Model of Pullman Sleeping Car. Quarter Scale working model. An open section consists of two double seats facing each other, which are convertible into a lower berth and a folding upper berth, hinged to the side of the car, which is lowered for night occupancy. Partitions between sections called head boards and berth curtains hung on the aisle afford privacy. Accessories necessary to make up sleeping accommodations such as berth curtains, head boards, blankets, pillows and mattresses are stored in the daytime in the upper berth which is pushed up and into its alcove and locked in place freeing the seats for use by passengers.
This scale model of a Pullman sleeping berth was manufactured towards the later years of the Pullman Company's heyday. In 1865, George M. Pullman revolutionized rail travel with the introduction of his Palace Car, making luxurious dining and sleeper cars available to the middle class for a modest fee. Before Pullman's innovation, early American rail travel was uncomfortable at best. Pullman cars however, featured plush upholstery, stained glass windows, and gourmet meals served on fine china. Their sleeping berths, described by one traveler, were outfitted with "soft mattresses, snowy sheets and warm, gaily striped blankets." Pullman made a fortune on the cars, leasing them to the railway companies and collecting the premium charged to the passengers. By 1893, with more than 2,000 Pullman cars in service, his company was worth $62 million.