Working in the City’s Glass Factories

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Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “Working in the City’s Glass Factories” January 31, 2019.

Many of the early factories in the City of Alexandria employed African Americans especially children and women. One of these factories was the Glass Factory. Most of the African Americans who worked for the Glass Factory lived in the neighborhood of “Cross Canal.”

Some of the families that were working there were:

Lloyd Montgomery Arnold, the son of James and Lizzie (Mary Elizabeth) Arnold. Lloyd had several siblings; Lawrence, Estella (Estelle), Laura O and Thomas.

Abraham Brown, he was married to Elizabeth Brown. Abraham lived on First Street. He was a skilled carpenter working at the Glass Factory. He owned his own property at 327 First Street.

Chauncey Randolph, he was a wagon driver for the Glass Factory. His wife was Susie Randolph and they had a three-year old child, Leonard in the household 1920.

Chris Mason, he was a laborer at the Glass Factory. He lived in the household of his mother, Mary and his siblings John and Rose. They lived on First Street.

Walter Johnson, he was a laborer at the Glass Factory. He was born in Maryland but he lived at 711 Jefferson Street in Alexandria, Virginia in 1910. In his household was his wife, Bertha, and his children, Dorothy and Walter, Jr.

Charley Hall, he was a helper at the Glass Factory. He lived on Pendleton Street with his parents Walter and Mahaley Hall.

Joseph Dudley, he was a laborer at the Glass Factory. He lived on Franklin Street with his father Louis and siblings: Francis, Louis, Jr., Charlotte, and Isham. His nephews’ Herbert and Marion were also in the household.

You can read the article, “Working in the City’s Glass Factories, from the Alexandria Gazette Packet on page 8 at

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