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Fake "Pullman Silver Palace Car
It appears likely that there was no such company named the "Pullman Silver Palace Car Company."
> There was a Silver Palace Sleeping
Car Company operating cars under Woodward patents on several
eastern railroads, much like the Pullman
contracts. In fact, the Woodward company was earlier than Pullman.
The Central Pacific chose not to contract out the operation on their railroad,
but instead licensed the use of the Silver Palace designs. In 1869
Central Pacific had cars built by Jackson & Sharp and by Harlan &
Hollingsworth, both in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1875-76 and 1883
Central Pacific had additional sleeping cars built by Barney & Smith.
While referred to as additional Silver Palace cars, these were actually
much like the Pullman cars that Barney and Smith were then building for
the Pullman Palace Car Company, so much so that Pullman filed suite against
Barney & Smith for patent infringement. In 1883 Central Pacific
and the associated Southern Pacific signed a contract with Pullman
for the operation of sleeping car service. The newer sleeping cars
(built by Barney & Smith) were rebuilt as Pullman cars while the older
Silver Palace cars went into secondary service for Pullman, and were later
returned to Central Pacific and rebuilt into a variety of other types of
cars, including business cars, dining cars, and coaches. One (converted
to a coach) still survives, in poor condition. —Kyle
K. Williams Wyatt Curator of Railroad Operations, California State Railroad
> The owner concluded that this is a "novelty reproduction." Another very knowledgeable collector believes this is a reproduction made in England in the early 1980's. —Bruce Warner, retired after 37 years on NYC PC CR.
> Having looked at the photos of the lamp, I'm suspicious. (1) Car lamps were rigidly mounted to the roof of cars. This lamp has swinging attachments such as might have been used on a building. (2) Silver Palace Car fixtures were made of nickel silver, not brass. Pullman fixtures would have either been nickel plated or silver plated. Brass was the cheap finish of the time. (3) I am unfamiliar with any "Pullman Silver Palace Car Company." This seems to mix the names of two completely separate (and competing) sleeping car companies from the 1860s and early 1870s. Pullman acquired control of the Silver Palace Car Co. early in the 1870s and absorbed it into the Pullman Palace Car Company. ... —Kyle Williams Wyatt, Curator of Railroad Operations, California State Railroad Museum
> I am sure that these are recent fakes — anytime you see an attached tag like shown, it raises a red flag for a lantern so marked. I've only seen "Pullman" in large raised letter stamped in the bell bottom metal. —Charles Sweet, and Lantern Collector and Locomotive Engineer, Promontory, Utah, NPS National Historic Site
Courtesy Tim Jackson.
Images courtesy of photographer Hedy Nash.