Gladding, McBean and Company

Variant names

Hide Profile

Gladding, McBean and Company is a California firm that manufactures clay roofing tiles.

From the description of Gladding, McBean and Company account book, 1893-1929. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754866892

From the guide to the Gladding, McBean and Company account book, 1893-1929, (Department of Special Collections and University Archives)

Terra cotta manufacturing company, Lincoln, California.

From the description of Idaho job orders, 1911-1937. (Idaho State Historical Society Library & Archives). WorldCat record id: 42927398

While Charles Gladding was visiting San Francisco in 1874 he read a newspaper account mentioning the discovery of an unusually fine kaolin clay deposit near the town of Lincoln in Placer County. Seeing an opportunity to supply building products for the rapidly growing West Coast cities, he convinced fellow Chicagoans, Peter McBean and George Chambers, to invest in the development of the Lincoln clay pit into a manufacturing concern -- thus Gladding, McBean and Company was formed.

Charles Gladding and Peter McBean relocated to California -- Gladding was based in Lincoln and ran the operation there; McBean was in San Francisco where he took care of the business end of the company. The first carload of vitreous sewer pipe left the Lincoln factory in August of 1875 and by 1880 business was booming. In 1884 the company began to diversify into the manufacture of architectural terrra-cotta ornamentation and, in 1888, Joseph DeGolyer joined the firm to head up the Architectural Department devoted to this product. By 1900 the firm could list over 108 buildings using GMcB architectural terra cotta; nearly half were in San Francisco but cities throughout the Western United States were also represented.

After the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco, the demand for terra cotta increased as fireproof materials became more desirable. Until the Depression of the 1930s put a damper on building activity, Gladding, McBean and Company enjoyed a preeminent position in the field of terra-cotta ornamentation and participated in many of the premier architectural projects in the country. The company had also developed other product lines over the years including roof tile, decorative tile, even dinnerware under the Franciscan label.

In 1962, Gladding, McBean merged with Lock Joint Pipe Co. of New Jersey to form Interpace. Later, in 1976, Pacific Coast Building Products purchased the Lincoln Plant and now operates it as a subsidiary under the original name. The plant once again produces both sewer pipe and architectural products, specializing in recreating some of the original architectural terra cotta pieces that were so instrumental in making the Gladding McBean reputation.

From the description of Gladding, McBean and Company archives: job order documents, 1888-1966. (California State Library). WorldCat record id: 591352914

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Hoffman Collection. L.A. Angels [model]. Centre canadien d'architecture, | Canadian Centre for Architecture | CCA
referencedIn Northwestern Terra Cotta Company. Northwestern Terra Cotta Company records, ca. 1880-1970. Chicago History Museum
creatorOf Gladding, McBean and Company. Idaho job orders, 1911-1937. Idaho State Archives, Idaho State Historical Society
creatorOf Gladding, McBean and Company. Gladding, McBean and Company archives: job order documents, 1888-1966. California state library
referencedIn Gladding, Charles, 1828-1894. Charles Gladding Civil War letters, 1862-1900. California state library
creatorOf Gladding, McBean and Company. Gladding, McBean and Company account book, 1893-1929. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Percy, Nancy. Library and Courts I collection. California state library
referencedIn The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection Bancroft Library
creatorOf A.H. Avery & Son. Trade catalogs of building materials, 1874-1930. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn W. T. Reid Papers, 1880-1937 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Gladding, McBean and Company account book, 1893-1929 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Boise Payette Lumber Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Boise Trust Company (Boise, Idaho) corporateBody
associatedWith Canyon Loan Company (Nampa, Idaho) corporateBody
associatedWith First National Bank of Idaho (Boise, Idaho) corporateBody
associatedWith First Ward Church (Blackfoot, Idaho) corporateBody
associatedWith Gladding, Charles, 1828-1894. person
associatedWith Northwestern Terra Cotta Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Rathdrum High School (Rathdrum, Idaho) corporateBody
associatedWith Reid, William Thomas, b. 1842 person
associatedWith Stanford University corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Architectural terra cotta
Clay industries
Decoration and ornament, Architectural

Corporate Body

Active 1893

Active 1929




Ark ID: w67m432v

SNAC ID: 25303231