Pullman Car, Sunbeam


In June of 2011, our restored 1903 wooden Pullman palace car, Sunbeam, arrived at Hildene after two years of meticulous restoration following a two-year nationwide search for the right car: one that would have come off the production line during Robert Lincoln’s tenure as president of the Pullman Company. The car we decided on was the least modified from its 1903 configuration.


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Upon the death of George Pullman in 1897, Robert Lincoln, son of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, became president of the Pullman Company. He remained in that position until 1911 when he became chairman of the board. He served in that capacity until 1924 but continued to serve on the board until his death in 1926. During his presidency, the Pullman Company became the largest manufacturing company in the world. It was known for the excellent service the Pullman porters provided and largely because of this, the company reaped great profit, as did its stockholders.