Collecting old branded brick is a growing hobby. Some call it
a crazy hobby, but to find, touch and own a piece of history can be
very rewarding...and fun. This web site has several main sections:
Hudson River Brickmaking:
The extent of the industry in New York and northern New Jersey, now
with an interactive map version
Bricks from the Hudson River Valley and New England with brief notes on
the history of the yards and towns where they were made
Links: Other web sites
with fun and interesting information all about brick(s)
This web site focuses mainly on brick from
the Hudson Valley of New York and New England. A great source for
information on brick around the USA (and around the world) is the International
Brick Collectors Association.
Also, of note is Dan Mosier's fine
web site on California Bricks which has a great page on just
what Collecting Bricks is all about.
Bricks were produced in many areas
around the United States and Canada where craftsmen brought their
skills from Europe to places that had the right type of clay suitable
for brickmaking and good access to transportation.
HUTTON bricks along the
Hudson River at Kingston Point Beach, July, 2006
One such area, the Hudson River Valley
in New York State, with its abundance of clay and an excellent water
link to New York City, churned out millions of bricks, mostly near the
turn of the 20th century. In Haverstraw, in Rockland County, NY, there
is the Haverstraw
Brick Museum. In the 1880s there were over 40 brickyards in the Haverstraw area. Many buildings in New York City are made with bricks
manufactured in Haverstraw. For more information on Hudson River
Brickmaking, Click Here.
At one time, the state of Connecticut
had more than 200 brickmaking companies. As a result of past glaciation
periods, many clay deposits dot the state and many of these were
exploited to make bricks. The history of brickmaking in the state is
explored in a special section of the Connecticut
Museum of Mining and Mineral Science.
From the National Building Museum's American
A variety of 19th and 20th century brick
samples from the National Building Museum Collection,
which contains more than 1,800 examples from brickyards around the
is one of the oldest and most enduring man-made building materials.
Sun-dried mud brick, or adobe, appeared about 10,000 years ago, and the
earliest kiln-fired or clay-baked brick dates to 3,500 BC. This marked
the first time humans were able to construct permanent, fireproof
structures without stone.
Since at least 1611, when English
brickmakers were recruited to Virginia, fired brick has been part of
the North American landscape. Indelibly tied to the colonial era, brick
came to define the nation’s industrial age and remains linked to
contemporary notions of the American factory, school, and single-family
Although once manufactured with
incredible variety, brick production today is far more limited because
the material is no longer used structurally, but rather as veneer.
A labor of love,
the Museum’s extensive American Brick Collection was amassed by Raymond
Chase over 24 years. The collection now holds some 1,800 decorative,
face, fire, paving, pressed, and common bricks from around the nation.
And unlike the country’s anonymous army of bricklayers, many of these
late-19th and early 20th-century brick are branded with the name or
location of their originating brickyard, or a distinguishing mark.
We often get asked where old bricks
can be found. The best places are former brickyards, construction
sites, abandoned building sites, demolition sites, dump sites,
land-fill and beaches.
a few of the many bricks found by website visitor Jason in the Bronx, NY
Bricks found at demolition site, Pilgrim
998 Crooked Hill Road, West Brentwood, NY, September, 2007
to Bill from St. James, NY for tipping us off on this location!)
Bricks found in land-fill (site now closed),
Milton, NY, January, 2007
For true brickophiles there's the International
Brick Collectors Association. IBCA members don't buy bricks, they
swap them. They collect all kinds of brick: building brick, paving
brick, fire brick, as long as they are branded with names, designs,
patterns, pictures, or numbers. The 2009 Hudson Valley I.B.C.A.
BRICK SWAP took place in Haverstraw,
NY the "Brickmaking Capitol of the World." Click Here for Photos
Some collectors build custom shelves to display
Others even have their bricks bound
Over the years, we've added some new specialized
pages and sections:
- Brick Flick
Dennings Point Brick Works
of Brick Companies Still in Existence
NY (incl. East Kingston & Whiskey Point)
- MAYONE ("The Gentleman
from Ulster," a history of the MAYONE Brick Co. in Athens and Glasco,
New England Brick Company
- Rosendale Cement
NY (incl. Montrose and Crugers)
Tales from Croton Point (The story of the William A.
Barnstable Brick Company, Cape Cod, MA
I hope you enjoy this