California brick
CALIFORNIA BRICKS


Pacific Brick Company (Simons Brick Plant No. 2)

Simons Brick Company, Inglewood Yard

History


In January 1900, Brick and Clay Record reported that the Simons Brothers of the Pacific Brick Company have taken a seven-year lease of the Inglewood brick plant. This was the former yard of the Continuous Brick Kiln Company at Inglewood. The Simons Brothers were Walter R., Elmer O., and Joseph V. Simons, who had previously established two other brickyards, namely one at Pasadena and another at Boyle Heights in Los Angeles (see
Simons Brick Company, Boyle Heights). The Inglewood yard was part of the Pacific Brick Company's plan to expand their business to other areas. The Pacific Brick Company was renamed the Simons Brick Company in early 1900 when it incorporated with a capital stock of $100,000.

The clay loam was mined on the property and sent to the pug-mill without crushing or screening. The Potts soft-mud brick machines were used to form the bricks. The bricks were air dried in drying sheds for a few days before they were put into the continuous kiln to be fired. This yard manufactured mainly common and sewer brick. Rail or teams and later trucks were used for shipping the bricks to other points.

Most of the bricks from this yard was probably used locally in the Inglewood area. In 1905, a large contract was won by the Simons Brick Company for the Los Angeles outfall sewer project, where this yard furnished 8,871,000 bricks at $6.38 per thousand. The Inglewood yard made and shipped 10,000 bricks a day with occasional delays in finding teams to deliver the brick to the project.

Evidently, the Simons Brick Company had extended the lease at the yard to 1912. On October 11, 1912, the company purchased 50 acres of clay land, of which 15 acres was occupied by the brick plant. In 1913, reported clay reserves were 571,655 tons and this was expected to be last 22 years. In 1916, the yard was reported to be producing 38,500 bricks per day and running at near capacity. With no further reports from the yard, it was probably closed at the end 1916.


Simons Inglewood Brick

Common brick is orange-red and mostly uniform in color. Some are burnt to darker shades of red to black. Some display yellowish flashing or black cores on the sides. The form is irregular and uneven with undulating dull edges and dull corners. Around the top edge may be an irregular lip, but most are lacking the lip. The surface has a light coat of white quartz sand and may display cracks, large pits, and large clasts. Some show stack indentations on the sides. The top face is very rough with large pits and no apparent strike direction, but instead appears to be flattened by a board. The bottom face is flat and pitted, but not as rough as the top face. Marked bricks show a rectangular frog on the bottom face with raised letters of the name SIMONS in block letters. The frog is 6 5/8 inches in length and 1 3/4 inches in width. The name spans 5 7/8 inches and stands 1 3/4 inches in height. Letters are 1/8 inch thick. The interior contains 10 to 15 percent subangular white quartz and granite ranging up to 1 1/2 inches across, but most are less than 1/4 inch across, in a porous, orange-red, sandy clay body. Pores vary from 5 to 10 percent and are less than 1/4 inch in diameter. White quartz is ubiquitously scattered throughout the clay body and in some places in higher concentrations. This brick was made using the soft-mud process. A range of sizes was noted, and the width and height tend to be smaller than those made at other Simons brickyards. Length 7 7/8 - 8 1/2, width 3 5/8 - 3 3/4, height 2 1/8 inches.

View of the sides of the Simons Inglewood common brick.
View of the sides of the Simons Inglewood common brick.

View of the sides of the Simons Inglewood common brick.
View of the sides of the Simons Inglewood common brick.

View of the marked bottom face of the Simons Inglewood common brick.
View of the marked bottom face of the Simons Inglewood common brick.


View of the rough top face of the Simons Inglewood common brick.
View of the rough top face of the Simons Inglewood common brick.

View of the rough top of the Simons Inglewood common brick.
View of the rough top of the Simons Inglewood common brick.

View of the interior of the Simons Inglewood common brick.
View of the interior of the Simons Inglewood common brick.

View of the interior of the Simons Inglewood common brick.
View of the interior of the Simons Inglewood common brick.

References

Aubrey, Lewis E., The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, California Mining Bureau Bulletin 38, p. 248-249.

Brick, v. 12, no. 1, 1900, p. 57.

Brick, v. 22, no. 3, 1905, p. 201.

Brick and Clay Record, v. 49, no. 2, 1916, p. 159.

Buys Brick For Outfall Sewer, Los Angeles Herald, January 31, 1905.

Rushing Work on Big Sewer, Los Angeles Herald, July 8, 1905.

Simons Brick Company, A Corporation, Petitioner, v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent, In the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 6082, Filed November 18, 1930.

Copyright 2014 Dan Mosier

Contact Dan Mosier at danmosier@earthlink.net.