Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 253



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

Page 253

The sides of the car were wainscoting of plain surface done in a Flemish stain rubbed down to a dull finish. The grain of the wood was allowed to serve as decoration; there was no carving. The whole tone of the car was that of the rich color of the sunflower. The effect upon the travelling public was instantaneous. Every passenger commented favorably on the car.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fé Railroad now followed suit by introducing a new Pullman chair-car. The hideous and germ-laden plush or velvet curtains were gone, and leather hangings of a rich tone took their place. All the grill-work of a bygone age was missing; likewise the rope curtains. The woods were left to show the grain; no carving was visible anywhere. The car was a relief to the eye, beautiful and simple, and easy to keep clean. Again the public observed, and expressed its pleasure.

The Pullman people now saw the drift, and wisely reorganized their decorative department. Only those who remember the Pullman parlor-car of twenty years ago can realize how long a step it is from the atrociously decorated, unsanitary vehicle of that day to the simple car of to-day.

It was only a step from the Pullman car to the landscape outside, and Bok next decided to see what he could do toward eliminating the hideous bill-board advertisements which defaced the landscape along the lines of the principal roads. He found a willing ally in this idea in Mr. J. Horace McFarland, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, one of the most skilful photographers in the country, and the president of The American Civic



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