California brick

F. L. Hieatt Brick & Tile Company


F.L. Hieatt In 1912, F. L. Hieatt, J. R. Jolly, and J. M. Chatterson organized the F. L. Hieatt Brick & Tile Company in San Diego, with a capital stock of $200,000. Hieatt was president and Jolly was secretary of the company. The plant was located on the corner of California and Juniper streets. The clay was obtained from the Tertiary clay beds in Rose Canyon, north of San Diego. The plant consisted of one dry press, with 18,000 daily capacity, and one stiff-mud machine, with a 60,000 daily capacity. There was a four-story drier building, which cost $12,500 to build. Electric power was used to run the machinery. Oil was used to fuel the kilns. About 20 men were employed by the company. The company operated until about 1915.

Hieatt Brick

Pressed face brick is orange red, mottled dark and light colors. The ends and sides are smooth and display faint transverse striations. The smooth surface shows tiny white angular feldspar minerals, up to 1/16 inch across, irregular blotchy black iron up to 1/8 inch across, and tiny pits. Edges are very straight and sharp, corners are sharp, but may be broken. The faces do not show any wire-cut marks. The face with the brand name has a beveled rectangular frog 5 3/4 inches long and 2 inches wide and 1/4 inch deep centered on the face. The brand name is recessed in block letters that span 5 inches in length and is 1 inch high. This brick is very hard and compact. This brick was made using the extruded, stiff-mud process. Length 8, width 3 7/8, height 2 1/2 inches.

Hieatt brick
Face view of a Hieatt brick showing the recessed brand name in a frog. Donated by David Garcia.

Hieatt brick
Side view of a Hieatt brick.

Hieatt brick
A view of a face of a Hieatt brick which is slightly warped. From Carol Serr.


Brick and Clay Record, v. 40, no. 11, 1912, p. 511.

Brick and Clay Record, v. 41, no. 11, 1912, p. 449.

Merrill, F. J. H., The Counties of San Diego, Imperial, California State Mining Bureau 14th Report of the State Mineralogist, for the Biennial Period 1913-1914, Part 5, 1916, p. 685-686.

Smythe, William E., History of San Diego, 1542-1908: An account of the rise and progress of the pioneer settlement on the Pacific coast of the United States, History Co., San Diego, 1908.

Copyright 2006 Dan Mosier

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