King Lumber Company
Kern County Brick Company
About 1893, Elmore King, native of Tennessee and president
of the King Lumber Company in Bakersfield, started a
brick manufacturing plant on 12
acres of land on the east side of Bakersfield (Sec. 21,
T. 29 S., R. 28 E., M.D.M.). The King Lumber Company
office was located at 1402 King St., Bakersfield.
The Kern County Brick Company was formed to run and operate the
brick plant. O.V. Paye was president of the company.
In 1928, 10 workers were employed at the plant.
A sandy loam, 25 feet thick, was mined to make common
brick. The plant consisted of a Potts disintegrator,
pug-mill, and a six-mold press. The soft-mud process
was used to form bricks. The formed bricks were hauled
by cable to the drying sheds. Firing was done in
oil-fired field kilns. The plant capacity was 37,000
bricks per day. Cost of manufacturing was $4 per 1,000
brick and sold at $8 per 1,000 brick. The Kern County
brick plant closed in 1941 for the war and reopened again
in 1943. It operated for another five years, closing in
Common brick is red and mostly uniform in color.
The edges are straight and dull with dull or broken
corners. The sides and ends display minor transverse
grooves. The top face is flat and pitted, with pits
up to 1/2 inch across, and displays a longitudinal strike
direction. The bottom face is flat and marked with the
initials of the King Lumber Company centered in a
beveled rectangular frog. The initials K.L.Co. are raised
with the name spanning 5 inches. The block letters K, L,
and C are 1 inch high, the lower case "o" is 7/8 inch
high. The frog measures 5 7/8 inches long, 1 7/8 inches
high, and 1/8 inch deep. Interior clay body is the same
color as the surface and contains about 10 percent iron-stained,
subrounded quartz grains up to 1/4 inch across.
This brick was made using the sand-molded, soft-mud process.
Example shown was obtained from David Garcia. Length 8 1/4, width 3 7/8,
height 2 1/2 inches.
View of the marked face of the King brick showing the initials of the King Lumber Company.
View of a side of the King brick.
View of the top face of the King brick.
Averill, C.V., and Norman, L.A., Jr., Directory of Producers of Metallic and Nonmetallic Minerals in
California During 1949, California Journal of Mines and Geology, v. 47, no. 2, 1951, p. 393-451.
Copyright © 2007 Dan Mosier
Boalich, E.S., Castello, W.O., Huguenin, Emile, Logan, C.A., and Tucker, W.B., The Clay
Industry In California, California State Mining Bureau Preliminary Report 7, 1920, p. 48.
Bradley, W.W., Brown, G.C., Lowell, F.L., and McLauglin, R.P., Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions
of California, Part 4: The Counties of Fresno, Kern, King, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin,
Stanislaus, California State Mining Bureau 14th Report of the State Mineralogist, 1916, p. 429-634.
Dietrich, Waldemar F., The Clay Resources and the Ceramic Industry of California, California State
Mining Bureau Bulletin 99, 1928, p. 89.
Federal Census Records, 1910.
Symons, Henry H., California Mineral Production For 1927, California State Mining Bureau Bulletin 101,
1928, 311 p.
Symons, Henry H., California Mineral Production and Directory of Mineral Producers for 1941,
California Journal of Mines and Geology Bulletin 122, 1941, 377 p.
Symons, Henry H., California Mineral Production and Directory of Producers For 1943,
California State Mining Bureau Bulletin 128, 1944, 222 p.