Charles Burford, founder of Burford Corp., dies

by Eric Schroeder
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MAYSVILLE, OKLA. — Charles E. Burford, founder of baking equipment maker Burford Corp., died May 16. He was 81 years old.

Mr. Burford, along with his father Earl, founded Burford Corp. in 1961 with the invention of the Burford twist tie machine that helped revolutionize how bread and other baked foods are packaged. In the years since, the company’s equipment has broadened considerably with a wide range of specialty devices that help bakers operate more efficiently. The company holds many patents for its innovations.

A native of Lindsay, Okla., Mr. Burford grew up on a farm and went straight to work for his father after graduating from high school. His father invented an automatic wire tying hay baler.

It was this invention that ultimately led to the creation of the twist tie machine. The twist tie offered consumers the advantage of being able to reseal bread packages. For bakers, the advantage was efficiency.

Mr. Burford’s inventiveness extended beyond the baking industry. During the 1970s he developed a downstroke baler for the supermarket and dime store industry. The size of a side-by-side refrigerator-freezer, the device compacts cardboard boxes into a bale, wires them and loads the bale onto a dolly.

He also conceived a new packaging approach for growers of citrus fruits.

Mr. Burford was named to the 2010 class of the Baking Hall of Fame.

Services will be held Tuesday, May 21 at 2 p.m. at Ellis Chapel at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. There will also be a memorial service Wednesday, May 22 at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Maysville, Oklahoma. 

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By Mike Henderson 1/4/2017 1:28:45 PM
My Father built the tools that did the tie wrap for that machine. That was the night he was working 3rd shift and i got to help and the Beatles had just landed in America.

By Pam Urban 5/21/2013 11:10:31 PM
Earl Burford was my mother's great uncle and family history documents and credits him as the inventor of all the above mentioned. I am sure he was inspired by both of his sons. Charles younger brother Len was an active part of Burford Corp. in Maysville, OK for many years. He passed away in February of this year. I have always been very proud of this part of my family history and want to be sure that it's place in history is documented correctly. My condolences to our extended family.

By Steve & Barbara Wright 5/21/2013 9:09:01 PM
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the large Burford 'family' including family, employees, customers and friends. Charles was an icon in the industry, a wonderful person and a friend of all.