Wow! This little website has grown by leaps and bounds since
we started in 2005. In 2012 we had over 130,000 unique visitors. Whoever thought there were so many people interested in brick collecting! Note that our focus is primarily on brick from the Hudson Valley and New England. If you are researching brick from these areas, you will find a lot of information on our Brick Blog. You will also find the Search Boxes on the site helpful (scroll down for the Search Box on this page).
If you are looking for information on bricks from other areas we suggest you direct your questions to Jim Graves of the International Brick Collectors Association (IBCA). You can E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. In each IBCA Journal there's a section where Jim answers brick identity questions from readers. Jim has an extensive collection of historical information and is the Librarian for the IBCA. NOTE: The new web address for the IBCA is http://www.ibcabrick.com.
Many thanks to our resident "guru" Fred Rieck for all his expertise. Fred is Member #969 of the IBCA .I'd also like to thank Andy van der Poel for his contributions to the website and for providing transportation for our research trips on the Hudson. Andy has compiled a complete list of his collection (which is also serves as a great aid in identifying Hudson River brick).
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.
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
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