Pullman, George Mortimer (1831–1897), a United States inventor and industrialist. He designed the first comfortable railway sleeping car (1859), introduced the railway dining car (1868), and invented the car vestibule, an enclosed passageway connecting railway cars (1887).
Pullman was born in Brocton, New York. After learning cabinetmaking in Albion, in 1855 he went to Chicago. There he quickly gained notice as a contractor by raising the Tremont Hotel to the new higher sidewalk level by means of 5,000 jackscrews and 1,250 laborers to turn them. After noticing the discomfort of the bunk-type railway sleeping cars then in use, Pullman converted two coaches into sleepers fitted with comfortable berths. The remodeled cars entered service in 1859.
In 1864 Pullman and a friend, Benjamin Field, were granted a patent on a berth that during the day could be folded into a recess in the car's ceiling. They used their folding berth in the construction of a luxurious new car, the Pioneer, also adding lower berths made by folding down the hinged backs of facing seats. The Pioneer was introduced in 1865 and became widely popular. Pullman's Palace Car Company, incorporated in 1867, absorbed all competition by the end of the century. Pullman was also active in the management of other companies, and served as president of the company that operated New York City's elevated railway.
In 1880, he built the model town of Pullman, now a part of Chicago, for his employees. The town, with its parks and paved streets, was considered advanced for its day. To make a return on his investment, Pullman required that his employees pay high rents and buy from company stores.