Scientific Ventilation in Pullmans

Before air conditioning, rail car temperatures was probably one of the greatest sources of complaints for passengers, particularly in the summer. Published just as the Baltimore & Ohio was perfecting a mechanical air-conditioning system (first used in one of its railcars in April, 1930), this booklet was full of assurances that Pullman cars were “scientifically ventilated,” which was pretty much a bunch of hooey.

Click image to download a 1.9-MB PDF of this 12-page booklet.

After the B&O had successfully air conditioned entire trains in 1931, Pullman would weakly offer that it, too, had introduced such air-conditioned cars “in test service” in 1930. But though this booklet was published no earlier than 1930, those tests are not mentioned. Perhaps the company didn’t want its patrons to get their hopes up about the new technology, or perhaps it just had no faith in any innovation that it did not develop itself.

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