Charles A. Jones was a longtime professor in the textile engineering department at Georgia Tech. These papers, consisting almost entirely of correspondence, document his efforts to place Georgia Tech graduates in mill jobs throughout the Southeast.
(one document case)
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The Charles A. Jones papers consist of correspondence, primarily documenting Jones's activities in placing Georgia Tech graduates in positions in textile mills. The correspondence is both incoming and outgoing, with Jones's letters consisting entirely of typewritten carbon copies. The placements include both requests from mills for qualified Tech men to fill positions and inquiries from former students seeking positions. Jones corresponded with mill owners and superintendents all over the country, but the majority were in the Southeast, primarily North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Once students obtained jobs, they often wrote to Jones telling them of their positions and duties. A small number of letters concern technical matters, particularly requests from mills for Jones to test their textiles using equipment at the A. French Textile School
The correspondence also reveals the difficulty university-educated workers had in finding positions and in being assimilated in mills. Some mill owners resented the employees who complained about low wages and expected rapid advancement due to their education. Similarly, the correspondence from former students occasionally shows their disdain for their uneducated colleagues and their frustration in not being promoted. Much of the correspondence from recent graduates seeking employment is written on stationery from their family's businesses, suggesting that many of the young men seeking university degrees at that time were from the burgeoning mercantile class.
There is no correspondence from 1928, for unknown reasons. The correspondence reveals nothing about Jones's personal life or activities at Georgia Tech, with the exception of a letter dated July 9, 1927, which shows that Jones expressed interest in a faculty position at Texas Technological College. The correspondence from 1930 and 1931 illustrates the financial difficulties mills experienced during the Great Depression. In addition, correspondence from April 1931 concerns the formation of an organization for those interested in dyeing and finishing problems of mills.
A lifelong resident of Vinings, Georgia, Charles Alfred Jones, Sr. was born on November 16, 1882. He entered Georgia Tech in 1899 as a sub-apprentice and graduated in 1904 with a B. S. in textile engineering. He worked in industry for two years, returning to Georgia Tech in 1906 as an assistant in dyeing. He left Georgia Tech in 1918, working with Army Department of Procurement and Ordnance for one year, interviewing former soldiers and acting as an advisor for the Veteran's Administration.
He put this experience to good use when he once more returned to Georgia Tech as an assistant professor of textile engineering in the A. French Textile School. He actively sought positions for his former and current students, and worked closely with textile mills throughout the country to secure these positions. Promoted to associate professor in 1931, he was named professor and head of the department in 1933. In 1945, he returned to full-time teaching until he retired in 1953 as professor emeritus. His particular interest was dyeing and finishing and he directed many research programs in this area.
His activities included an honorary membership in ANAK,Phi Psi textile honorary, and serving as chair of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. A fifty-year member of the Smyrna Nelms Masonic Lodge 323, he was also active with the Vinings Methodist Church as steward and church school superintendent.
In 1967, the Textile Education Foundation honored Professor Jones by unveiling a portrait of him, displayed in the Harrison High Textile Building. He was married and had several children. Jones died on January 8, 1969.
The correspondence is arranged chronologically.
A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.
Accession #1987.0801 (old number: 87-08-01).
(one document case)
Susan J. Illis processed these papers in 2001.