New York native Briggs was the proprietor of the Briggs Seed House, Rochester, New York. In 1877 he had 20,000 merchants and dealers who sold his seeds. He had a large payroll with most of his employees being girls who filled orders, made paper bags, then labeled and filled them, and worked the printing presses.
Charles Briggs...commenced business here as a clerk about thirty years ago, & today has one of the largest seed houses in the city. His immense business is thoroughly systematized, each floor being devoted to some particular branch. In passing through the establishment one is likely to become astonished at the magnitude of the concern. His trade in vegetable seeds is enormous; but not to that alone is it confined, as flower seeds & bulbs form an important feature. He does a very large trade among merchants & dealers, of whom there are about twenty thousand who sell his seeds. Mr. Briggs' payroll is very large; the greater number of the employees, however, are girls, who do such work as filling the orders, making paper bags, labeling, filling, & packing them for market, besides operating tbe printing presses. The space used for this business amounts to over one hundred & thirty-six thousand feet. He has a large seed store in Chicago, & also a seed farm at Clinton, Iowa. Mr. B. has passed an active life in this business, & is justly entitled to the rank this establishment holds among the leading seed houses in this country.
From History of Monroe County, New York by W. H. McIntosh & W.E. Morrison, 1877