In the United States, Pullman was used to refer to railroad sleeping cars that were built and operated on most U.S. railroads by the Pullman Company (founded by George Pullman) from 1867 to December 31, 1968.
Pullman also refers to railway dining cars in Europe that were operated by the Pullman Company, or lounge cars operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. Specifically, in Great Britain, Pullman refers to the lounge cars operated by the British Pullman Car Company.
The nickname Pullman coach was used in some European cities for the first long (four-axle) electric tramcars whose appearance resembled the Pullman railway cars and that were usually more comfortable than their predecessors. Such coaches (Russian: пульмановский вагон, tr. pul'manovsky vagon) ran in Kyiv from 1907 and in Odessa from 1912. In the 1920s, tramcars nicknamed Pullmanwagen in German ran in Leipzig, Cologne, Frankfurt and Zürich.
In 1963, the luxurious Mercedes-Benz 600 was introduced, with a range including a long wheelbase version called Pullman. Later, stretched versions of regular Mercedes-Benz S-Class cars were also called Pullman.
The Pullman Car Company, founded by George Pullman, manufactured railroad cars in the mid-to-late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century, during the boom of railroads in the United States. Through rapid late nineteenth century development of mass production, and takeover of rivals, the company developed a virtual monopoly on production and ownership of sleeper cars. At its peak in the early 20th century, its cars accommodated 26 million people a year, and it in effect operated "the largest hotel in the world". Its production workers initially lived in a planned worker community (or "company town") named Pullman, Chicago. Pullman developed the sleeping car, which carried his name into the 1980s. Pullman did not just manufacture the cars, it also operated them on most of the railroads in the United States, paying railroad companies to couple the cars to trains. The labor union associated with the company, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, founded and organized by A. Philip Randolph, was one of the most powerful African-American political entities of the 20th century. The company also built thousands of streetcars and trolley buses for use in cities. Post World War II changes in automobile and airplane transport led to a steep decline in the company's fortunes. It folded in 1968.Sleeping car
The sleeping car or sleeper (often wagon-lit) is a railway passenger car that can accommodate all its passengers in beds of one kind or another, primarily for the purpose of making nighttime travel more restful. George Pullman was the American inventor of the sleeper car.
The first such cars saw sporadic use on American railroads in the 1830s; they could be configured for coach seating during the day. Some of the more luxurious types have private rooms (fully and solidly enclosed rooms that are not shared with strangers).