Sunday, February 2, 2014

Port Arlington Brick & Tile Co.

Port Arlington Brick & Tile company was established at Port Arlington on the Belarine Peninsula in 1874, reusing the former flour mill. The works brick was operated by Thomas Henry Widdicombe, and exhibited in the 1888 Centennial International Exhibition. Widdicombe also took out patents for improvement in the construction of bricks for hollow walls, and special 'joint bricks' in the early 1870s.
This example of their cream bricks was recovered during excavation at the polychrome Victorian Italianate  St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Manse, Hanmer Street (Williamstown), of 1887/1888. It is possible that the bricks were economic to transport to Melbourne only because of the convenience of transporting by water across the bay.

Wendy Doling provided the following image and description:

Brick (off-white, non-vitreous)
Clay matrix (10YR 8/2 very pale brown) with minor amount of black and red iron oxide flecks
Impressed frog mark on one face - oblong in shape. Impressed lettering within frog
“PORTARLINGTON”, “B & T . WORKS .”. Two circular marks on either side of lettering within frog and on the bottom surface
Dimensions: 217x101x73mm.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Knight's Brickworks, Lal Lal

The Lal Lal brickworks was founded by the Knight brothers, Andrew (1837-1922) and Charles, in 1862, and produced ornamental bricks, pottery, malting tiles and other clay products using local clay.  The kiln closed down in 1898. Another Lal Lal Brickworks was opened by R Viccars in 1913, but it was not very successful because the bricks were very soft and of poor quality. It closed in 1915 and most of the shareholders, who were from Ballarat, lost their money.  One of the Lal Lal kilns tried to make briquettes from the local lignite, the first attempt of this kind in Australia, but with the primitive methods used, it was a failure. The Lal Lal ironworks, of which the blast furnace survives in ruins, is nearby. (from Sue Prosser)