The clay deposit was located on a hillside where the company had dug a tunnel for some
distance in the clay. The clay was probably weathered kaolinite formed from the
Leona rhyolite that underlies the hills. The clay deposit is on 20 acres and rises to a
height of 150 feet. The quality of the clay, according to tests, was believed to be
suitable for making face brick and firebrick.
On August 30, 1925, the company announced that it had already burned a considerable number of bricks at their Hayward brickyard and in two weeks, it would put on display in Oakland several thousand face and firebrick. They claimed that "their clay equal in good qualities any brick that can be bought on the market in the Eastbay."
Two examples of face brick shown below are believed to have been made at their Hayward yard. They are wire-cut face brick containing the name OAKLAND repressed into the face of the brick. I don't have a sample of their firebrick. No description of this brickyard is available, but from the brick it is evident that the plant was equipped with a crusher, screens, conveyor, pug mill, and wire-cutting extruding machines. The clay was taken from an underground mine, provided with tracks and mine cars for haulage to the plant. The type of kiln used is unknown.
Apparently, the venture failed within a year of opening in 1925 and no further reports came from this company. The company was never listed in business directories. Brick production was probably less than 100,000. There was an indication that the company may have had problems getting the plant online. All evidence of this brickyard has been erased by modern developments.
The Oakland face brick is white with light red mottling. The sides are smooth and the
faces display curved wire-cut marks. The edges are straight and sharp. Minor white
quartz up to 1/4-inch across can be seen on the surface. The surface displays
minor pits and cracks. On one of the faces is marked the name OAKLAND recessed in block
letters that spans 5 1/2 inches and is 3/4 inch in height. The interior is granular compact with
about one percent subangular white quartz up to 1/4 inch across. This brick
was made using the stiff-mud process, extruded and wire-cut and repressed.
Length 8+ (right end broken), width 4, height 2 1/2 inches.
The pale orange Oakland face brick is uniform in color. The sides are smooth and edges are sharp. Curved wire-cut
marks are displayed on the surface. One side is impressed with dashes that are probably imprints from a conveyor belt.
On one of the faces is marked in recessed block letters with the company name OAKLAND, that spans 5 1/2 inches and is 3/4
inch in height. The interior clay body is a pale orange granular compact with one percent subangular translucent quartz less than
1/16 inch across that sparkles in the light. This brick was made using the stiff-mud process, extruded and wire-cut
and repressed. Length 8 3/8, width 4 1/8, height 2 1/2 inches.
Oakland Tribune, August 30, 1925.
Oakland Brick Co. Formed, Brick and Clay Record, v. 67, no. 7, 1925, p. 492.
Oakland City Directory, 1925.
Oakland City Directory, 1926.
Contact Dan Mosier at firstname.lastname@example.org.