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Central Brick Company
The Central Brick Company was incorporated in San Francisco on October 19, 1905, with a
capital stock of $300,000. The directors were H. L. Miller of Alameda, W. F. Perkins of
San Francisco, J. M. Masten of San Francisco, E. P. Vandercook of Oakland, and Louis Titus
of Berkeley. Their first office was located at 340 Steuart Street in San Francisco,
and after the 1906 Earthquake, the office was moved to 430 California Street in San Francisco.
The Central brick plant was located on the east side of San Pablo Point, Richmond,
Contra Costa County. Here they mined the shale on the property in a quarry behind
the plant. The plant stood on the shore of San Pablo Bay.
View of the Central Brick Company's plant at San Pablo Point,
Richmond. Courtesy of the Richmond Historical Society.
The details of the plant is unknown, but from the brick samples, it appears that the stiff-mud
process was used. They probably had a grinder, pug mill, and a brick extruding machine
with the flywheel-type wire cutters. From the photograph of the plant, there was a
large drying shed and four round downdraft kilns. The finished brick were stacked in
the yard, loaded into cars, and shipped out by rail, which passed through the property.
The Central company made red common brick, which looks very similar to McNear common
brick. The brick plant closed in 1914, and it was later dismantled. The
site today is part of the private yacht harbor of Chevron Oil.
View of the face of the Central common brick.
View of the smooth side of the Central brick.
View of the end of the Central brick.
Common brick is red to dark red, mostly uniform in color, except for a slight flashing of a lighter
shade of red on some. Red and black, round to subround, flatten pebbles of shale and chert, up to
1/4 inch in diameter, are abundantly seen on the wirecut faces and
sometimes seen on the sides. White quartz is rare. The faces display diagonal wire-cut grooves, showing
typical velour pattern. The sides and ends are smooth, with faint transverse grooves made by the
extruder, and the sides may show crackling and stack indentations. The face and sides may have a
slight undulation and the edges are irregular and often broken or chipped. The edges may have been
sharp when new. Length 8, width 3 3/4, height 2 1/2.
Articles of Incorporation of the Central Brick Company, October 19, 1905.
Copyright © 2006 Dan Mosier
Brick and Clay Record, Nov. 29, 1905, p. 38.
San Francisco City Directories, 1906-1914.
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Comments or questions are welcomed.
Please send email to Dan Mosier at firstname.lastname@example.org.