company. I would guess that it was shut down in the 1960s.

F. Did the company sponsor outside activities such as softball, bowling, Christmas parties, etc?

W. They only sponsored a Christmas party for the children. This was held in the Knights of Pythis Hall (KP Hall) located on the east side of Michigan Avenue between 111th and 112th Streets. This was a two or three story building and they had a large hall for dining and dancing.

F. Did the company sponsor picnics in the summertime?

W. Company picnics were held in Michigan City, Indiana near the lake shoreline. A special New York Central Railroad train would be at the 115th Street station to take the workers and their families to Michigan City. The train would bring the people back to 115th Street at the end of the picnic.

F. Was the picnic for the whole plant or just for the certain departments.

W. For everyone in the plant.

F. Did the managers, engineers and superintendents have an association or club?

W. Yes. They had the Pullman Club on 111th Street and St. Lawrence Avenue. They were pretty exclusive.

F. When did the club cease operation?

W. Probably in the 1960s.

F. You mentioned sometime ago that Pullman-Standard did not issue passes for travel on the railroads.

W. Pullman-Standard employees could not get passes for train travel. The Pullman Co. did issue passes for their employees that were good for travel on Pullman sleepers if space was available. It was necessary for the Pullman Co. employee to pay half of the railroad fare in this situation. If the employee could reserve space in advance of the trip it was likely that he would have no problem.

F. Was there a difference in accommodations on Pullman sleepers between Pullman Co. management and the ordinary employee?

W. Management could have a bedroom or drawing room on the sleeper while the ordinary employee could only reserve an upper or lower birth.

F. When I moved to Pullman in 1975 there was a small channel a short distance north of the Pullman Bank building. Apparently it originated in Lake Calumet. Do you have any idea what the purpose of the channel was?

W. No.

F. How many steam locomotives did the company have for shifting cars around the plant?

W. Three steam locomotives. A shed with three tracks was located at 104th Street and used for locomotive storage and maintenance. A road leading to 104th Street was located along the east side of the old forge shop and on the north side of this building was attached the shed for the shop locomotives. The building had large double doors that could be closed when a locomotive was on the inside. The last of the steam switch engines, two in number, were either sold or scrapped around 1960. The company then bought a diesel switcher that, I think, was built by the General Electric Co.

F. Where was the location of the Pullman Railroad shops?

W. A roundhouse was located near 111th Street close to Doty Avenue or the expressway. This building had five or six stalls for locomotive repair.

F. Why did the company have a railroad?

W. This railroad was used to move cars up to 95th Street to what was called Pullman Junction. From this point the cars would go to the customer. If the customer was the Pullman Company they could end up anywhere in the country. This line was also used to bring in material and freight to the shops. It was also used to bring cars to the Pullman Company Calumet shops. The Calumet shops extended from about 111th Street south to 115th Street and were east of the Pullman Railroad tracks and Langley Avenue. South of the Calumet Shops the railroad passed Sherwin-Williams Co., the Kensington Steel Co. and went as far as the Pullman shipbuilding yard. I think that it was in the late 1950s that the company sold the railroad to the Rock Island Railroad Co. We did not know anything about it until we saw a Rock Island train pass by the shops.

F. Were the tracks for the Pullman Railroad also used to take the fabricated ship sections from Bldg. 100 to the shipyard for erection?

W. Yes. 13 sections for each vessel were shipped by rail to the yard at 130th Street and Lake Calumet.

F. In 1937 was the Pullman Railroad still in operation?

W. Yes. The Pullman Railroad locomotives used to pick up cars or gondolas from the Illinois Central line at 115th Street. These cars were brought down from Randolph Street near Michigan Avenue. They carried garbage and refuse from Loop buildings. The garbage cars were filled from garbage trucks from the Loop area.

F. Did part of this refuse come from Loop buildings via the underground railroad that served many of the offices and department stores in the area?

W. I don't kno W.

F. What happened to the refuse after the Pullman Railroad picked up the cars at 115th Street?

W. These cars were brought through our yard. Everyone used to call this train the breakfast train. Well, the refuse cars were then taken to 104th Street where a spur headed to a landfill. The breakfast train would be moved to this spur and a man removed the nets from the top of each car. He was paid $3.00 per car for this job. I would not have done it for $300.00 per car. There were rats all over the area where the cars were dumped. The spur at the landfill had to be moved often to fill up the various areas. All of that ground east of the old 104th Street shops is landfill.

F. When you came to Pullman in 1937 were the transfer tables moved by a steam donkey engine?

W. No, by that time they had been converted to electric drive. A trolley pole collected power from an overhead trolley wire.

F. As part of your job were you required to go in the water tower?

W. Yes. I would go up to the 9th floor by elevator to get blueprints or bills of material when we had to fabricate obsolete sections or parts. Much of the paperwork went back to the 1890s. These prints and bills of material were stored all over the place. Some drawings were stored as vertical files on racks. There were old tables in the areas and drawings and photographs were piled high on them.

F. Was the building interior heated?

W. No heat was supplied.

F. Were their windows at the 9th floor level?

W. Only very small ones ? 3 or 4 feet high and 6 to 8 inches wide.

F. Who else went to the water tower to obtain old records?

W. Engineering would go there and occasionally the accounting department would go in the building. There were records stored on all floors. To go up in the water tower you had to ride in a rickety old elevator and you didn't know if you would get to the top safely. It would rattle and make noise and I felt that I was taking my life in my hands going up there. From the top floor there was a spiral steel stairway going around the water tank to the top. Across the top of the tank there were several greasy old planks. You could walk across these planks to the center and from this point there was a ladder leading to the top where there was a small house with windows. In there was a chair for a fire watchman whose job it was to look out over the shops and community. This was manned around the clock until about 1940 when fire alarms were installed in the various shop buildings. It's my understanding that the fire watch started when the plant started production in 1881 ? 1882. I climbed to the top of the tank one time with Dutch Schultz who worked for the accounting department. He had to get records from storage occasionally. The tank was filed with filthy water and debris and pigeon feathers to about three feet from the top. Pigeons were common in the area. I would never go up again as I don't like such heights. The watchmen who stood fire watch were part of the rounds-men who patrolled the plant at night.

F. Was any manufacturing done in the water tower at that time?

W. No.

F. Do you think that the elevator was original with this 1880s building?

W. I think that it was.

F. Was the elevator electrically driven?

W. Yes, although it may have originally been steam engine driven. [Ed. note: By 1850 steam and hydraulic elevators had been introduced to America. In 1903 Otis introduced a gearless electric drive elevator].

F. Was the building used for anything else?

W. The tank at the top of the tower was no longer used for fire protection. The capacity of the tank was 550,000 gallons. At the ground level there was an interior padlocked door leading to the basement. I always wanted to go down there because someone said that there were all kinds of pumps down there. I never saw or heard them. I heard that this basement went down two or three stories. No one was allowed in the basement and I never did see the basement [Ed. Note: Reciprocating steam pumps, located in this building, had been used, starting in 1880, to pump sewage from the shops and town to the sewage farm located south of 130th Street.]

F. Did Pullman-Standard make all car parts or was material purchased from outside vendors?

W. The company purchased items that could be secured at lower cost compared to having them produced within the plant. These included light fixtures, kitchen equipment for diners, car window shades, generators, air hoses, etc. They purchased from suppliers the material used to assemble car trucks such as springs, bolsters, side frames, bearings, etc. The equalizers for the trucks were made in our forge shop. Glass was purchased from Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. and used in car window fabrication.

F. Do you have any information on the town sewage system?

W. The sewers were rebuilt around 1910. The contractor was William Hales of the Hales Construction Company. He always had the sewer work in the town and in the shops. [Ed. Note: The sewers were probably rebuilt after the sewage farm was closed]. The son of William Hales, Bill Hales, was a good friend of mine. Bill Hales lived at 116th Street and Wallace Avenue in West Pullman. Bill married Eda Van Steenberg who was the daughter of a carpenter-contractor. This contractor built a lot of houses in Roseland.

F. Was it common to take in boarders?

W. Yes. I heard that most boarders lived on either Langley Avenue or Maryland Avenue. I did not know any boarders.

F. By WWII did most of the community residents own their own home?

W. Most of the residents owned their own homes. I think that the Italians were the largest group that owned their own homes.

F. In 1937 did any of the Pullman employees patronize the hotel bar?

W. Yes, anyone could drink at the hotel bar but very few did except some of the supervisors. It seemed that during the 1950s almost anyone went into the bar. There was also a two-seat barber shop in the hotel. It had rocking chairs and two large mirrors. During my time at the Car Works the shop was operated by a Dutchman named Dick Wibalda. Saturdays were very busy and often he would have another barber in to help take care of the customers. Many Pullman employees, including many from management and engineering patronized this shop. Many people in the community used this shop. Dick seemed to know everything about the car works. At the time that I used to go to the hotel for a haircut it costs 75 cents. I always gave Dick a dollar. I went to his funeral and he is buried in a cemetery south of Harvey. I think that the barber shop shut down around 1965.

F. What departments worked in the administration or clock tower building?

W. Engineering was on the third floor until about 1938 when the department was moved to the new engineering building on Cottage Grove at 109th Street. That space on the third floor stayed empty until Pullman sold the property. The purchasing department was on the first floor and the works manager was on the first floor. There was a long wooden east-west wall that made office space that extended into the north erection shop. When I walked by there occasionally I could hear men talking on the other side. I have no idea what this group did. The personnel office was at the north end of the north erecting shop.

F. How many people worked in the purchasing department?

W. About 40 people were there on the first floor. The head man was F.B. Baker, Franklin Benjamin Baker. He was transferred from the Pullman-Standard Michigan City, Indiana plant. The Michigan City plant was the old Haskell & Barker car building plant. Mr. Baker had a nice office on the first floor of the clock tower building with all of the conveniences including a toilet, shower and sink.

F. Where was the security office located?

W. Along side the transfer table and adjacent to the water tower.

F. Was the accounting department also in the administration building?

W. Yes. They were located on the second floor. The paymaster's office was also on that floor.

F. When you started with the company were you paid by check?

W. Yes. The department head would get the checks and give them to the foreman to pass out to the men.

F. Was there an automobile dealership in the stables?

W. I don't remember. I do remember that there was an auto repair shop/gasoline station there. I used to get my car repaired there.

F. Did the company store passenger cars on the Illinois Central tracks west of the plant?

W. No. The cars were stored either at a yard located at the 103rd Street plant or east of the shops located between 111th Street and 115th Street. These were the Calumet Shops.

F. How many cars could be stored in the Calumet Shop yards?

W. Probably about 100 cars. Many of the cars were not used in the winter season. In spring most would be taken out for tourist use on the western railroads. A number of cars would also be in storage waiting for repairs at the Calumet shops. This storage yard was fenced in and the 111th Street double gates were left open in order to shift cars in and out of there.

F. Earlier you mentioned that you and your wife took your mother on a train trip.

W. I brought my mother from Pennsylvania to Chicago for a visit. On the return trip we traveled in a Pullman heavyweight sleeper in a drawing room compartment. That is, three or four people could sleep in the drawing room; a drawing room was located at the end of each car. After the train departed from Chicago Union Station my wife, my mother and I went to the lounge car for a while. They retired early and walked forward to their car. I remained in the lounge talking with some men about Pullman. About 11:00 PM I returned to the drawing room and found my mother wide awake, fully clothed, and lying on her bed with her shoes of

F. The shoes were placed under the bed. I said mother: Why aren't you in your night gown and asleep by now, no one will see you in here. She said: Oh, I want to stay dressed and if we have a wreck I can grab my shoes and get out of here. When we got home she said: Woodrow, never take me by Pullman again. I want to be in a coach where I can sit up and talk to people and see people. My mother was a great talker. So after that I never had her come to or leave Chicago on a Pullman ? always a coach.

F. During WWII were you able to get a draft deferment because of the critical nature of your job?

W. Mr. Baker got me my deferment. Later he became vice-president of purchasing.

F. Describe the WWII Pullman-Standard shipbuilding division in Bldg. 100 and the shipyard on Lake Calumet. [Ed. Note: Bldg.100 is now used by Reyerson Steel Co. as a warehouse.]

W. There were 13 major subassemblies fabricated in Bldg. 100. They would be set on flat cars and secured with a jig. They would then go by rail, past the Sherwin-Williams plant, to the shipyard on the north side of 130th street. These sections would be place on the shipyard ways in the proper position and welded together to form the PCE vessel. These ships were launched sideways off the yard ways. [Ed. Note: The ways are the areas on the lake bank where the large ship sections were positioned and secured together prior to launching].

F. Was any small assembly done on the ship ways?

W. Piping, electric conduit, ship furnishings, engines, etc. were done either on the ways or completed once the ship had been launched.

F. How many people worked for the shipbuilding operation?

W. I would guess 300-500.

F. After the shipyard was shut down what was produced in Bldg. 100?

W. We went back in production building passenger cars. Some of the shipyard employees were kept on.

F. The only defense work in the Chicago Pullman plant was the shipbuilding division?

W. Yes. At the Hammond, Indiana plant, gun carriages and 155 mm shells were produced. I understand that army tanks were made in Hammond during WWII. The forge shop at the Chicago Works produced forgings for tank production in Hammond. During the Korean War, 90mm and 155mm shells were made here in Chicago at the old forge shop.

F. Would you describe the shell manufacturing operation?

W. The 155mm shells were made from 6 inch round cornered squares. The squares would be identified at the mill by heat numbers and stored in the yard by these numbers. These squares would be obtained from the steel yard on the south side of 108th Street. Two overhead cranes would move steel in and out of the yard. I would furnish Production Control a list of heat numbers available and they would give me a list of lot or heat numbers for a particular run and I would have my men lay the steel at the east end of the forge shop near a small door. These would be sawed into 13 + 1/8 inch lengths. Previously, production control would give me a list of what to draw out after I had given them a list of the lot numbers available in the storage yard at 108th Street. The 13 + 1/8 inch sections would then be cut to the exact size and then go to a furnace where they would be heated and elongated to 36 inches from their original 13 +1/8 inches. At this point a hole would be punched through the center of the section. After cooling they would go to either shop A or B for final machining. I think that we made 600,000 155mm shells and 200,000 90mm shells.

F. Was there any movement of employees between the Chicago, Michigan City and Hammond plants?

W. Only a few at the management level.

F. Did your work involve working with the Indiana plants?

W. The Hammond plant was like a small kingdom. They were so snotty, especially the foremen. I had some steel stored at this plant and I had to go over and tell one fellow to send some of the steel to Chicago. We had to order flat cars and large trucks and he would load them for the PCW (Pullman Car Works in Chicago). The fellow made it very difficult to get this simple job done. So I stated my business and walked out. I did not even walk around that shop. They were mostly Slovaks, Poles and Italians. They lived in their own world. They thought that you were going to take their jobs away from them.

F. Were you required to visit the main office on Michigan Avenue and Adams Street for business reasons?

W. No. I did visit that building several times just to look around. The ground level had a small Pullman company office where the public could obtain Pullman accommodations. I think that this building was torn down around 1953.

F. Were there any street cars built at Chicago while you worked for Pullman?

W. Street cars were built at the Massachusetts plant. Some had been built here years ago at the Calumet Shop location.

F. Were street cars used on Cottage Grove Avenue and St. Lawrence Avenue?

W. Yes. They ran on Cottage Grove to 115th Street, turned east on that street to St. Lawrence, went north to 111th, turned west to Cottage Grove and made the return trip going north. I think that the street car era in Chicago ended in the 1950s.

F. Did street cars operate on 111th Street and 115th Street?

W. Both streets. The one on 111th went east past the Hotel Florence, almost to St. Lawrence Avenue, stopped and reversed itself for the return trip under the Illinois Central overpass and west towards Michigan Avenue and points west in the city. The 115th line had a similar operation. It seemed that the 111th cars carried more people than those running on 115th.

F. Did the company produce any movies at the Chicago plant on car construction for training purposes?

W. Not to my knowledge.

F. Did you have any favorite leisure time activities?

W. For many years I would go to Orchestra Hall on Michigan Avenue for the Chicago Sunday Evening Club. They would have a 125-member choir that would perform for about an hour and after that a prominent speaker would present a 30 to 40 minute talk. These people could be politicians, church ministers, etc. Donations were accepted and I would give from one to five dollars depending on how flush I was. I would get there either by bus or by the Illinois Central Railroad commuter line. If I took the Illinois Central I would get off at the Randolph Street Station and go to Pixley & Ehlers restaurant located on the north side of Randolph Street at Michigan Avenue. You could get a delicious sweet roll and coffee for 35 cents there. This was part of a chain of Pixley & Ehlers restaurants in Chicago at that time.

F. How were students selected for entrance to Pullman Tech? [Ed. Note: The Pullman Free School of Manual Training was established from a bequest of $1,200,000 in the will of George M. Pullman to build and sustain ?a free school of manual training for the benefit of persons living or employed? there].

W. Grades were reviewed and the student and the parents were interviewed. My two sisters-in-law and my brother-in-law from my fist wife were graduates of this school ? Frances, Dorothy and Tony. My father-in-law, Frank Vedral, worked in the brass finishing shop.

F. Was Frank Vedral born in this country or in Europe?

W. He was born in Czechoslovakia. Frank had a speaking and reading knowledge of five languages. Acquaintances would have him translate letters from Czechoslovakia and he would also write letters for them to be mailed back to the old country.

F. Did most of the department managers come up through the ranks?

W. Yes. Engineers filled some of these positions. Harry Reed was the plant superintendent. He was not a college man. He used to work in the steel shop as a layout man. I also remember Jack Geddes, Jack Muldoon and Charlie Swing. Swing had the finishing shop and was the meanest man that ever lived on the face of the earth. He was the most arrogant man ever. He was a mean character. If he walked into a shop, say A, B, C etc. and saw a man getting something and that person stood around for a minute, Swing would go up to him and ask where he worked and what he was doing. That was the way that he talked to you, that was the way they were. I never had any use for him. I never had any use for him.

F. Would you say that was the general attitude of most of plant supervision?

W. Yes it was. Yes it was. You can see why the unions got in there.

F. Did any of management live in the community?

W. Most lived in Hyde Park, Flossmoor, or Blue Island.

F. Were the children of employees given preference in hiring?

W. Yes.

F. Could supervisors hire directly off the street?

W. No. It was necessary for them to go through the personnel department.

F. Did membership in any fraternal organization help a person to advance in the company? I am thinking of such organizations as the Moose, the Masons, the Elks, etc.

W. Membership in the Masons helped quite a bit. I did not belong to the Masonic organization even though my father and grandfather had been members. A vice president by the name of Emmett Quan from the Michigan Avenue office, came to the plant, and was Roman Catholic. I understand that he hired some Catholics, probably, to indicate that there was no discrimination.

F. I understand that Lucius Beebe, the railroad historian and writer, selected the Pullman glass plate negatives that were donated to the Smithsonian.

W. Yes. I saw him in there with his big cowboy hat, cowboy boots, cowboy pants and scarf around his neck. He was a very peculiar sort of man and you had to watch out how you talked to him. He was at the plant several weeks. I think that this was in the 1950s. Beebe was in the plant on and off for several weeks.

F. Where had these negatives been stored?

W. In the water tower and in the shipping building, Building No. 12. This had been the building where the Allen Paper Car Wheel Works had been located. The wooden boxes containing the negatives were piled high in this building. Two Pullman men worked with Beebe on this project.

F. When I first came to Pullman in 1975 there was a derelict two-story building on 111th Street opposite Champlain or Langley. What was this building used for?

W. This was the Pullman Press Bldg. or Stationery Bldg. This operation was here when I hired in during 1937 and I think that it lasted up until around 1970. All stationery and office supplies originated from this building. Here, all paper items were printed for Pullman, Inc. Pullman Co. and Pullman-Standard. This included stationery, envelopes, posters, tickets, etc. The printing equipment was on the ground floor and the offices and layout were on the second floor. I am guessing that about 35 people worked here. If you needed even one pencil it was necessary to fill out a long requisition form. The head of this department was Mr. Hammer, the Chief Stationer, and you did not call him by his first name. The Assistant Stationer was Harold Helge, who also was the president of the Swedish-American Athletic Association. Mr. Hammer dressed in the best of clothes; he wore a tie and jacket and had highly polished shoes. Hammer always had lunch at the Pullman Club across 111th Street at St. Lawrence Avenue. Mr. Hammer walked with two canes and Harold Helge and another man used to walk, one on either side, to support him on the way to lunch.

F. Woody, looking back over the years, would you have come to Chicago and made your career at Pullman-Standard?

W. Yes, definitely. I met my wife and later came to Chicago where she got me a job. I considered the job a good one and was proud to work for the company.


More Information About the People of Pullman

The People of Pullman

An Introduction

The Pullman House History Project

Arranged by:





 People of Color

Maps of Pullman

1897 Sanborn Map

Other Pullman-Related Sites

  • Historic Pullman Garden Club - An all-volunteer group that are the current stewards of many of the public green spaces in Pullman. (

  • Historic Pullman Foundation - The HPF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to "facilitate the preservation and restoration of original structures within the Town of Pullman and to promote public awareness of the significance of Pullman as one of the nation's first planned industrial communities, now a designated City of Chicago, State of Illinois and National landmark district." (
  • The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is a 501(c)3 cultural institution. Its purpose is to honor, preserving present and interpreting the legacy of A. Philip Randolph, Pullman Porters, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the contributions made by African-Americans to America's labor movement. ((
  • Pullman Civic Organization - The PCO is a strong and vibrant Community Organization that has been in existence since 1960. (
  • Pullman National Monument - The official page of the Pullman National Park. (
  • South Suburban Genealogical & Historical Society - SSG&HS holds the Pullman Collection, consisting of personnel records from Pullman Car Works circa 1900-1949. There are approximately 200,000 individuals represented in the collection. (
  • The Industrial Heritage Archives of Chicago's Calumet Region is an online museum of images that commemorates and celebrates the historic industries and workers of the region, made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant administered by the Illinois State Library. (
  • Illinois Digital Archives (IDA) is a repository for the digital collections libraries and cultural institutions in the State of Illinois and the hosting service for the online images on this site. (