The first sleeping car in the world, a crude affair with tiers of berths along one wall, was introduced in the United States in 1836. In 1859 American inventor George Pullman converted two Alton Railroad coaches into sleeping cars, and in 1864 he patented the first sleeping car of the type that remained standard in the United States for nearly three-quarters of a century.
Inside a Midland Railway sleeping car berth, 7 February 1907. The berths consisted of a bed and a sink.
Sleeping carriages had been introduced in the 1870s in the luxury Pullman trains, and by 1900 sleeping cars were running between London and Scotland, and London and the West Country.
However, sleeping compartments were only for first and second class passengers at this time; third class passengers had to sleep in their seats.
Modern sleeping cars contain a number of individual rooms called roomettes, bedrooms, or compartments. Rooms have toilet facilities, mirrors and electric lights, liberal space for luggage and personal belongings, and individual heating and air-conditioning controls.