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Varnish >> Passenger Trains >> Pullman's Knights
(Message started by: George_Smock_BoSCP on Dec 5th, 2017, 11:53pm)

Title: Pullman's Knights
Post by George_Smock_BoSCP on Dec 5th, 2017, 11:53pm
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"

Title: Re: Pullman's Knights
Post by Henry on Dec 6th, 2017, 10:39am
I truly wish I had been able to experience Pullman rail travel. I have always had great respect for Pullman Porters.

Henry

Title: Re: Pullman's Knights
Post by George_Smock_BoSCP on Dec 6th, 2017, 12:33pm

on 12/06/17 at 10:39:12, Henry wrote:
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"

Title: Re: Pullman's Knights
Post by George_Smock_BoSCP on Dec 6th, 2017, 10:32pm
Here are two interesting pages:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Philip_Randolph

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_porter

Also:

https://aprpullmanportermuseum.org/

Title: Re: Pullman's Knights
Post by George_Smock_BoSCP on Dec 7th, 2017, 11:46pm
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

Title: Re: Pullman's Knights
Post by Swing_Brakeman on Dec 9th, 2017, 9:40pm
Discrimination and racism, maybe off the job but not on it.    They were very lucky to have those jobs and they knew it.

Title: Re: Pullman's Knights
Post by George_Smock_BoSCP on Dec 9th, 2017, 11:34pm

on 12/09/17 at 21:40:23, Swing_Brakeman wrote:
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"



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