An archive of material pertaining to the Pullman Porters achieved $17,500 at Swann Auction Galleries in New York on March 27.
The lot included playing cards, jackets and towels among a wealth of other items. The auction house described it as the most complete collection of Pullman memorabilia it has ever handled.
The porters were African Americans who were hired to work on sleeper cars in the restoration period (1860s onwards).
They developed a reputation for elite service and were paid relatively well, which in turn helped in the formation of a black middle class.
They founded the first all-black union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, in 1925 - a significant milestone in the civil rights movement.
The archive sold as part of an auction of African Americana, which also included a rare 1793 Banneker's Almanack.
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