Builders of Wooden Railway Cars ... and some of other stuff

Detroit Car & Mfg. Company

Robinson, Russell & Company

The Detroit Car & Manufacturing Company—not to be confused with the Detroit Car Company—had its beginnings at Detroit (of course) in 1853, when Dr. George B. Russell undertook to build 25 cars for the Detroit & Pontiac Railway. He leased a small shop on Gratiot Avenue and went to work. This was the first railway car builder west of Albany, New York.

The next year, this informal operation was formalized as Robinson, Russell & Company. It operated under that name from 1854 to 24 December 1867, when it was incorporated as the Detroit Car & Manufacturing Company.

The plant was moved from Gratiot Avenue to the foot of Beaubien Street. Later a larger plant was constructed on Monroe Avenue near the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee tracks.

According to one authority, Detroit Car specialized in passenger cars.

In 1870/71, George Pullman bought the plant, and it became the Detroit works of the Pullman Company until it was abandoned in 1893. At that time it covered an area bounded by Monroe, St. Aubin and Macomb Streets and the Detroit & Milwaukee Railway tracks.

The first Pullman-built passenger cars came from this plant.

12 March 2006

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