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Charles Ford Company, Records of the

Identifier: 183

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of ledgers, invoices, receipts, and correspondence related to the Charles Ford Co., brick manufacturing company, which was also referred to as “Ford and Bro.”. The company manufactured bricks for buildings as well as paving, and had accounts with companies in Washington, DC, Arlington, Virginia, and as far north as Trenton, New Jersey. The company also provided bricks for U.S. and District government construction projects.

The collection includes personal correspondence from Charles Ford’s brother who resided in Potomac, Maryland. Of interest is a grand jury summons dated December 4, 1889 in the case of United States vs. Claudius B. Jewels, and other legal correspondence.

Some materials in the collection show signs of damage including water damage, mold, mildew, and torn pages that occurred prior to the donation to the Library.


  • Creation: 1879 - 1882
  • Creation: 1896 - 1898


There are no known restrictions.

Biographical Statement

Considering how common the name is, there are several individuals named “Charles Ford” listed in the genealogical data for the District of Columbia. There is a particular Charles Ford born in northeast Maryland in 1828. This Ford was a brick maker and builder in the District of Columbia. Ford died in 1899 and is buried in the family plot at North East United Methodist Cemetery. There is no extant information regarding the Charles Ford Company that could be located.


1.25 Linear feet (Total Boxes: 4)

Language of Materials



The collection was donated to the DC Public Library Special Collections department in 1998 by Larry Karr of the Kalorama Citizens Association. The collection was discovered by Karr in 1985 in a garbage can in the alley between Mintwood and Biltmore Streets, NW.

Related Collections

Guide to the Windsor and Ford Business Records - Smithsonian Institution Archives Center, National Museum of American History (NMAH.AC.0019)

Processing Procedure

The collection was processed at the folder level. Ledgers were rehoused in acid free boxes. The receipt and correspondence binders were disassembled, and the contents were sorted into two series, and then arranged by date. The spine labels for the original three binders were kept.

Records to the Charles Ford Company
A guide to the records of the Charles Ford Company
Guide Prepared by Carol Auerbach
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001