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  • Joshua Chick Littlefield (1809 - 1887)
    Joshua was sea captain for several years; while in the merchant service he visited all parts of the civilized world. Eventually deciding to remain on shore, he entered the lumber business in Sanford, s...
  • BMB Courtesy of http://www.britishmilitarybadges.co.uk/ - Daniel Baker
    Thomas Robert Tyler (1875 - d.)
    British Army World War I Service Records, 1914-1920===* Name: Thomas Robert Tyler * Labour Corp* Regimental Number - 3382* Marriage Date: 1 Jun 1914* Marriage Place: Pleshey* Document Date: 1916* Resi...
  • John Peter Hellman (1839 - 1910)
  • George William Clark (1882 - 1968)
  • Harvey Perry (1883 - 1957)
    March 5, 1957 - Humboldt Independent - Harvey Perry was born Dec. 28, 1883 at Ackworth, Iowa, and passed away Feb. 10, 1957, at his home in Dakota City. He was the oldest of six children born to Frank ...

Brick and Tile Makers

Add brick and tile makers and layers to this project. There is a separate project for stonemasons. You can visit HistoryLink to find out which projects include your ancestors.

Tiles

A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, metal or even glass. Tiles are generally used for covering roofs, floors, walls, showers,or other objects such as tabletops. Alternatively, tile can sometimes refer to similar units, made from lightweight materials such as perlite, wood and mineral wool,typically used for wall and ceiling applications.

The word is derived from the French word tuile, which is, in turn from the Latin word tegula, meaning a roof tile composed of fired clay. The expression <On the tiles> is apparently of relatively recent duration. It refers to the custom among cats of having fun at night on rooftops, which in Britain are often made of tiles. The first reference to its use appears to be in the first decade of the 20th century.

By contrast the use of tiles goes back a very long way. Some form of ceramic tile has been in existence for more than 25,000 years.

Tile as we know it dates from c4,700 B.C. in Egypt while glass tiles were popular in 2,500 B. C. At Wittenham in Oxfordshire masses of Roman roof tiles were discovered in 2004 indicating that large Roman buildings became a part of this important landscape when the Iron Age gave way to the Roman period some 2000 years ago.

Tile making in the medieval period was associated with monasteries and palaces. Potters travelled around the country using local clays and firing them on site. The tiles were hand made by flattening the clay and cutting pieces into shape. The only mechanical aid was a wooden mould carved in relief which indented a pattern on the clay slab. The slab would be dried and the impression filed with white pipe clay. After further drying this would be shaved flat. A glaze of lead ore was sprinkled onto the surface and the tiles were then fired.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/photos.geni.com/p13/90/a6/d9/c3/5344483e3a017e1f/tile-makers-01290x285_original.jpg

These ‘encaustic’ or inlaid tiles were made from the 12th to the 16th centuries. This skill disappeared with the dissolution of the monasteries and was not revived until the Victorian era of the 19th century.

As a result of the Industrial Revolution the manufacture of both wall and floor tiles hit a peak in the Victorian era. During Queen Victoria's reign tiles began to be mass-produced and were used in many public buildings, churches, shops and houses for their functional properties and decorative effect. Victorian potters had a large, cheap labour force. Consequently many experiments in tile making were carried out, much of the work being done by hand. Decorated wall tiles came into general use in the 1870s.

In the mid 18th century the importation of hand-painted glazed tiles from Holland led to their imitation by English suppliers albeit on a small scale. This in turn led to the spectacular growth in tile production in the early to mid 19th century led by the porcelain manufacturer Herbert Minton, who revived encaustic tile making and developed the process of dust-pressing which is the most common modern manufacturing method.

As the mass production of tiles developed in the Victorian era so their increasing cheapness and ease of installation in all areas of houses led to a constant and growing demand. An encaustic tile is produced by the combination of a plain clay tile with the filling of an area formed by stamping an impression on the tile with liquid clay of a contrasting colour and then firing to fuse the two clays.

Thus was revived the process lost in 1538 on the dissolution of the monasteries. The early tiles produced by Minton carried on the tradition of tiles to be installed in churches but soon included designs suitable for public buildings and houses by which time the entry of rival manufacturers had widened the scope and variety of tiles offered to the public. Tiles were now being produced in technologically advanced forms with multi firings involving up to six different colours, each of which required separate firing.

By 1850 tiled floors having been installed at many royal and aristocratic locations, crystallised the ambitions of those who could afford it
to emulate their superiors. It was possible to compromise on cost by combining the relatively expensive encaustic tiles with cheaper plain square and geometric tiles. A popular area for geometric tiles in a middle class home was the hall and the cheaper class of tile tended to be installed in the less grand areas such as kitchens and servants quarters and in areas that received most wear and tear. The very fashionable tiles offered today for installation in kitchens would have been considered totally inappropriate in the Victorian era.

By contrast the most common area using decorative and therefore more expensive tiles was the fireplace and artists would frequently be employed to provide designs, the more exclusive ones being used in reception rooms rather than bedrooms.

Wealthier households embraced the Arts and Crafts movement and used tiles made by hand rather than the mass produced variety. Fashionable designers included William Morris and William de Morgan and their processes of production included hand-painting, transfer printing and the reproduction of the turquoise blue and lustre glazes of ancient Persian pottery.

History of brickmaking

Mud brick, dried in the sun, was one of the first building materials. It is conceivable that on the Nile, Euphrates, or Tigris rivers, following floods, the deposited mud or silt cracked and formed cakes that could be shaped into crude building units to build huts for protection from the weather. In the ancient city of Ur, in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), the first true arch of sun-baked brick was made about 4000 bc. The arch itself has not survived, but a description of it includes the first known reference to mortars other than mud. A bitumen slime was used to bind the bricks together.

Burned brick, no doubt, had already been produced simply by containing a fire with mud bricks. In Ur the potters discovered the principle of the closed kiln, in which heat could be controlled. The ziggurat at Ur is an example of early monumental brickwork perhaps built of sun-dried brick; the steps were replaced after 2,500 years (about 1500 bc) by burned brick.

As civilization spread eastward and westward from the Middle East, so did the manufacture and use of brick. The Great Wall of China (210 bc) was built of both burned and sun-dried bricks. Early examples of brickwork in Rome were the reconstruction of the Pantheon (ad 123) with an unprecedented brick and concrete dome, 43 metres (142 feet) in diameter and height, and the Baths of Hadrian, where pillars of terra-cotta were used to support floors heated by roaring fires.

Enameling, or glazing, of brick and tile was known to the Babylonians and Assyrians as early as 600 bc, again stemming from the potter’s art. The great mosques of Jerusalem (Dome of the Rock), Isfahan (in Iran), and Tehrān are excellent examples of glazed tile used as mosaics. Some of the blues found in these glazes cannot be reproduced by present manufacturing processes.

Western Europe probably exploited brick as a building and architectural unit more than any other area in the world. It was particularly important in combating the disastrous fires that chronically affected medieval cities. After the Great Fire of 1666, London changed from being a city of wood and became one of brick, solely to gain protection from fire.

Bricks and brick construction were taken to the New World by the earliest European settlers. The Coptic descendants of the ancient Egyptians on the upper Nile River called their technique of making mud brick tōbe. The Arabs transmitted the name to the Spaniards, who, in turn, brought the art of adobe brickmaking to the southern portion of North America. In the north the Dutch West India Company built the first brick building on Manhattan Island in 1633.

Modern brick production

Basically, the process of brickmaking has not changed since the first fired bricks were produced some thousands of years ago. The steps used then are used today, but with refinements. The various phases of manufacture are as follows: securing the clay, beneficiation, mixing and forming, drying, firing, and cooling.

From Prestongrange Brickmaking

From the 1700s until 1975 Prestongrange produced bricks, tiles and salt glazed pipes which were sold across the world. This was made possible by both technical innovations and locally available raw materials.

You can see the circular foundations of these beehive kilns to the left of the Hoffman kiln, opposite the Visitor Centre.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/photos.geni.com/p13/b1/e8/30/d4/5344483e39f979a1/prestongrange-bee-hive-kiln_original.jpg

The Hoffman kiln ‘burnt team’ protected their hands from hot bricks using grips cut from the soles of old leather boots. The Hoffman kiln ‘burnt team’ protected their hands from hot bricks using grips cut from the soles of old leather boots. The brickworkers had a dangerous job. Smoke from the beehive kilns contained toxic dust. Workers were constantly at risk of lung disease and heavy metal poisoning. When the Hoffman kiln opened there were new dangers – the hot bricks had to be removed by hand.

Brick and Tile Makers

aka Bricklayers

Tiles

A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, metal or even glass. Tiles are generally used for covering roofs, floors, walls, showers,or other objects such as tabletops. Alternatively, tile can sometimes refer to similar units, made from lightweight materials such as perlite, wood and mineral wool,typically used for wall and ceiling applications.

The word is derived from the French word tuile, which is, in turn from the Latin word tegula, meaning a roof tile composed of fired clay. The expression <On the tiles> is apparently of relatively recent duration. It refers to the custom among cats of having fun at night on rooftops, which in Britain are often made of tiles. The first reference to its use appears to be in the first decade of the 20th century.

By contrast the use of tiles goes back a very long way. Some form of ceramic tile has been in existence for more than 25,000 years.

Tile as we know it dates from c4,700 B.C. in Egypt while glass tiles were popular in 2,500 B. C. At Wittenham in Oxfordshire masses of Roman roof tiles were discovered in 2004 indicating that large Roman buildings became a part of this important landscape when the Iron Age gave way to the Roman period some 2000 years ago.

Tile making in the medieval period was associated with monasteries and palaces. Potters travelled around the country using local clays and firing them on site. The tiles were hand made by flattening the clay and cutting pieces into shape. The only mechanical aid was a wooden mould carved in relief which indented a pattern on the clay slab. The slab would be dried and the impression filed with white pipe clay. After further drying this would be shaved flat. A glaze of lead ore was sprinkled onto the surface and the tiles were then fired.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/photos.geni.com/p13/90/a6/d9/c3/5344483e3a017e1f/tile-makers-01290x285_original.jpg

These ‘encaustic’ or inlaid tiles were made from the 12th to the 16th centuries. This skill disappeared with the dissolution of the monasteries and was not revived until the Victorian era of the 19th century.

As a result of the Industrial Revolution the manufacture of both wall and floor tiles hit a peak in the Victorian era. During Queen Victoria's reign tiles began to be mass-produced and were used in many public buildings, churches, shops and houses for their functional properties and decorative effect. Victorian potters had a large, cheap labour force. Consequently many experiments in tile making were carried out, much of the work being done by hand. Decorated wall tiles came into general use in the 1870s.

In the mid 18th century the importation of hand-painted glazed tiles from Holland led to their imitation by English suppliers albeit on a small scale. This in turn led to the spectacular growth in tile production in the early to mid 19th century led by the porcelain manufacturer Herbert Minton, who revived encaustic tile making and developed the process of dust-pressing which is the most common modern manufacturing method.

As the mass production of tiles developed in the Victorian era so their increasing cheapness and ease of installation in all areas of houses led to a constant and growing demand. An encaustic tile is produced by the combination of a plain clay tile with the filling of an area formed by stamping an impression on the tile with liquid clay of a contrasting colour and then firing to fuse the two clays.

Thus was revived the process lost in 1538 on the dissolution of the monasteries. The early tiles produced by Minton carried on the tradition of tiles to be installed in churches but soon included designs suitable for public buildings and houses by which time the entry of rival manufacturers had widened the scope and variety of tiles offered to the public. Tiles were now being produced in technologically advanced forms with multi firings involving up to six different colours, each of which required separate firing.

By 1850 tiled floors having been installed at many royal and aristocratic locations, crystallised the ambitions of those who could afford it
to emulate their superiors. It was possible to compromise on cost by combining the relatively expensive encaustic tiles with cheaper plain square and geometric tiles. A popular area for geometric tiles in a middle class home was the hall and the cheaper class of tile tended to be installed in the less grand areas such as kitchens and servants quarters and in areas that received most wear and tear. The very fashionable tiles offered today for installation in kitchens would have been considered totally inappropriate in the Victorian era.

By contrast the most common area using decorative and therefore more expensive tiles was the fireplace and artists would frequently be employed to provide designs, the more exclusive ones being used in reception rooms rather than bedrooms.

Wealthier households embraced the Arts and Crafts movement and used tiles made by hand rather than the mass produced variety. Fashionable designers included William Morris and William de Morgan and their processes of production included hand-painting, transfer printing and the reproduction of the turquoise blue and lustre glazes of ancient Persian pottery.

History of brickmaking

Mud brick, dried in the sun, was one of the first building materials. It is conceivable that on the Nile, Euphrates, or Tigris rivers, following floods, the deposited mud or silt cracked and formed cakes that could be shaped into crude building units to build huts for protection from the weather. In the ancient city of Ur, in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), the first true arch of sun-baked brick was made about 4000 bc. The arch itself has not survived, but a description of it includes the first known reference to mortars other than mud. A bitumen slime was used to bind the bricks together.

Burned brick, no doubt, had already been produced simply by containing a fire with mud bricks. In Ur the potters discovered the principle of the closed kiln, in which heat could be controlled. The ziggurat at Ur is an example of early monumental brickwork perhaps built of sun-dried brick; the steps were replaced after 2,500 years (about 1500 bc) by burned brick.

As civilization spread eastward and westward from the Middle East, so did the manufacture and use of brick. The Great Wall of China (210 bc) was built of both burned and sun-dried bricks. Early examples of brickwork in Rome were the reconstruction of the Pantheon (ad 123) with an unprecedented brick and concrete dome, 43 metres (142 feet) in diameter and height, and the Baths of Hadrian, where pillars of terra-cotta were used to support floors heated by roaring fires.

Enameling, or glazing, of brick and tile was known to the Babylonians and Assyrians as early as 600 bc, again stemming from the potter’s art. The great mosques of Jerusalem (Dome of the Rock), Isfahan (in Iran), and Tehrān are excellent examples of glazed tile used as mosaics. Some of the blues found in these glazes cannot be reproduced by present manufacturing processes.

Western Europe probably exploited brick as a building and architectural unit more than any other area in the world. It was particularly important in combating the disastrous fires that chronically affected medieval cities. After the Great Fire of 1666, London changed from being a city of wood and became one of brick, solely to gain protection from fire.

Bricks and brick construction were taken to the New World by the earliest European settlers. The Coptic descendants of the ancient Egyptians on the upper Nile River called their technique of making mud brick tōbe. The Arabs transmitted the name to the Spaniards, who, in turn, brought the art of adobe brickmaking to the southern portion of North America. In the north the Dutch West India Company built the first brick building on Manhattan Island in 1633.

Modern brick production

Basically, the process of brickmaking has not changed since the first fired bricks were produced some thousands of years ago. The steps used then are used today, but with refinements. The various phases of manufacture are as follows: securing the clay, beneficiation, mixing and forming, drying, firing, and cooling.

From Prestongrange Brickmaking

From the 1700s until 1975 Prestongrange produced bricks, tiles and salt glazed pipes which were sold across the world. This was made possible by both technical innovations and locally available raw materials.

You can see the circular foundations of these beehive kilns to the left of the Hoffman kiln, opposite the Visitor Centre.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/photos.geni.com/p13/b1/e8/30/d4/5344483e39f979a1/prestongrange-bee-hive-kiln_original.jpg

The Hoffman kiln ‘burnt team’ protected their hands from hot bricks using grips cut from the soles of old leather boots. The Hoffman kiln ‘burnt team’
protected their hands from hot
bricks using grips cut from the
soles of old leather boots.
The brickworkers had a dangerous job. Smoke from the beehive kilns contained toxic dust. Workers were constantly at risk of lung disease and heavy metal poisoning. When the Hoffman kiln opened there were new dangers – the hot bricks had to be removed by hand.