This is a china plate from the Pullman Company. The pattern is the exotic, intricately detailed "Indian Tree."
SIZE is 7.5 inches across. This plate would have been used for lunch or cake.
CONDITION is lovely with almost no signs of use. The glaze is bright and shiny, with no runs. Colors are strong and well defined. There are NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs.
IMPORTANT: SEE PICTURES #3 and #4 : There is a very light sprinkling of a few pieces of sand-grain size "grit" on the plate surface between the 9-o'clock position and the 12-o'clock position. One black grain (at 9-o'clock) is significantly more noticeable than the others. The others are not terribly noticeable at all, until you tilt the plate in light and look for them. This is a factory flaw - apparently the grit was on the plate when it went into the kiln to be fired.
The manufacturer is Syracuse China. The date code 6-AA stands for June 1946. NOTE: Pullman Indian Tree chinaware ALWAYS included the name PULLMAN on the top or side - but never on the bottom. The ONLY bottom marking was the Syracuse China marking.
IMPORTANT: COLLECTOR NOTE (1) - See our last picture! A western establishment recently purchased nearly identical ware for its restaurant. Despite being made by Syracuse China, it is NOT authentic Pullman railway ware. Some pieces include "Main Street Station" but others do not. Collectors should make an effort to learn the minor differences between these two patterns. COLLECTOR NOTE (2) - "Indian Tree" is one of the most widespread and copied dinnerware designs in the world. Pullman "Indian Tree" railroad pieces ALWAYS have the name on top/side in this pattern. If a piece does not say "Pullman," it is NOT a railroad piece.
BACKGROUND: The Pullman Car Company, founded by George Pullman, manufactured railroad cars in the mid- to late 19th century through the early years of the 20th century. Initially, its workers lived in a planned worker community (or "company town") named Pullman, Chicago. With foresight far ahead of his time, George Pullman in 1862 developed the sleeping car, which carried his name into the 1980s. Pullman did not just manufacture the cars -- he paid railroad companies to include his Pullman cars in their trains, and their presence quickly began to make money as passengers learned about them and began to specifically seek them out. Soon most of the railroads in the United States were using Pullman service. The presence of the luxurious cars boosted any railroad's image and made a fortune for Pullman. The cars could be custom equipped as desired for sleeping or dining, complete with everything from carpeting, upholstery, the best bed linens and even Pullman attendants who provided an unparalleled level of customer service, pampering travelers with the most luxurious train travel experience in the country.
After George Pullman's death in 1897, Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, became company president. The company closed its factory in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago in 1955.
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