Brick dust was made from finely crushed brick and is a diagnostic feature in Garber's brick. Brick dust is coating the smooth surfaces of
the brick instead of the usual quartz sand found on most common bricks. Another diagnostic feature is the marked rectangular frog on the
face of some of Garber's bricks, which may display in bold raised letters the name GARBER.
Most of Garber's products were used in the surrounding towns in Orange County. Garber bricks went to the Orange County Hall of Records at Santa Ana, the California Cordage factory at Orange, and in many other local buildings and homes. A fleet of trucks was used to ship bricks. Remnant bats found at the brickyard site provide the detailed description for the brick shown below. Ron Rose provided a picture of the marked face of the Garber brick. No wire-cut bricks by Garber are available to describe or show, as these are probably not marked and have not yet been recognized in the field.
Harvey Garber was born in Bliss, Emmett County, Michigan, in 1879. Having been raised on his parent's farm, at age 21, he was in Nampa, Idaho, working as a farm laborer. In 1909, he married Freda Kelley in St. Joseph County, Indiana, where he was working as a carpenter. Harvey and Freda had one daughter born in Indiana. In January 1914, the Garbers went to Orange, Orange County, California, where Harvey continued working in the construction business. In 1919, Garber acquired the former brickyard of William Sackman in Santa Ana and manufactured bricks for a few years. In 1922, he discovered brick clay at Olive and in the following year opened the brickyard discussed here. In 1923, he also opened the Oliver Lumber Company at Olive. In 1925, Garber sold his brickyard to Mission Clay Products, which produced mainly tile products. He returned to the contracting business as a carpenter. Harvey Garber died in 1934 at the age of 55 years.
Garber common brick is pale orange-red and mostly uniform in color. The form is good with nearly
straight and nearly sharp edges and dull corners. The surfaces of the sides and bottom face are
smooth with a fine coating of brick dust and a scattering of clear quartz giving it a dull grainy
texture. Handling the brick leaves fine brick dust on the hand. Tiny pits may be present on the
surface. The top face is rough and pitted and white quartz may be visible.
A lip, 1/4 inch thick, may be present around the top edges of the brick. The marked face is flat,
even, and smooth. A rectangular frog, 6 1/4 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep, on the
face contains raised thick block letters of GARBER, which span 5 1/4 inches and stand 1 1/8 inches.
The letter "G" may easily be mistaken for a "C" because of the style of font used. Not all
frogs are marked with a name.
The interior consists of 10 to 15 percent subrounded to subangular milky white and clear quartz, grayish
brown shale, and minor granite, mostly less than 1/4 inch in diameter, but could be as much as 3/8 inch
in diameter, in a porous (3 to 8 percent) orange-red sandy clay body, which may show faint laminations.
This brick was made using the soft-mud process in a brick press. Height dimensions vary.
Length 8 1/2, width 4, height 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 inches.
Brick and Clay Record, v. 68, no. 11, 1926, p. 872.
Ancestry.com, Indiana, Marriage Collection, 1800-1941, Ancestry.com Operations Inc., Provo, UT, USA, on-line database, 2005 (accessed November 4, 2014).
Armor, Samuel, History of Orange County, California, with Biographical Sketches of the Leading Men and Women of the County Who have been Identified with its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California, 1921, p. 1253-1254.
Bradley, Walter W., California Mineral Production For 1926, California State Mining Bureau Bulletin 100, 1927, 175 p.
Brick Bats Make Money For Him, Brick and Clay Record, v. 62, no. 5, 1923, p. 429.
California Department of Health Services, California Death Records, Rootsweb, vitals.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ca/death/ (accessed December 4, 2014).
Daralee's Web World, Olive Through the Ages, http://dragoon1st.tripod.com/olive/menu.html, 2005, (accessed December 3, 2014).
Dietrich, Waldemar F., The Clay Resources and the Ceramic Industry of California, California State Mining Bureau Bulletin 99, 1928, p. 141.
Dust From Bats Used In Brick Molds, Brick and Clay Record, v. 62, no. 7, 1923, p. 615.
Federal Census Records, 1880.
Federal Census Records, 1900.
Federal Census Records, 1910.
Federal Census Records, 1920.
Federal Census Records, 1930.
Garber Producing Million A Month, Brick and Clay Record, v. 63, no. 5, 1923, p. 534.
Garber Brick & Tile Incorporates, Brick and Clay Record, v. 64, no. 6, 1924, p. 437.
Garber, H., Hollow Tile, U.S. Patent Office, 1,583,921, May 11, 1926.
Higgins, Josh, written communications, 2013.
Kennedy, George L., personal communications, 2015.
Root, Lloyd L., Mining In California, California State Mining Bureau, 21st Report of the State Mineralogist, 1925, p. 65.
Rose, Ron, personal communications and brick photograph, 2009.
Santa Ana City Directory, 1923.
Santa Ana City Directory, 1924.
Santa Ana City Directory, 1925.
Santa Ana City Directory, 1926.
Santa Ana City Directory, 1931.
Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, Bridge and Culvert, v. 18, November 11, 1916, p. 94.
Wellington Machine Company ledgers, 1925, copied by Josh Higgins, 2013.
Contact Dan Mosier at email@example.com.