In April of 1913, a woman gave birth to a baby girl while riding a train in California.
The baby was born in the drawing room of a Pullman car called the “Livonia,” so she was named Livonia Potter.
Did you know that Pullman cars even had names? I didn’t.
A 1924 Popular Mechanics article reveals that “[n]ames of countries were first employed” as the names of Pullman cars, followed by the names of towns and villages, then by “birds, flowers, lakes, rivers, and poets and statesmen of note.” For the dining cars they used the names of historical chefs and prominent hotels.
So the Pullman car “Livonia” would have been named either after the historical region in Europe called Livonia (on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea) or after any of the U.S. towns named for the region.
- “Baby Born in Pullman.” Los Angeles Times 27 Apr. 1913: I10.
- “How Pullman Cars Are Named.” Popular Mechanics Dec. 1924: 943.
Image: Interior of a Pullman car, late 1880’s – Iowa Digital Library – University of Iowa