In the United States, many social reformers in the late nineteenth century demonstrated a concern for improved housing conditions for workers. George Pullman (1831-1897), the wealthy industrialist who introduced luxury railway cars with beds, built his model city called Pullman in 1880 to address housing problems caused by Chicago’s industrialization. Construction the town, Pullman hoped to produce an ideal environment that would help attract workers of a superior type to the railway car industry and retain them. Pullman inhabitants were expected to embody values of thrift, industry, and morality. They were taught to develop propriety and good manners, cleanliness and neatness of appearance, diligence, and self-improvement through education and savings. Like the brick clock tower that dominated the town center, Pullman kept a regulatory eye on his workers.
In its first five years, this new experiment in industrial life received little criticism, except form radical political groups. Crediting the town of Pullman with producing a new type of dependable and ambitious worker in a rationally ordered environment, reformers, at first, praised it as a successful model for modern industrial life. However, after 1885, with the high gloss of the experiment dulled, it became clear that the residents of Pullman had honest grievances about the overcharging of rent and other services.
In 1893, The World’s Columbian Exposition, an exhibition that aimed to promote American cultural, economical, and technological development, and in which George Pullman was a major investor, was held in Chicago. The town of Pullman became a popular tourist stop, attracting more than its share of curious travelers. There were 10,000 foreign visitors alone during the exposition year. In fact, the first Baedeker Travel Guide to the United States advised visitors to tour Pullman. Frequent trains and trolley cars connected the fairgrounds of the exposition with the town, and on several occasions, George Pullman himself guided the tours. Construction a fantastic environment for the benefit of tourists, he made sure that any real tensions between his office and the working inhabitants of the town were rendered invisible to the tourist gaze......