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C. F. Smith Collection

Identifier: MSS 0172

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a selection of materials that document some of C. F. Smith’s professional activities. The collection is not comprehensive, but it does provide a glimpse into his life from 1950 to 1981.


  • 1950-1981


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from C.F. Smith Collection must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Historical Note

C. F. Smith grew up in Houston’s Fifth Ward. He attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where in 1938 he received a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Industries with an emphasis in electrical engineering. After a brief period during which he was the first black movie projectionist in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Smith served in the Navy Seabees. He returned to Houston after his discharge from the service, and in 1943 became the first African American to pass the City of Houston Electrician’s exam. In 1945, Smith opened his business, the C. F. Smith Electric Co. In addition to his business, Smith has been involved in various community organizations, from the Boy Scouts to the Houston chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors. He was an active member of Tuskegee Institute alumni groups.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Arranged by subject then, chronically by date when relevant.

Custodial History

These records were formerly housed at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library as MSS 249 C.F. Smith Family Collection and was transferred to the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library in February 2019.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Patricia Prather, 1984.

Processing Information

Processed by: Andrew Hempe, November 1999.

MSS 0172 C. F. Smith Collection
An Inventory of Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the African American History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002