George M. Pullman

George Mortimer Pullman was born on March 3, 1831 in Brocton, New York. Pullman dropped out of school at age 14 and eventually became a building mover. He moved to Chicago in 1859 when he was 28 years old. A few years earlier the city of Chicago had begun to install a new sewer system that would drain into the river. But the new pipes were laid above ground, and new streets and fixtures were built up to this new grade which in some areas was up to 10 feet above ground. This left some existing buildings below street level and stairs were needed to access the streets - or the buildings themselves had to be raised. Pullman developed a system of raising buildings by employing hundreds men who were assigned to jacks. The system worked and Pullman became famous in Chicago and he earned a lot of money. He used this money to start the Pullman Palace Car Company.