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What Are Buildings Made Of?

Where Do Bricks Come From?

Pressing clay into a mold to make bricks - Used courtesy of Tom Walsh, Masonry Institute of St. Louis Early bricks in St. Louis were made by hand. In some neighborhoods, clay would be dug, pressed in molds, and fired in a kiln all on the site where it was to be used. Bricks made in this fashion tend to be less uniform than later machine-made bricks.
(Photo used courtesy of Tom Walsh, Masonry Institute of St. Louis)

Pioneer brickmaking in Indiana - Used courtesy of Indiana University LibraryThis image, from Indiana, shows a work site where bricks are being handmade in molds. Three bricks are made at a time in each mold.
(Photo used courtesy of Indiana University Library)


Hydraulic brick machine - Used courtesy of Tom Walsh, Masonry Institute of St. LouisIndustrialization brought new inventions to produce bricks. This hydraulic machine greatly increased the rate at which bricks were produced.
(Photo used courtesy of Tom Walsh, Masonry Institute of St. Louis)

Catalog cover from the Hydraulic Press Brick Company - Used courtesy of Tom Walsh, Masonry Institute of St. Louis Because of the fine clay deposits, many brick companies were started in the late 1800s. By the turn of the century, the Hydraulic Press Brick Company alone produced over 100 million bricks per year - making it the largest brick company anywhere.
(Used courtesy of Tom Walsh, Masonry Institute of St. Louis)



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More About Clay

Clay Home
Where Do Bricks Come From?
Bricks in St Louis

Terra Cotta in St Louis

Related Links

History of Brickmaking in Cheltenham
Indiana University Library

 

 

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