Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Darley Firebrick Co

 A brick works was established at Bacchus Marsh in 1893 by a partnership between Mr. Thomas Akers and William Wittick. In 1898 builder David Mitchell, joined the consortium to fund operations. The local clays were found to be suitable for high quality firebricks and so with additional money for expansion in 1902, the Darley Firebrick Company Pty. Ltd. was formed on the 9th of May, with David Mitchell the majority shareholder.
The  company changed its name to Darley Refractories Pty. Ltd. in 1982 after it purchased the South Yarra Firebrick Company, leaving Darley the only producer of firebricks in Victoria. Over 100 different shapes were made, including tongue and groove shapes for gas-tight seals.
Early Darley c1930s

Modern 1980s note code numbers


  1. Gary, I remember using Darley bricks in the Fyansford cement kilns.
    Those code numbers I think are close to the composition. 26% is the Al2O3 and the 75% is the SiO2. The sum is more than 100% because the SiO2 by gravimetric analysis is not accurate. I think the type used at Fyansford was 32% Al2O3 and 67% SiO2. The bricks were fairly porous -apparent porosity about 35% so were somewhat insulating.
    Peter Benkendorff

  2. William Thomas Wittick was the son of a Tasmanian Convict. His father Walter owned a brick making factory next door to David Mitchell in Burnley Street, Richmond. Walter was killed in a clay slip in 1870, William at age thirteen was witness to the event.