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

Mann Boudoir Car Company

William D'Alton Mann (1839-1920)

career as civil engineer cut short by Civil War

organized the Fifth Michigan Cavalry and later the Seventh

Commanded latter at Gettysberg

during war invented and poatented various improvements to soldiers' equipment and made a fdortune on their sale to federal government

after war settled in Mobile, Al

acquired and edited Mobile Register (newspaper) and took interest in politics

9 Jan 1872 received patent on sleeping car divided by transverse partitions into compartments
USPat 122,622: doors in side like in europe/ small toilet each compart, seats convertible to beds running crosswise to direction of travel

spent next 10 yrs intro to Continent Europe

8 Jan 1878 invented corridor car & car vestibule used on train built in England for use in Russia
USPat 198,991 / car had corridor length of car, communal restrooms, one sex each end
vestibules were closed -- forerunner of present-day (1957) compartment cars

On ret to US organized MBCC to build & operate cars

The Mann Boudoir Car Company was chartered in the state of New York 23 March 1883. It operated at a loss for its first 5 years.

cars used on Springfield line betw Boston & NY 1883

became popular w/ public but not RR because of limited capacity

The December 1888 issue of the Official Railway Guide startled the railroad world (and most of all George M. Pullman) with this announcement: "Union Palace Car Co.... will commence operating SLEEPING AND PARLOR CARS on about 15,000 miles of railroad in January 1889." Union had been incorporated 24 September 1888 in New Jersey by Job H. Jackson of Jackson & Sharp to secure control of the Mann Boudoir Car Company and the Woodruff Sleeping & Parlor Coach Company. The two companies operated a total of 34 cars on about 5,000 miles of railroads in the East, South, and Midwest. Pullman lost no time. Two months later Union Palace was purchased by Pullmans Palace Car Company for $2.5 million. Some parts of Union seem to have survived, because it was not finally dissolved until 1899.

11 April 2006

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