Edward J. Codd founded the E. J. Codd Company in the 1850s. The E. J. Codd Company focused on industrial machinery and aided Baltimore’s booming shipbuilding industry by assembling boilers, propellers, and engines. At the turn of the century, Baltimore workers went on strike demanding the nine-hour work day. The E. J. Codd strikers proved victorious when in 1899, the company agreed to give workers the nine-hour work day with their former pay.
Edward Codd, like other captains of industry in Gilded Age America, was not only a man of business, but a philanthropist. According to a Baltimore Sun article published on Christmas Eve in 1905, Edward Codd gave 460 children of east Baltimore each a nickel on Christmas Eve. In addition to handing out nickels each Christmas Eve, Edward Codd reportedly gave children each a penny every other day of the year. Back in the early twentieth-century, a nickel could buy children a goodly amount of candy and one reporter even reported that children’s “bright red wheelbarrows” filled with “painted candies” dotted the street on Christmas Eve. Needless to say, Edward Codd was well-liked by the children of east Baltimore.
After World War II, the Codd family sold the company to Ray Kauffman. Kauffman expanded the company to include “Codd Fabricators and Boiler Co.” and “Baltimore Lead Burning.” Under Kauffman, the E. J. Codd Company served many local Baltimore businesses such as Bethlehem Steel, Allied Chemical, and even the American Visionary Arts Museum located right down the road from the Baltimore Museum of Industry.
Today, real estate agents are leasing the once mighty machine shop as office spaces.