4.5 in HIGH x 7.25 in WIDE x 9.5 in DEEP
(11.43 cm HIGH x 18.41 cm WIDE x 24.13 cm DEEP)
Gift of Mr. Vance Thompson

Pullman Porter; J. Apfelbaum Co., Chicago

Cap with small leatherette bill, black faille sides and crown, white cotton cord across front held in place by one button on each end, brass name plate, "Pullman Porter," centered above bill. Vance Edward Thompson was a Pullman Porter from 1942 to 1951. He was based in the midwest but worked on "the Frisco" line; that line was busy during World War II. Mr. Thompson had many recollections of transporting troops during World War II. (During WW II troops were often transported on commercial rail lines.) Mr. Thompson had started out working on the railroad as a "pillow man", and then became a full Porter. Mr. Thompson spent a lot of time in the San Francisco Bay Area during his railroad career. He told his son (the donor) of going to some clubs in Oakland during WWII. He had seen Cab Calloway perform in Oakland. The donor believes his father worked for the Central Pacific. Cataloguing fine, no additional comments. (Joan Severa, 3/10/1994) Donor's father probably worked for Southern Pacific RR, since it was the successor to the 19th century Central Pacific. PCK 12-10-08. The "Frisco Line" was St. Louis--San Francisco Railroad, which ironically never reached San Francisco. It was a Midwestern line. PCK 3-4-09

Used: adult | Male | Work | Vance Edward Thompson | Pullman porter | Railroad

Picture This Information

This artifact is part of the OMCA's Picture This website. More about the context and history of this artifact is available at Picture This.

About the Picture This web project: California's Perspectives on American History is a resource for teachers and students to learn about the experiences of diverse peoples of California by using primary source images from the Oakland Museum of California's collections. Organized into 11 time periods spanning from pre-1769 to the present, more than 300 photographs, drawings, posters, and prints tell stories from the perspectives of different ethnic groups. Historical contexts are provided to offer a framework of California's role in relation to American history.

The National Archives state that primary sources, "fascinate students because they are real and they are personal: history is humanized through them." Picture This invites students to examine the historical record, encouraging them to connect history with real people and explore how images tell stories and convey historical evidence about the human experience. History becomes more than just a series of facts, dates, and events.      

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