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Comments from Our Visitors
and Brix Pix
--Page 3--
(March - October 2006)





October '06:

I am looking for a General Shale Brick from Johnson City Tennessee. I am working on an archive for the club we belong to and was wondering if anyone might have one. All I really need is a picture and a donator's name.

Seems as though General Shale Brick is almost as aggressive as ACME here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They buy up all the competition. Thanks in advance
--Chris Wolford (Tinman) IBCA#1141

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I have a few ATHENS BLOCK paving bricks from Athens, Ohio. On one of the bricks, the 'N' in the word Athens is mis-aligned and backwards. Is this a rare occurance from this manufacturer or did they produce many units with this variation?
--Bruce Langer

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Burden Iron Works Thank you to Fred Rieck for the response to my questions. Brick collecting is very new to me and secondary to my recent purchase of a brick row house built in 1868. I recently found another brick in Troy, New York along Mill St near the site of the Burden Irons "Upper" Works. (Webmaster Note: click pic for more Burden info.) The letters on the brick are H E R . I have also found a few "Ostrander and Son's" bricks along the shore of the Hudson River which appear to be furnance bricks. A friend found a brick stamped ALAMO along the Hudson as well. Again if anyone has any feedback I would appreciate the information.
--Bill Fazioli

Fred Rieck replies: Hello Bill, if there are two buildings in Troy that get my attention, it's the Burden Iron Co office and the 1873 Troy Gas Light "Gasometer?" tank bldg. Getting back to business.... According to Karl Gurcke's listing of brick brands, the ALAMO brand was one used by Harbison-Walker Refractories of Missouri. Karl's research indicates that the brand was registered in the "Official Gazette" in 1935. The brand mark was used from 1935 to 1942..

The HER is a common building brick manufactured by Henry E. Retallic of Watervliet, and was evidently quite popular in the Troy area. An analysis of the Watervliet / Green Island sections of the Troy city directories tends to indicate that HER (also listed as an ice dealer) began manufacture of brick in consort with Horace D. Tupper(a lumber and coal dealer), a firm listed in directories as Tupper & Retallic ca. 1897 (possibly before). HER becomes listed in his own right as a brick manufacturer in ca.1901. Mr. Tupper died Jan. 22,1901, according to the the directory. The firm remains listed to 1915 but is not listed in 1920.

I dug thru my notes and came up with the following on the Ostrander Fire Brick Co.

Acording to the Troy City Directories, James Ostrander took over the fire brick business from Dan Hudson around 1855. He subsequently teams up with Jonas Heartt in about 1856 and Ostrander & Heartt A?K?A Troy Fire Brick Works debuts.

Around 1866 the Heartt name disappears from the business listings of Ostrander & Heartt and in 1868 the firm becomes listed as James Ostrander and Son.

In 1878, an ad appears in the directory indicating "James Ostrander and Son - Francis A. Ostrander surviving partner." ALSO that firm is the "General Office of the Staten Island Kaolin Co of Rossville (Staten Island) New York."

Between 1885 and 1899 the firm becomes listed as Ostrander Fire Brick Co. Between 1926 and 1930 "OFBC" is dropped from the Troy Business Directories.
--Fred Rieck

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Really enjoy your website. I have a number of Hudson River Brick and am concentrating on Texas and Oklahoma brick. Thanks.
--Terry St.Clair #1315

Webmaster Note: Terry has sent in these wonderful pics of his collection:



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Here are a couple of bricks I own, this one with a dog's paw print is from a tenement in NYC at 127 Pitt st, built 1901 (demolished). It has one end blackened so I am sure that end was facing the inside of the chimney.
http://www.lostnewyorkcity.com/sculpturephotos/Plate-3-s.html

This one from Missouri, older vintage;
http://www.lostnewyorkcity.com/sculpturephotos/Plate-163-s.html
--Randall, lostnewyorkcity.com

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I recently found in Stockbridge, Mass. what I think is a paving brick which is 8.5'' x 3.5'' x 4'' and embossed with METROPOLITAN BLOCK (The word METROPOLITAN is in an arch shape over the word BLOCK. Similar to the Canton O(hio) block but on mine there isn't any town or state. I would appreciate any feed back you can give me on my BLOCK. Thank you
--Ron

A reply from Fred Rieck: Ron, relative to your archlettered (no city) METROPOLITAN, and according to IBCA Jim Graves' listing of brick brands, there was a METROPOLITAN BLOCK (no city) manufactured by Imperial Shale Brick Co. of Canton Ohio. There aren't any manufacturing dates given in my copy.

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I have two bricks, I believe from India, with an R, a swastika and another R in the center. I am interested in identifying the origin of this brick.
--Jeremy Murphy

Fred Rieck Replies: I don't know how this "swastika" brick compares with yours, Jeremy, but in an article written by Melvin D. Taylor in the Spring edition (vol 14 #1) of the International Brick Collector's Association journal, this pattern brick was made in the American southwest by the Cobb Pressed Brick Co. of Jacksonville, Texas.

Cobb Press Brick began in 1907 and became Cobb Harris Brick Co. in 1924. The swastika appeared once in an ad in 1920, again, according to the article.

Cobb Harris ... subsequently became Harris Brick Co. ca. 1927. The swastika symbol was considered to be a sign of good luck in some societies. Any possibility of posting a picture of the Indian swastika brick?


September '06:

I was wanting to know what the "Don't Spit on the Sidewalk" brick is worth today and if anybody is interested in purchasing some of these bricks?
--Bret Hodgden

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I have the following bricks; TROY, R B, and DORP. All bricks were found in Troy, New York. Does anyone have any information they could share me as to their origins?
--Bill Fazioli

A reply from Fred Rieck: I'm glad you mentioned Troy. That gives us something to work with. The DORP was made by Dominick Lewis, a builder and contractor located in Schenectady, N.Y. He was president of the DORP Brick Co., also of that city; but the brick yard itself, was located in Crescent,NY. The firm first appeared listed in the Schenectady City Directory in 1925. It was still listed in 1933 but not 1935. I don't think there was a 1934 directory published.

I don't know but I've been told that whenever a wall falls of a building in that city there seems to be an RB in the heap. Apparently, according to regional media coverage, these happenings aren't exactly once in a lifetime events. This may suggest that the RB genre of brick in and around Troy is rather commonplace. I must confess that I have found more RB, RBC and RBCo in the Albany Troy area than south of Albany and Rennselaer Counties. At this point we must recognize that there are other manufacturers further "down river" that could have used the RB (and RBC) brands. It may be helpful to know if the R and B look as if they may be depicted utilizing toothpicks. That is, are the letter elements all straight line segments or do the letters feature the classic curved letter sections.

As another possibility, the Rennselaer Brick Company, was listed in city directories from about 1906 to about 1910. I haven't searched "Albany" years between 1910 and 1919.

When the Huyck Felt plant, in Rennselaer, was demolished, RB (2 styles), RBC and RBCo marked brick were among the brands found.

Sorry for the lack of certainty.

Webmaster Note: Daniel deNoyles in his book Within These Gates lists TROY as The Troy Brick Co., Troy, NY, 1904.

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Hi, I am privately investigating the Pentagon attack of 9/11. As part of my investigation I need to know the size of the bricks that would have been used when it was built between 1941 and 1943. Can you help please?
--S. Hall

A reply from Fred Rieck: According to "The Great Hudson River Brick Industry," a book about the Hudson River (New York State) brick industry by George Hutton,the US Department of Commerce established the standard size for common brick at 8 inches long, 3 3/4 inches wide and 2 1/4 inches thick.

That doesn't prevent manufactures from producing special shapes and sizes of brick for architects and builders to consider and use.

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Do you have info on brick incised "Reynolds Block"? Found near 1850's house in Alabama.
--William E Sumners

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Webmaster Note: If you have additional information for anyone or comments Contact Us.

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On a visit to Trinidad, CO I was pleased to see brick paved streets in great shape with 3 styles of brick. Was given one by town official after expressing interest. But how to get it home? Answer:postmistress put it in a Priority Envelope for $4.05 to NY (flat rate, whatever fits !). The whole Post Office got a good laugh.
--Rich Badagliacca

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While taking pictures in the East Windham, NY area yesterday, 9/3/2006, I found an old building whose foundation contains MAYONE bricks.
--Ed Tommola, Saugerties, NY

Webmaster Note: Thanks Ed! I will send a note to Mike Mayone as he likes to hear where brick made by his great-grandfather ended up. And be sure to visit our MAYONE page: "The Gentleman from Ulster".

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Hi, I live in a neighborhood that was developed in the early 1900's, in Portland Or. We recently discovered a brick that was stamped (engraved) with the brickmaker's name and dated 1871. Do you know why they would stamp bricks? Was this very common practice?
--Kathleen Frank

Webmaster Note: In "Up Against the Wall: An Archaeological Field Guide to Bricks in Western New York," Michael N. Vogel explains when, how and why bricks were stamped (branded). Click Here to read more. Information courtesy of the Frank and Jane Clement Brick Museum.

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Martin Byster writes: In an archaeological study completed in the 1970s at the Fishkill Supply Depot, the author, Julliet Cartwright identifies the remains of a small brickworks, which still remain on the site, as the Stefancil Brickworks. Can anyone associated with your organization shed some light on the history of this brickworks?

Also, my wife and I found a brick on the east bank of the Hudson River near what at one time we believe was the Denning Point Brickyard. The name on the brick is MARTIN. Can you tell me something about the company that made the brick?

Webmaster note: Daniel deNoyles in his book Within These Gates lists a manufacturer named "Thomas Martin & Sons (1927)." Fred Rieck, our website "guru," adds these comments:

MARTIN: I'm sorry that I can't offer anymore than our webmaster has offered up. I have the feeling that Martin moved up to Chelsea from Rockland County and only manufactured for a short period of time. I'd like to know more about the brand myself.
--Fred Rieck

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From Tom McDonald: Great Site. My great, great (etc.) grandfather, Terrance McGuire, owned brickyards in Haverstraw, NY. His grand daughter, Mary Kate, married my grandfather, Thomas McDonald, and they owned a brickyard near Beacon, NY. The bricks had a brand of F&MCD Ever run across a good copy of one of those? The "F" is for Peter Freeman, who was my grandfather's cousin. I found one F&MCD when I was parking my car one day on Fordham Road in the Bronx! It is broken and not in very good shape. My dad had a pretty good collection of Hudson River brick that he used as a hearth stone in his fireplace. Unfortunately, the collection didn't include one of his own. He always said that if we got a boat and looked at low tide in the mud flats near the old plant we could find all the ones we wanted. He said some would always fall off the barges when they were being loaded.

From Craig Jones: For Tom McDonald - I recently collected a brick imprinted with MC & MC near Beacon, NY. This is similar to what you were asking about. Think it is from your family?

Webmaster note: Daniel deNoyles in his book Within These Gates lists two manufacturers using MC & MC. They are McCabe & McGrath, Brockway, NY (1905) and McGowan & McGovern, Haverstraw, NY (1893). The brand frog used by Tom's great, great grandfather, Terrance McGuire, was T M. What's a "brand frog?" Click Here for the answer.

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From Lucia Graves: I'm working for Wall to Wall television in the UK and urgently looking for Victorian (1880-1900) bricklaying equipment there. Do you have any contacts for collections in the UK/ know of anyone who does UK reconstructions? With many thanks Lucia Graves.

Webmaster Note: Lucia gave us her phone number but it is the policy of this site not to publish phone numbers or email addresses to protect your privacy. If you have any information for Lucia Contact Us.

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Tom Rinaldi and Rob Yasinsac are pleased to announce the release of their long-awaited book, "Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape." An homage to the many deserted buildings along the Hudson River and a plea for their survival, "Hudson Valley Ruins" chronicles over 80 selected ruins between Yonkers and just below Albany, including 28 sites examined through in-depth histories.

Copies signed by both authors will be available at book-signings and lecture presentations. Events are currently scheduled from September through November at bookstores, libraries and historical societies in Westchester County.

In addition, an exhibit of photography by Tom Rinaldi and Rob Yasinsac has been scheduled at the Municipal Arts Society of New York for September 7, 2006 through November 1, 2006.

For more information about Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape, authors' book signings and lectures, and photography exhibits, please visit the authors' website.

Tom and Rob would like to thank all who have visited the Hudson Valley Ruins website and have offered words of support over the years, we hope to see many of you this fall. We also promise a website update by the end of the summer (perhaps we'll show some of the dozens of ruins that didn't make it into the book).


August '06:

Jenny Barkley writes: I have heard that a brick convention or festival or something like that is scheduled for Paris, Illinois in 2007. Do you know anything about that and who could be contacted?

Webmaster Note: Yes this is correct. The IBCA is holding a "Brick Swap" then. Click Here For More Info

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From Robert Scott: In reference to the comments from Kasey Kleinman, my grandaughter found a similar brick with the same name, Oxford, in Highland, NY. It was found in the swampy area behind the elementary school. I, too, would be interested in any information about this brick. My interest and collection is mainly of the Mid-Hudson River brickyards. Thanks, Bob

A reply from Fred Rieck: Mr. Scott: The Oxford, and I'm assuming it's the red clay building brick with raised letters in a rectangular recess (frog)- was made by the Alwine Brick Co of New Oxford, PA - per "Brick Brands of the United States" compiled by Jim Graves of the I.B.C.A.

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Tim Covelli writes: I had recently found a couple of old blond colored bricks that are marked (W W Co) on them. Would like to know how old they are and where they were made at. Please let me know if you can, Thank you, Tim

A reply from Fred Rieck: Hello Tim, The WW Co is a brand of firebrick. According to "Brick Brands of the United States" compiled by Jim Graves of the I.B.C.A. it was manufactured by the "Robinson Clay Products Co " of Strasburg, Ohio. Robinson Clay .... had lots of plants. Possibly WW Co was the brand of a company they bought out. That is just a guess I my part.I don't have access to Ohio research resources.

Like most large industries the brick manufacturers, too, had their trade magazines and journals to help decision makers keep abreast of the business.

A gentleman by the name of Karl Gurcke developed a listing of , I would say, largely of fire brick brands, their owners/makers , location and a period in time when the brand was used.

His references include industry publications and the Official Gazette, a US Gov. publication that recorded trademarks. According Mr. Gurcke, referencing publications of the American Refractories Institute, the WW Co trademark was used from 1921 to 1942. Hope this helps --Fred

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From Lori Livingston: I am researching a property that once contained a brick manufacturer. A map from 1919 says "Raymond process; 40 tunnels". What does this mean? Would the tunnels be above or below ground? Thank you for your help!

Interesting. Not sure what this means but a Google search of "Raymond process" reveals that it is used for on-site biorestoration of contaminated aquifers.
--Webmaster

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From Dave Matthews: Well here is a story...I live in Roslyn Wa. where Northern Exposure was filmed. It is an old coal mining town. In my back yard I discovered about 400 firebricks that came from the original coke furnaces in the mines. They have the following names stamped into them. TCARR, COLOMBIA, ATLAS and CFBCOXX. I dont know anything about bricks and dont collect. I simply wonder if they have any value. The mines were established in 1898.

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This from Paul Antonio: I a working on a Circa 1917 building restoration in Brooklyn New York. We want to try identify the manufacturer of the perpendicular wire cut yellow brick used in the building which we are requireing the contractor to reuse. It seems like a standard size brick but the wire cut goes in the perpenducular direction (across the short face) of any other typical wire cut brick and the yellow color is unusual. The bricks have no markings on them. Do you have a clue what company might of made the brick?

A reply from Fred Rieck: Hi Paul, I don't know if this is of any help to you but your comment about the brick's color struck a chord.

I have a paver brick that is about the yellowest ( My eyes tend to perceive a tint of green in the color) brick I've run across. It is a very solid extrusion measuring a nominal: 3 inches thick, 4 1/4 inches wide, and 8 3/4 inches long. The long edges are rounded. The end surfaces are very smooth. The two surfaces, having the largest surface areas (faces?), have light, parallel scratches running the length of the brick. The brick is geometricly true and probably repressed.

One face is stamped with NYB&PCo which acording to Brick Brands of the United States compiled by J. Graves of the ICBA, "translates" to New York Brick & Paving Co. located in Syracuse, NY. I don't believe yellow bricks like this one are too common, anyway not in New York State. I'm attaching a photo which, hopefully, you can compare yours against and decide if there is a signific resemblance.

Yellow Brick

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LINDA K FOSTER writes: I ENJOYED YOUR SITE AND LOVE BRICKS AS WELL. WE HAVE A COUPLE HUNDRED WE HAVE AQUIRED AFTER OUR SMALL TOWN OF GREENVILLE MICHAIGN TORE UP THE OLD STREETS AND REDID THEM A FEW YEARS AGO. I UNDERSTAND THEY WERE MADE IN THE UPPER PENINSULA OF MICHIGAN ABOUT ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO BUT HAVE NOT FOUND ANYTHING ON THE HISTORY OF WHERE OR THE FACTORY. SOME OF THE BRICKS SAY BESSEMER ON THEM. I LOVE THEM THO AND HAVE USED THEM AROUND MY FLOWER BEDS, OUR FIRE PIT, AND OTHER AREAS.

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From Bart. P Malone: GOODDAY. A BRICK WAS RECOVERED FROM A SHIPWRECK OFF OF THE COST OF NEW JERSEY THE HAD PRINTED ON IT ADAM WEBBER-NEW YORK-No1 CAN YOU HELP ? I THANK YOU

A reply from Fred Rieck: Hi Bart, Adam Webber was the proprietor of the "Manhattan Fire Brick and Enameled Clay Retort Works". As early as 1878 they advertised that they could supply fire clay from their own beds in Perth Amboy. I don't know how long they operated under this name.

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From zafar bhuiya: We are looking for import automatic bricks manufacturing machine for set up in my country. We are requesting you kindly let us know the details competitive price list separately for all equipments. Please send us a complete machineries, equipments and other necessary items list for set up the industry to until ( finish) make the product for sale. We mean, how many machine & equipments have needed for set up a full complete automatic bricks manufacturing industry and how much its cost? We are waiting for your wise & great full attention. Thanking you

From your Webmaster: Here is some information for you:
http://www.agram.co.za/Home.htm
http://www.agram.co.za/Contact Us.htm
http://www.pwo.co.za/products.htm
Click Here for More Info

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Hi, My name is Alex. I’m from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. I want to present you my collection of bricks. It is not as large as yours – on 09 August it consists of 120 bricks produced in Saint-Petersburg before 1917. I started my collection in June 2005 – on roof of one of old buildings in the centre of Saint-Petersburg I have found bricks with 4 different types of marks on them and wondered what these “inscriptions” mean. I decided to apply to Internet but unfortunately failed to find any information on old bricks produced in Saint-Petersburg before 1917. Why before 1917: in 1917 revolution has took place in Russia, centre of it was Saint-Petersburg (in that period it was capital of Russia) and political regime has been changed. After that all private plants and factories, including brick-plants, were nationalized and many of them were closed. And in the Soviet period that started after revolution marking of bricks was cancelled. That is why old (produced in Russia before 1917) bricks for me are more valuable and of course more interesting than modern ones. Then I visited Museum of Bricks situated on one of brick-plants and they provided me with some information about brick-producers in Saint-Petersburg. So, now I’m surfing in Internet and try to find information about owners of brick-plants and bricks’ collectors. To my surprise, you can hardly find many brick-collectors in Russia who write about their hobby and present their collections in Internet. That’s why I decided to show you my bricks: 100 of 120, 20 are still not photoed.
www.oldbricks.info
email_address: contact@oldbricks.info

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Valery Whalen writes: We have quite a few old bricks on our property. Most are marked with H B Co. What company was this and where they located? My dad got these about 50 years ago in Newark, NJ. We also just found a brick with a star stamped in the middle. I did find the Star Brick Co. in Lancaster but I was unable to find out what state and from when this company was in business. Can anyone give me some insight? We have other bricks with different logos but at this time I can't remember what they are-I'll have to go in the back and check them out. Thanks for any info.

A reply from Fred Rieck:
Ms. Whalen, I must say thank you for such timely questions. I have found a lot of HBCo's around Newark which may well be those of the Hackensack Brick Co. of Hack.... Check out the HBCo under the OUR COLLECTION link elsewhere on this website.Do the "rungs" in the H and B slope as shown ?

The "Star" brick - What are its dimensions? Is it red? ... or white /buff / manilla colored? If red colored may be the same I have found Middlesex County and in filled land surrounding the NY metro area. If white/buff/manilla, it is probably a fire brick. Sayre and Fisher of Sayreville,NJ appear to have also made some firebrick with a shallow imprint of a star outline and no other nomenclature, not even their name. However, without seeing the brick we can't be certain we are talking about the same "brand".

There was a brick manufacturer in Lancaster, New York that made building brick with a deep full [star} imprint. ... also one in the the area around Bradford, PA. My bet is yours may have been made much closer to home. Stars were a popular brick decoration.

Near what city did you find the "star" brick? I'm hoping to "home in " on an area where they may have been made. Do the brick look as if they were in good saleable condition when made and put to use - OR - do they look like they should have been rejects?

What other brick brands may have accompanied the "stars"? Were they used in the same place?

I realize I haven't done all that well in answering your question. There are others besides myself that are looking for the maker of that brand mark as well. It would be good to know the dimensions of the star too.

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Dan McKay writes: I have a brick with a young kids foot print in it. I'm looking for someone to tell me what it is worth--it came out of a building that was built 1830 in GA.

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This note from John: Hello! I am an avid metal detectorist from RI, and recently found a brick here buried in beach sand. It is exactly the same as the Tuttle brick pictured on rosebrickyard.com, under the "Connecticut" section of their collection. The brick is in excellent condition, and I can provide a photo if you wish. Is there any collectors value to this brick, and can you provide any history of the Tuttle Brick Co? Thank you in advance!

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Mark Williams asks: I have several paving(?) bricks with the words Pittsburgh and Malvern on them. Any information as to where they came from? In addition to the printing they have four raised squares towards the corners.

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If you have any answers or additional information for anyone Contact Us.


July '06:

Rusty from CT found this brick near Norwalk and wanted to know its origin:

RIDER

Webmaster Note: We found this on the Web from from The Village of Athens, 1896 Greene County Directory:
"William Rider---brick manufacturer at Washington St."
Also, Daniel deNoyelles in Within These Gates lists "W., W. Rider, Jr., Athens, NY" This would be William Rider and his son, William, Jr. They are listed as having 4 brickmaking machines. Another brickmaker with a yard in Athens was Joseph Mayone.


Leslie Oliver writes: I'm looking to see if I can find names of employees from, I believe Aldrige Brick yard from the early 1900's. My 85 year old friends' father used to work there and we are interested in knowing if this was the place he worked. His name was William Abadella. They lived in Duchess Junction until approx. 1931. I would also like to know exactly where this company was located since Duchess Junction no longer exists.
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Webmaster Note: Dutchess Junction is a hamlet south of the City of Beacon. On this map you can see "Aldrige Lane." From the parking area for the Town of Fishkill Park (also on map) you can walk along an overgrown path to where the brick yard was. To get to the park: from Cold Spring, Putnam County, NY, head north on Route 9D into Dutchess County and turn left at mile marker 10:21. Just off the jungle gym area is an unblazed trail that descends down to the river. Go through the tunnel under the railroad tracks. You soon come to the Hudson River opposite some oil storage tanks just south of Newburgh. You can the Beacon-Newburgh bridge from here. Also seen is Bannerman's castle on Pollepel Island. The shore here is covered with bricks (marked with the imprints A. B. C., ALDRIGE and HAMMOND).


From Christian Herman: http://stlouisbricks.blogspot.com is my blog on bricks in St. Louis. I'm obsessed, hunt them down and photograph them as well as collecting. I'm relived other people are also collecting.
Love your site!

Denise L. Sage-Hall writes: I just moved onto a 3 acre plot in Paw Paw Michigan and have found a circle of black Bricks. They are shaped with one end wider than the other. Can you tell me who made this type of brick? It has no markings that I can find and are quite heavy - but not of what I have known to be typical Brick material.

A question from Brian Glauner: I was wondering if you might know how much d moine bricks might be worth? I do road construction and we just took out some old manholes that had "d moine" on the brick.

If you have any additional information for Rusty, Leslie, Denise or Brian Contact Us.

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This from Kasey Kleinman: I've been renovating homes in Baltimore City Maryland for the past 2 years and came across a couple of bricks that have the name OXFORD on them. Just wondering what the background was on them. Thank you, Kasey

From Robert Scott: In reference to the comments from Kasey Kleinman, my grandaughter found a similar brick with the same name, Oxford, in Highland, NY. It was found in the swampy area behind the elementary school. I, too, would be interested in any information about this brick. My interest and collection is mainly of the Mid-Hudson River brickyards. Thanks, Bob

If you have any information for Kasey or Robert, Contact Us.


June '06:

Marie Simon writes: We have a goodly asortment of old bricks in our driveway...examples are: Southern Clay Mfg. with raised letters: Graves BHAM, ALA.: Ragland Block, also with raised letters...Do any of these have any worth? Thank you.

Website "regular" and fellow IBCA member, Fred Reick writes: Hi Marie, You ask if the GRAVES -B'HAM's have any value. The answer is yes.... but what follows may be different than what you may expect.

Most collectors would say, in one way or another, the brick are generally worth another brick. This may sound somewhat "flippy" until one realizes that most collectors don't buy their brick. They find them dumped or discarded or where a friendly demolition contractor will let them help themselves to what they cane carry. Many collectors are "seniors" and collecting bricks offers them an interesting preoccupation with lots of sympathetic friends.

Secondly, many collectors swap their doubles and extras by the trunk, or trailer load for about as many others they don't have. ... and nobody keeps "score".

That is not to say some collector may not shop a brick he / she values for one of special interest to him. It is also not to say that some collectors won't buy a brick here and there if it fits a particular purpose. Many non-collector decendents of brick manufacturers, upon learning their ancestors were engaged in brick manufacture, may desire a brick from that company as a momento.

It may be important to note that there are usually more bricks available than collectors to give them a "home." If one collector were to purchase a brick from another collector and word gets out that another collector has a "ton of them" for trade or to simply give away, ... hard feelings are apt to follow.

Of those I've seen, the GRAVES -B'HAM pavers are nice bricks, ... in my opinion, anyhow.


May '06:

This from Cynthia Blair Heegn: Any info on a brick factory owned by Robert Blair? It was built on the Hudson at Haverstraw about 1869 and employed at one time about 50 men.

Fred Rieck writes: I'm afraid I shall not be able to provide you with more insight than you probably already know. In looking over several manufacturers' listings it comes to mind that the Blairs were, indeed, early brick manufacturers. Dan de Noyelles, in his book, Within these Gates lists Robert Blair & Co, Grassy Point 1876; Hiram Blair & Son, Grassy Point 1883; and Hiram Blair, Grassy Point 1886.

In the Student Handbook produced by Haverstraw Brick Museum, is an exerpt of Cole's History of Rockland County in which there is an 1883 listing in which Robert Blair & Son is included.

The next listing I have had the ocassion to review, is one contained in a March 1895 report of the New York clay industry by Heinrich Ries of the New York State Museum. Whereas many of the Haverstraw manufacturers are listed therein, the Blairs are NOT. Subsequent listings printed in de Noyelles' book do not mention the Blairs either.

Does anyone know of any city directories covering the Haverstraw - Grassy Point - Stony Point area ?


Ron Rose Jr writes: This is awesome. I haven't seen very much on the net for this. I built a web page for my Dad, so far we have 865 bricks on display. His name is Ron Rose, the link is rosebrickyard.com. Thanks. It's just a kick seeing more brickers on the net.

Posted by: Shirley Burris: The Brockway Brick Company was founded by Edwin Brockway, my great, great grandfather, who bought the property and moved his family from Haverstraw. Following his death, his children, Charles LaRue Brockway, Frank, Fannie and I think there was another, inherited the property. My Grandmother, Esther Lydia Brockway Lewis and her siblings were born in the "big house" on the property.


From Doug Jones: I have a Pittsburg VP@G brick co.. Where was this brick made?

Tom Elliot comments: I have a small collection of hand made bricks that animals and people have left prints in. Are there collectors or a website of these type of bricks? I live in VA.

If you have any information for Tom or Doug or Tom, Contact Us.


From Roger Browne: Love the site. I found a brick in my backyard this weekend. It must have been four feet under ground, kind of a cream color, and it says New York No. 1 on it. Just wondering about it. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

From Fred Rieck: Hello Roger... sounds like you found yourself a fire brick. You may wonder who made it. The fact you say New York is present leads me to believe there is a manufacturer's name somewhere. It could be broken off or filled with furnace cement. Maybe if you clean it off real well and shine a light across the surface can you see some evidence of additional printing. Of course some manufacturers just moulded in No. 1, perhaps in a diamond or other symbol. These generally remain a mystery.


RZ writes: I have several bricks in good condition with markings of P B C O and was wondering if they are collectables.

From the webmaster: Brick is "collectable" in that any old, branded brick is desirable to a brick collector if he or she does not have it and it is in good condition (whole and not chipped or broken). But most collectors of brick prefer to find them on their own or trade for them. There is not much of a market for purchasing brick (although I've seen some people trying to sell brick on EBay).

P B C O may stand for Peck Brick Company (Haverstraw,NY) but we are not sure. Our "regular" site visitor and fellow IBCA member, Fred Reick writes, "I would tend to lean toward a NJ manufacturer because of how I've seen them distributed. Your marked rl/f (raised letter/frog) PECK hasn't been all that plentiful in my travels. I'd really like to know when Peck stopped manufacturing. Please don't misunderstand, I have no doubts it's a Haverstraw area product."

If you have any additional information for RZ, Contact Us.


New notes from Fred Rieck: I was going through my notes relative to the BB wks and noted that I have even underscored the two-part Belle Isle name when I copied the name from various places like newspaper clippings and city directories. I haven't found any reference to Beacon Brick Works as yet, other than Dan D's book. There is discussion about Brockway Brick Co; and in the 1960's, the formation of a Beacon Brick Corp. I wonder if they even made any bricks. D.P.B. W. had just "folded" and Beacon Brick Corp., as I understand, was an outgrowth of the new owners who sought other forms of industrial development. Anyway, that's what I made out of the newspaper article.


April '06:

From Sam Forbes: I was exploring the area around Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island. About a 1000 meters away I found a brick at the Hudson River beach high water mark. It is branded S & F C. The brick is broken just past the C, so I can't tell if there had been more letters. Does anyone have any idea where it was manufactured? Is there a book with a good list of brick brands? It looks very old, but of course it was worn from tubling in the water.

Webmaster note: Sam wrote back and said he found the answer on the Internet at a great web site called New Jersey History's Mysteries (http://www.njhm.com/sayre&fisher.htm). Here's what they wrote:

"The S & F stood for the Sayre & Fisher Brick Company that was located in Sayreville, New Jersey. Now for a little history. The area along the Raritan River was famous in the 1800's for its clay that was used for pottery and bricks, as well as many other products. By 1878, there were eight Raritan River brickyards turning out 54,000,000 bricks annually. The largest of these was the Sayre & Fisher works founded in 1850 by James Sayre of Newark, and Peter Fisher of New York. Soon, they owned 2,000 acres of prime clay beds in the vicinity, and the town changed its name from Wood's Landing (named after an earlier brick maker) to Sayreville.

Sayre & Fisher continued to grow and expand its market. By 1913, they were turning out 178,000,000 bricks per year! When the company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1950, it estimated that they had made 6,250,000,000 bricks, enough to build over 400,000 modern homes. The Sayre & Fisher Brick Company continued to turn out bricks in Sayreville until the 1960's, when the plant was closed. You can still see some of the brick "company houses" built for employees along Main Street in Sayreville, and one of the smokestacks still stands in front of the Winding River Development where the plant was located.

Since the company was in business for so many years, it would be difficult to determine the age of a building using them. Also, since so many were manufactured, I don't believe they have any substantial value. I found a few on the beaches along the Raritan Bay that I still have. For more information, you may want to contact the Sayreville Historical Society. They are located near the old brick works on Main Street, and are open on Sunday afternoons. Hope this helps, and let us know if we can be of any further help."

According to everything2.com, Sayre & Fisher bricks built many of the houses in central New Jersey, and their bricks built the pedastal the Statue of Liberty rests on.


From Fred Rieck: I'm enclosing a photo that you and the readership may find interesting.. The BELLEISLE and B. B. WKS bricks, in this photo are fused together. ... suspect they got too close to the fire.

BELLEISLE

I strongly suspect that these bricks were produced by the firm referred to by the Mining and Quarry Industries Report, in 1924, as the "Belle Isle Brick Works" in Brockway NY. The space between Belle and Isle is probably another "typo" Although I havn't seen it , I've been advised that some CT collectors have obtained a similar specimen.

I was going through my notes relative to the BB wks and noted that I have even underscored the two-part Belle Isle name when I copied the name from various places like newspaper clippings and city directories. I haven't found any reference to Beacon Brick Works as yet, other than Dan D's book.

There is discussion about Brockway Brick Co; and in the 1960's, the formation of a Beacon Brick Corp. I wonder if they even made any bricks. D.P.B. W. had just "folded".and Beacon Brick Corp., as I understand, was an outgrowth of the new owners who sought other forms of industrial development.

Note that Beacon NY was not always Beacon. There was Fishkill Landing, Glen (something), and another hamlet I can't recall at the moment, and these were ultimately combined to form Beacon, after Mt. Beacon where signal fires flared during the Revolution. Now Beacon came into existance after 1900. Thus a brick manufacturer once listed as residing in Fishkill Landing could now be listed as residing in Beacon. Similarly Brockway brick yards may be listed as being Beacon companies. This can be quite confusing. .....and of course there are NYC based companies that had up-river plants and could be listed as being NYC or Hudson, for example. Many Haverstraw district brickyards also manufactured up-river Goldrick, Brophy Bros and others. That is why I am curious as to what brandmark Goldrick may have used at his Haverstraw site. We know he used GOLDRICK but did he, possibly, use a differing mark at Haverstraw?

Webmaster note: In Within These Gates deNoyelles lists Joseph Belle Isle as the owner of a yard in Fishkill Landing with the brand frog BELLE ISLE and Beacon Brick Works, also in Fishkill Landing, with the brand frog of BB WKS.


Comments from John Laviniere: Please see gaugedbrickwork.com


From Steve Strasser: "We found part of an old brick mold on our property near Rhinebeck. It has HUTTON in reverse letters on it. Does it have any value? Thanks."

From Fred Rieck: Mr. Strasser, I have had inquiries from people doing geneology whose ancesters worked in brickyards. In variably they also desired some memento from the yard they were connected with .. generally a brick but a decent mould box may make a neat small item display shelf.

Collectors may like one as "go-with" for their collection but since these things take up a certain amount of wall "real estate" they may be choosy as to the brand. Of course condition has a lot to do with it.

There is an electronic / mechanical surplus shop along Abeel street in Kingston that has a couple Washburn moulds. One had a little "soft" wood. ... don't know about price.

If you have any additional information for Steve, Contact Us.


March '06:
Joe Humann (from NY State) writes: "Great web site. I have been combing the shorelines along Stony Point and Haverstraw the last few weekends and found about 20 of the 41 manufacturers brands.

Joe's Collection

So far I have Garner, Morrisey, A & W, GGA, BJA & Co, Reilly & Rose, Reilly & Clark, Brophy, JJJ (Jova), SSBCO, Excelsior, DPBW, Bennett, Archer, TBCo, RBC, W & K, MBC, BR&S, R & S, Acme, Peck, just to name a few and I just started a few weeks ago.

Haverstraw Shore

My goal is to get all 41 from the Haverstraw/Stony Point area. This past Wednesday I was in the Minesceongo Creek where Philip Goldrick had his plant and you can see the bricks along the creek at low tide with binoculars but you can't walk in because you will sink in the mud. I need an air boat.

I will send more pics next week."

From Fred Rieck to Joe Humann: "Hi, I'm another collector from up the river who has been packing away brick for ? a bunch of years any way. Whereas we probably have never met our paths may eventually cross.

I was happy to see that you are working on your "Downriver" collection and putting it on the web. I'm really waiting for you to put on your latest "finds". ... even if they don't show that well at a distance.

I don't mean to come across as a know-it-all though its difficult not to get excited about this "preoccupation". From some previous experience, and perhaps you are already aware of it, it may be well to jot down brick as you find them with a rough sketch, where you found it, along with some notes on what other brand names may have accompanied the find.

This may seem like extra work until one finds a brick with an initial lettered ID. as J. B., MB MBC, MBCo or RB, RBC, or RBCo. How does one tell if the brick is a Mary Buckley, a Mechanicville Brick Co., Mayone ..., Malden ....Montrose ....,

I recently found a seeminly boring P & M amidst some P&MBCo rejects. I suppose some would attribute this P&M to Powell and Minnock of Coeymans, NY. Close examination disclosed the P is of an unusual style and matches the P in one of the two styles of P&MCo lettered brick. This style P hasn't shown up in known Powell Minnock ... I've seen. Oh! who is P&MCo? Pickering and Malkoff.

And Joe, how did Phil Goldrick mark his bricks down Haverstraw way? Thanks ....
Happy Bricking ...."

Webmaster note: In Within These Gates deNoyelles lists P&M as Peck & Murray, West Haverstraw, NY.


Carl Foster writes:"We have a very old home (1781) and many of the bricks are numbered. They have random numbers; 168, 42, 191, etc., that does not seem logical for a batch (an even number). Any idea how they used the numbering? The numbers are into the brick and obviously done when still wet."

A response from Fred Rieck: "Do the numbers you speak of look as if inscribed with a stick or knife? ... or do they look like they were stamped with a commercially made tool?

What are the chances that the bricks in your home were made on-site or very near by. and the numbers you describe are numbers scratched into the brick, while still damp, to indicate the various quantities that the brick makers had moulded up, that the workmen inscribed numbers into the brick to keep count of their production?

Do your brick bear any evidence of primitive manufacture as uneven (wavy) surfaces,... curved scratch marks from where the excess clay was scraped off the brick while it was still in the mould,... or an odd size,(thinner and wider when compared to machine made brick which may have been set out to air dry on a level or flat surface?

If you have any additional information for Carl, Contact Us.


From Fred Rieck: "I ran across your webpage while looking for a book with Hudson River Brick in its title... Not Hutton's...anyway your web site looks very interesting.

I don't know if you are still trying to find an identity for the E D B you have on the screen but you may try Edward D. Bellefuille of George's Island, NY. The last name may be spelled differently depending on where one may be reading.

Another item of interest may be relative to the DB@CO. Last summer I was driving along the old Stillwater road near the old Duffney Brick plant in Mechanicsville where contractors were connecting up homes to a new water main. This brandmark of brick was dug up all along the side of the road."

"I do have some questions which you or your viewers may be able to help me out on.

For instance, where was the maker of SHAMROCK marked brick located???

Secondly, who was the manufacturer of the slant lettered non-terre cotta, common builder, ANDERSON brick. I'm sure it was made in NY, but not sure if there is any connection with the New York Anderson Pressed Brick. Thanks"

If you have any information, Contact Us.

From your Webmaster: Many thanks Fred! I was still looking for the E D B and I may well have been in the George's Island area when I found that brick a few years ago. (I should have taken your advice and written down where I found it...nowadays I do that.) Not sure where I found the DB+CO but that's very interesting about Duffney Brick as a possible source as well. Did the bricks you found in Mechanicsville have a + or a @? Can you send me a photo of one? (Dunn & Buckley is from the Daniel deNoyelles book reference.)


Darrell R. Lane asks: "Were Bricks ever made with a consistency of Placer Gold or the Clay of it? I see several locations in California where the Brickworks were located in Gold Bearing Areas, knowing that Gold can lie on top of Clay Hardpan or beneath it."

If you have an answer to his question, Contact Us.


Marla Santacroce writes: "We are involved with a project that was done with a ironspot brick- we believe made about the mid to late 1800's. The brick has a stamp of Gloninger on it. I can find no information on the "Gloninger Brick" company - or whoever made this brick. The structure we are working on was built in the late 1800's for Robert Aldrich as a summer home and it is located in North Haven Village in Sag Harbor, NY (eastern end of Long Island). Would you or your readers have any information on this company? I'm curious- as we are matching this brick exactly. It is a diecast brick measuring 4" x 2 3/8" x 8 1/4". Just curious if you have any background on this company. Thanks."

From your Webmaster: An Internet search produced the following information:
"Gloninger & Co, Brick Mfg., Pittsburgh, Penna., l903:"
From 1892-93 Directory of Phillipsburg, Beaver County, Pennsylvania: Welch, Gloninger & Co. (J.H. Welch, J.H. Gloninger), brick mfrs.
Also: click here.

If you have more information about the Gloninger Brick company, Contact Us.


Jeremy Carman writes: I recently bought a house on Long Island, New York that was built in 1930. The house is covered with brick that is stamped starting with the letter "P" and ending with the letter "T". As far as I can tell, the house was originally built with a clapboard exterior. I am trying to research the history of this house. If you have any information on the manufacturer of this brick, please let me know. Thank you.

From your Webmaster: What are the letters between the "P" and the "T?" Daniel de Noyelles' book lists a POST brand brick made by the W. & J. Post Brick Co. in Glen Cove, (Long Island) NY founded in 1900.

Jeremy Carman responds: That may be the brand. I can't see the full brick, those are the only letters that I can see from the bricks that are on the window boxes.
Thank you.

From your Webmaster: Here's some more stuff I found on Post Brick Co., kinda interesting (from "http://www.bklyn-genealogy-info.com/LI/LI.Notable.Requests.html"): "Through the efforts of Francis M. Gaynor, Glen head now has a beautiful twenty-two acre memorial park, donated to the town in 1946 by the Post Brick Company of which Mr. Gaynor is president. Mr. Gaynor has continued his work in this enterprise as chairman of the memorial park and building committee. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 27, 1894, Francis Gaynor is the son of Hugh and Jane (Pritchard) Gaynor, both natives of Philadelphia. Hugh Gaynor, who died in 1909, was a brick manufacturer by trade; Jane Gaynor died in 1904. Francis M. Gaynor was educated in the public and high schools of Philadelphia. After attending Temple University for one year, he apprenticed with his uncle, James Gaynor, in the brick manufacturing business in Philadelphia and remained there until 1917. With the advent of World War I, Mr. Gaynor entered the armed services and for twenty-two months was assigned to the Air Corps at Hazelhurst (now Roosevelt Field.) In March, 1919 he received an honorable discharge. Upon his return to civilian life Mr. Gaynor became associated with Jotham Post, a brick manufacturer of Glen Head. Here his work was so successful and his progress so marked that he received a partnership in the Post Brick Company in 1924. Four years later, when Mr. Post died Francis M. Gaynor took over the complete managership of the company and continued in this capacity until 1942 . In 1936, the present plant was purchased at Farmingdale, the business was re-named the Nassau Brick Company, and Mr. Gaynor enlarged his managerial staff. Townsend B. Pettit, Sr., is vice president and Townsend B. Pettit, Jr., is secretary and treasurer. The only company of its kind in this area, the Nassau Brick Company employs fifty-five people and has a yearly manufacturing capacity of twenty-five million bricks."
(Webmaster note: the Nassau Brick Company is now out of business.)

If you have more information, Contact Us.


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