Gladding, McBean, in Lincoln, is one of the oldest companies in California and a pioneer in ceramics technology which has contributed immeasurably to the state’s industrialization. During the heyday of architectural terra cotta, the company dominated the industry in the Far West.
The book Architectural Terra Cotta of Gladding, McBean, by Gary F. Kurutz and Mary Swisher, is a remarkable photographic collection of this pre-eminent producer of decorative terra cotta from 1890 to 1930. It showcases over 100 photographs, including neo-classic motifs of the earliest San Francisco skyscrapers to ornaments of Art Deco Hollywood palaces. Some of these photographs can be seen in detail on our slideshow.
The photographer Mary Swisher selected, printed and cared for a collection of over 10,000 negatives, while the historian Gary F. Kurutz put together an informative and entertaining text about the history of the company. The result is an unmissable publication for lovers of architecture, photography and industrial archaeology.