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Carquinez Brick and Tile Company
The Carquinez Brick and Tile Company was incorporated on October 25, 1907 in San Francisco. Capital stock
was $300,000. The directors were O. H. Harrison of San Anselmo, John W. Butler of San Francisco, D. J. McKay
of San Francisco, Walter Cox of Mill Valley, Joseph C. Raas of San Anselmo, George W. Lane of San Francisco,
and H. W. Smith of San Francisco. Harrison was president of the company, McKay, vice-president, and Smith,
secretary. The company office was located in the Russ Building, 149 California Street in San Francisco.
The brick plant was located at Eckley in Contra Costa County, California.
From Architect and Engineer, 1908.
In 1907, the brick plant was constructed under the supervision of C. P. Grimwood, the company engineer.
The plant consisted of two main buildings; two large Freese brick machines, each with a capacity of 100,000
brick in 10 hours; three Phillips-McLaren dry pans; elevating and conveying machinery from the Stevens-Adamson
Manufacturing Company, Aurora, Illinois; fans and engine for driers from the Pittsburgh Stoker Company; drier
cores from the Ohio Ceramic Engineering Company, Cleveland, Ohio; 500-horsepower Reynolds Corliss engine for
driving the machinery; internally fired oil-burning boilers from the Phoenix Iron Works, Meadville, Pennsylvania;
and a 6,000-barrel reinforced concrete oil tank.
Clay was mined from the blue shale in banks at the yard. Brick production began in August 1907. Red common bricks
were produced and used locally and shipped to San Francisco and adjacent cities. The plant had access to rail
transportation and a 250-foot wharf for water transportation. The first large order for 6 million bricks came
from the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, where the bricks were laid in the basement and interior walls. Carquinez
bricks were also used in the Crocker Building in San Francisco and St. Joseph's Home in Oakland. Operations
ceased about 1916.
The plant was removed in 1918. Remnants of this operation can be seen along the shoreline at Eckley. A small
brick building is constructed of brick from the Carquinez Brick and Tile Company.
Brick building still standing at Eckley made of Carquinez bricks.
Common brick is orange to orange red, with visible gray, white, and black clasts on the surface, especially
on broken surfaces. White to gray flashing is visible on some surfaces. Smooth surface texture. Straight edges
but often chipped or broken. Corners are rounded to sharp. Stiff-mud extruded process. Occasional transverse
grooves and crazing on the sides. Curved wire-cut marks on top and bottom faces, with abundant pits.
Length 8 1/2 - 8 5/8, width 3 7/8 - 4, height 2 5/8.
Carquinez bricks on the side wall of the brick building at Eckley.
Architect and Engineer, July 13, 1908, p. 88.
Copyright © 2004 Dan Mosier
Article of Incorporation of the Carquinez Brick and Tile Company, October 25, 1907.
Brick and Clay Record, v. 26, no. 4, 1907, p. 190.
Brick and Clay Record, v. 27, no. 2, 1907, p. 79.
Brick and Clay Record, v. 27, no. 3, 1907, p. 96.
Brick and Clay Record, v. 41, no. 4, 1912, p. 157.
Dietrich, Waldemar F. The Clay Resources and the Ceramic Industry of
California. California State Mining Bureau Bulletin 99, 1928.
Huguenin, E., and Castello, W.O. Contra Costa County. 17th Report of the
State Mineralogist, 1920, p. 48-67.
San Francisco City Directories, 1913-1916.
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