Return to a time when….

Jeff Thodal

We focus on moving forward, enhancing everything, making updates and searching for new ways to do, or improve upon what we have always done. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It keeps us growing, learning, working to better our lives, and in many ways, keep us sane. But as we move forward, how much attention is paid to the past. We  have the saying “history repeats itself,” which, in many cases, is very true. Fashion. Music. Fads. Many come back and re-enter society as “something new.” Perhaps the current generation was not around when the offering first hit the market.
In a time when we continue to search for the new and different, its always interesting to see what comes back from the past.

Recently, I was sent an article about a new play created about the Pullman Porter. From what I gather, the play focuses on the story of this Pullman Porter and all that entails having this title. Until about a year ago, I wasn’t familiar with Pullman or the Pullman Porter, but as timing would have it, we have a client that will soon be launching first-class rail service that seeks to recreate the nostalgia and glamour of the original Pullman train service, from the Pullman Conductor and Porters, to the refurbishment of the train cars. Upgrades will be made to the cars to meet some modern wants and needs, but the experience is meant to be the same. Just as this play seeks to recreate and inform of a historic time, our client looks to do the same with their Chicago and New Orleans rail line.

I always find it interesting when things come together and I can leverage learnings from one to another. Had it not been for the client coming on board with our agency, I would most likely have no connection or understanding of this play. But here I am, interest piqued and looking to see what else history brings back. If nothing else, I like the return of historic products that teach and inform. I like a good adventure, rather than those fads that probably shouldn’t return, like pleated pants, but that’s another story.


Magnani is an experience design and strategy firm that crafts transformational digital experiences to delight users and deliver sustainable competitive market advantages for our clients.


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