Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 252

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 252

women of the new-money class were accepting and introducing into their homes!

Bok wrote an editorial calling attention to these facts. The Pullman Company paid no attention to it, but the railroad journals did. With one accord they seized the cudgel which Bok had raised, and a series of hammerings began. The Pullman conductors began to report to their division chiefs that the passengers were criticising the cars, and the company at last woke up. It issued a cynical rejoinder; whereupon Bok wrote another editorial, and the railroad journals once more joined in the chorus.

The president of a large Western railroad wrote to Bok that he agreed absolutely with his position, and asked whether he had any definite suggestions to offer for the improvement of some new cars which they were about to order. Bok engaged two of the best architects and decorators in the country, and submitted the results to the officials of the railroad company, who approved of them heartily. The Pullman Company did not take very kindly, however, to suggestions thus brought to them. But a current had been started; the attention of the travelling public had been drawn for the first time to the wretched decoration of the cars; and public sentiment was beginning to be vocal.

The first change came when a new dining-car on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad suddenly appeared. It was an artistically treated Flemish-oak-panelled car with longitudinal beams and cross-beams, giving the impression of a ceiling-beamed room. Between the “beams” was a quiet tone of deep yellow.

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