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Pullman's Knights
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George_Smock_BoSCP
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Pullman's Knights
 
« on: Dec 5th, 2017, 11:53pm »
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Greetings, all:
 
So many rail enthusiasts/historians delve deeply into the "nuts 'n bolts" realm when discussing the smart and stylish Pullmans that once graced our Nation's rails.
 
We get into detailed discussions on such intriguing topics as car builders, routes traveled, name trains, and, in doing so, many can easily neglect remembering the Porters themselves.
 
These men were indeed the gentleman that made Pullman travel the stylish and glamourous experience it once was.
 
These were Pullman's "Knights", the men who toiled and labored, existing mostly on tips, and remaining true hardworking gentlemen, dealing with racism and discrimination with dignity and pride.
 
Had Pullman porters not labored, the luxury Pullman trade, which we so nostalgically wax over today, would not have been able to exist.
 
Each year, the "Pullman Knight"  ranks are lesser and lesser than they were previously.......as these proud gentlemen pass on to Greater Rewards, yet another grand era in passenger railroading disappears into the mists.......never to return.
 
So, in closing, let us take a moment to remember these hard-working men......these gentleman who served long and well......and who made Pullman travel the most exciting and stylish way to travel......let their hard work, trials, and tribulations not be banished into oblivion........
 
"GS"


« Last Edit: Dec 6th, 2017, 1:22am by George_Smock_BoSCP » Logged

Riding the rails with dignity and pride.....no job, no matter how mundane, is menial when done with dignity and perserverance..........
Henry
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Re: Pullman's Knights
 
« Reply #1 on: Dec 6th, 2017, 10:39am »
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I truly wish I had been able to experience Pullman rail travel. I have always had great respect for Pullman Porters.
 
Henry


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George_Smock_BoSCP
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Re: Pullman's Knights
 
« Reply #2 on: Dec 6th, 2017, 12:33pm »
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on Dec 6th, 2017, 10:39am, Henry wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I truly wish I had been able to experience Pullman rail travel. I have always had great respect for Pullman Porters.
 
Henry

 
Henry: You and me both....I truly wish I had experienced that era; truly The American Passenger Train's Golden Era.
 
Many people simply assume that porters made up the berths, kept the cars clean, etc.
 
In  truth, these men did much, much more: as an example, they were required to have a good working knowledge regarding the Pullman car's mechanical and electrical systems.
 
An old WABASH ad stated thus:
 
".....the Pullman Porter is obliging and courteous at all times, diligent and pleasant while executing your orders. He assists with your luggage, prepares your berth, and keeps your car, bed, and washroom linen in an orderly manner. Pullman porters are always attentive but never obtrusive.. They welcome the chance to help you get the most pleasure on your trip...."
 
These men indeed excelled at their duties over the decades they rode the rails.......and neither their deeds nor their legacy should ever be allowed to lapse in oblivion..........
 
"GS"


« Last Edit: Dec 6th, 2017, 3:37pm by George_Smock_BoSCP » Logged

Riding the rails with dignity and pride.....no job, no matter how mundane, is menial when done with dignity and perserverance..........
George_Smock_BoSCP
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Re: Pullman's Knights
 
« Reply #3 on: Dec 6th, 2017, 10:32pm »
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Here are two interesting pages:
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Philip_Randolph
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_porter
 
Also:
 
https://aprpullmanportermuseum.org/


« Last Edit: Dec 6th, 2017, 10:40pm by George_Smock_BoSCP » Logged

Riding the rails with dignity and pride.....no job, no matter how mundane, is menial when done with dignity and perserverance..........
George_Smock_BoSCP
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Re: Pullman's Knights
 
« Reply #4 on: Dec 7th, 2017, 11:46pm »
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Here is a 2009 article well worth reading.
 
Sadly, many retired porters then being sought out by Amtrak have since passed on to their rewards.
 
Another great chapter in American Passenger Railroading (and American History as well) has now all but ended............
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/04/us/04porters.html


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Riding the rails with dignity and pride.....no job, no matter how mundane, is menial when done with dignity and perserverance..........
Swing_Brakeman
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Re: Pullman's Knights
 
« Reply #5 on: Dec 9th, 2017, 9:40pm »
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Discrimination and racism, maybe off the job but not on it.    They were very lucky to have those jobs and they knew it.

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George_Smock_BoSCP
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Re: Pullman's Knights
 
« Reply #6 on: Dec 9th, 2017, 11:34pm »
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on Dec 9th, 2017, 9:40pm, Swing_Brakeman wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Discrimination and racism, maybe off the job but not on it.    They were very lucky to have those jobs and they knew it.

 
 
Indeed, these men WERE very lucky to have jobs, especially at a time when virtually nothing above the "laborer" level was available to blacks, in virtually all areas.
 
Sadly, there WAS racism rearing its ugly head "on the job" in many instances during the Pullman heyday.There are several good books out on Pullman porters, and you can easily see that the porters were, on many occasions, baited and goaded by white passengers (mostly male) who tried to get a reaction or outburst.
 
In most cases, the porters would simply "take it on the chin" and go on about their duties with their trademark resilience and dignity.
 
Sheree Scarborough (in 2014) wrote an outstanding book on the black railroaders who once worked on the N&W in and around Roanoke; here you will see that discrimination and racism was still ongoing in the present day-era.
 
Here, though, these individuals were engineers, conductors, and brakemen,  not porters........
 
"GS"


« Last Edit: Dec 10th, 2017, 1:38am by George_Smock_BoSCP » Logged

Riding the rails with dignity and pride.....no job, no matter how mundane, is menial when done with dignity and perserverance..........
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