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C.L. Berger & Sons records

Call Number: MS.LMEC.0001

Scope and Contents

The C.L. Berger & Sons records consists of documents and objects produced by the surveying instrument manufacturing company from 1919-1948. The collection includes product catalogs, product manuals, field manuals, instructional manuals, technical manuals, photographs, pamphlets, company stationary, and three small models of instruments. Also included are texts of speeches by co-owner Louis H. Berger and other materials related to trade conferences.


  • 1919 - 1948


Language of Materials

Material is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. Please contact the Leventhal Map & Education Center to make a research appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.

C.L. Berger & Sons

C.L. Berger & Sons was a surveying instrument manufacturing company in Boston, Massachusetts which operated from 1898-1947. The company was founded on October 18, 1898 by Christian Louis Berger (1842-1922), known as C. Louis Berger, in partnership with his sons William A. Berger (1876-1963) and Louis H. Berger (1878-1965). The factory was located at 9 Province Court in Boston, Massachusetts and moved to 37 Williams Street in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1902. The company was incorporated by William A. Berger and Louis H. Berger in 1922 after C. Louis Berger's death. The company was sold to Charles S. Narins of New York on November 28, 1947. In 1995, it was bought by the Chicago Steel Tape Company and merged into CST/Berger.

Christian Louis Berger (1842-1922)

Christian Louis Berger (1842-1922), known as C. Louis Berger, was born in Stuttgart, Germany on September 26, 1842. There he apprenticed under optical instrument manufacturer Christian Seeger and studied mechanical technology at the Royal Polytechnic Institute. He worked in optical instrument manufacturing at various German companies including G. Schubart in Marburg; F. W. Breithaupt & Son in Cassell; J. Lohmeyer and A & G Repsold in Hamburg; and at Thos. Cooke & Sons in York, England. He moved to the United States in 1866 and worked for optical instrument manufacturers Thomas Upham in Boston, Massachusetts and E. S. Ritchie in Brookline, Massachusetts. In 1871, he partnered with George L. Buff to form the surveying instrument manufacturing company Buff & Berger, which was dissolved on October 18, 1898. On the same day, he founded C.L. Berger & Sons in partnership with his sons William A. Berger (1876-1963) and Louis H. Berger (1878-1965), which operated until 1947. Berger died in Boston, Massachusetts on November 22, 1922.


2 Cubic Feet (4 boxes)


The records are organized in four series: Series I. Product catalogs and manuals, Series II. Addresses and conferences, Series III. Company materials, Series IV. Instrument product models. Materials within each series are arranged as received by the library from the seller.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Kuenzig Books, 2010.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

Statement on harmful description

Archival description reflects the biases of time periods and cultures in which it was created and may include direct quotations or descriptions that use inappropriate or harmful language. Creator provided descriptions may be maintained in order to preserve the context in which the collection was created and/or used. Legacy description and potentially offensive content may be made available online until a collection can be reprocessed because the access that they provide to primary source materials is uniquely valuable to the research community at large. Our efforts to repair outdated descriptions and to describe our collections more equitably are iterative and ongoing.

C.L. Berger & Sons records
Lauren Chen
2021 October
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

700 Boylston Street
Boston MA 02116 United States