CALIFORNIA BRICKS


C H

Marked face of the CH brick

Marked face of the CH brick

Marked face of the CH brick

Marked face of the CH brick

Marked face of the CH brick

Brand Name: C H

Operating Years: 1870s

Years Brick Made: 1870s

Type: Red common duty

Description: Two letters are impressed on a face with varying space between the letters. Examples are known with one of the letters absent. The first brick was made by George D. Nagle of San Francisco, the second was made by Merrill and Black at Pleasanton (donated by Gary Drummond), the third was made by the Patent Brick Company located north of San Rafael (donated by Stuart Guedon), the fourth was made by Theodore Petersen of San Jose (donated by Jason Parker), the fifth was made by Remillard at their San Venetian yard, San Rafael (donated by Stuart Guedon).

Comments: Bricks were made specially for the San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco, CA. Numerous brick manufacturers from San Francisco, San Rafael, San Jose, and Sacramento provided the bricks and stamped the bricks with CH, which stands for City Hall. This is unusual because most bricks are usually stamped with the maker's name, not its destination. However, the variations in these bricks demonstrate that they are not from a single maker when comparing them side by side. Local brick manufacturers who supplied the City Hall with brick as gathered from the records of San Francisco included G. Oliva, P.N. Carroll, D.S. McDonald, Clauss Witt, Theodore W. Peterson, G.D. Nagle, Thomas D. Tobin, Merrill & Black, Remillard Bros., Patent Brick Co., Diamond Brick Co., Hunter & Shackleford, E. Wilson & Co., William Sharon, J.S. Bellrude, Eli Bonnet, Philip Caduc, Michael J. Kelly, Thomas Boyle, and John Tuttle. Note that none of the maker's initials match C.H., which verifies the 1884 report written by State Geologist Henry Hanks, who wrote:

"The initials C.H. impressed in the brick of which our new City Hall is built, put there to denote that they were intended for that edifice, may (should they prove to possess the lasting properties claimed for them) become to the antiquary of the remote future a source of much worriment as he labors to decipher their probable meaning."

Source: Museum of the City of San Francisco, Cannery Shopping center, San Francisco; San Francisco Municipal Reports, 1871-1881; Hanks, 4th Report of the State Mineralogist, 1884, p. 144.

Marked face of the CH brick
Picture of a display in the San Francisco City Hall. Photo by Dan Mosier, 2006.

Contact Dan Mosier at danmosier@earthlink.net.

Copyright © 2015 Dan L. Mosier