you are even the slightest bit observant you've noticed that some bricks are imprinted
with names. Not names like Bubba and Jimmy, but strong, brick-sounding names like
Cordell, Saxton and Thurber. Place names abound with Texas brick.
There's Austin, Atlanta, Abilene, Bosque, Calvert, D'Hanis, Elgin, Ferris,
Groesbeck, Gonzales, Kaufman, Marlin, Palmer, Rockdale, Seguin, Troup, and
dozens of others, Some of the towns are gone now, with only the bricks left to
tell the tale.
Like archeologists tracing Mayan trade routes from excavated artifacts, "brickers"
can trace immigration patterns by where certain specimens are found. The
rare and much sought L & L (Lockhart and Luling) Brick has
been found as far away as Sanderson, according to Pete. Pete's research
has turned up information on L & L's owner selling his brick machine to the company
that put D'Hanis on the map. What Luling, D'Hanis and Sanderson all have in common
is the railroad. Some Wharton buildings have "ballast brick" in
their construction. Galveston-bound ships would dump these European bricks
on the beach upon arrival, where they could be had for free.
collectors gather at swaps held in different regions of the country. Although
bricks can be bought, the IBCA (International Brick Collectors Assn) likes
to keep the inevitable commercialization of brick collecting at bay.
Schiller even has a brick with his name on it. A large paving brick from Canada
inscribed MILTON was simply given to him at a brick swap when he mentioned it
was his name.
of our favorite bricks from his collection was a thin "sidewalk" brick from Kansas.
A Doctor paid the brick company to press the words: "Do Not Spit on the Sidewalk"
into the bricks. These were placed in the sidewalk at intervals in hopes of preventing
the spread of TB germs.
of what makes Pete a "Master" Collector is that he also has acquired brick paraphernalia.
He has molds (with or without the impressing device [frogs]), handling
tools to prevent those nasty thumb-crushing accidents, and a variety of novelty
bricks including one from The Great Wall of Texas. This was an idea
from the 1940s when the seller of these bricks envisioned a wall stretching from
the Panhandle to Louisiana, sealing off Texas from Yankee intruders.
the Brick Collector's Sacred Rites, initiating us by weighing us down with a "starter
written for the Sealy News for over twenty years and has amassed quite
a collection of brick stories, which we will ask him to share with our viewers.
Direct your questions for Pete to: