Thursday, December 19, 2013

Builders Brick and Tile Supply Co.

F.A. Harris started a pottery works at Clifton Hill in about 1872 winning awards at the Melbourne and Philadelphia Exhibition of 1875. Three years later he started a new steam powered plant in Raglan Street near Hotham Street, South Preston, which he called the Builders' Brick and Tile Supply Company. The products included flower and chimney pots, fire bricks and pressed white and red bricks. Housing for the workers was provided in Raglan St near the kilns. He initially prospered to the point he could build a substantial mansion 'Baruna' in 1892. However, he was ruined in the depression, his company went into liquidation and in 1895 and Barunah was seized by the Bank of N.S.W.

The brickworks site in South Preston was redeveloped for residential use in the 1930s, with the clay pit becoming Cochran Reserve.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

State Brickworks Wonthaggi

In order to provide building materials for new construction, and experiment with coal mined at Wontaggi State Coal Mine, the State Brickworks was commenced in about 1909. However, the lack of local orders and the cost of cartage, the brickworks had financial difficulties and was sold off in 1914. this is despite the coal mines having been opened by the state government specifically to supply steam coal for ther locals, and the same government having control over railway cartage fees. State Brickworks bricks were stamped SCM, for the State Coal Mine which controlled it.

State Coal Mine brickworks (Andy Orr)

Chimney Specials

Special bricks were made for a number of purposes, such as plinths, chamfered corners, moulded widnow and door jams. Some of the more precise shapes were required for building circuar chimneys to fine tollerences, including curved and tapered bricks, sometimes with different arcs used fur chimneys which taper, tighter curves at the top and almost straight sided at the bottom. some tapered bricks might have been cut after pressing, but before firing, but many machine brickworks has a range of special moulds for the various shapes. The special curved and tapered chimney bricks appear to be a fairly late development, with earlier tapered bricks being hand-trimmed either before or after firing including the rubbed sandstocks of building arched lintels.
Curved chimney brick from Oakleigh Plaster works c 1946 (from David Beauchamp)
Tapered chimney brick 1946 (David Beauchamp)