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MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks

Link to:
Brick Makers | Brick Companies | Brick Samples | Concrete Blocks | Terminology | See Also | Sources

Brick Makers

Maker

Location(s)

Operating Period

William Alsip (1833-1912)

 

 

William Pitt Alsip (1859-1944)

 

 

Robinson Bell

Brandon

c1909

W. D. Creighton (?-?)

 

 

William R. David

Deloraine

1896-c1906

William Elliott

Carman

1895-c1912

Thomas A. Foster

Cypress River

c1905-c1915

John A. “Jack” Gill

Asessippi

1893-1902

Robert Dorrell Hales (1859-1929)

Brookdale

1905-1912

Alexander Lang

Brandon

1882

J. H. McClure

Balmoral

c1910

George McCormick

Carman

1895-c1907

Murdock McLean

Kingsley

c1900

Dougald McVicar

Brandon, Carberry, Sidney

c1882-1890s

Harry Payne (1858-?)

 

 

John Alexander Snyder (1861-1937)

Portage la Prairie

1907-1937

Jim Turner

Beausejour

1906-c1916

David Malcolm Wardrop (1887-1981)

Whitemouth

?-1945

Brick Companies

Company

Location

Operating Period

A. Snyder and Company

Portage la Prairie

1907-1945

Acone Brick Company

 

 

Alsip Brick Tile and Lumber Company

Winnipeg

 

Balmoral Brick Company

Balmoral, RM of Rockwood

 

Birds Hill Sandstone Brick Company

 

 

Boyne Valley Brick Works Company

RM of Lorne

1901-1905

Brookdale Brick and Tile Company

Brookdale

 

Canada Brick and Coal Producers Limited

 

 

Canada Tile and Fireproofing Company

Carman

1914

Canadian Petrified Brick and Stone Company

 

 

Carman

RM of Dufferin

 

Darlingford Brick and Tile Company

Darlingford

c1910

Dominion City Brick Company

RM of Franklin

 

Dominion Pressed Brick Company

RM of Lorne

1905-1910

Edrans-Brandon Dry Prest Brick Company

RM of North Cypress

 

Gate City Brick Works Limited

 

 

Gilbert Plains Brick Company

 

 

Hardstone Brick Manufacturing Company

 

 

Hartney

RM of Cameron

 

John Wardrop Brick and Tile Company

 

 

Lac du Bonnet Brick Plant

Lac du Bonnet

 

Learys Brick Company

RM of Lorne

1910-1917, 1947-1953

Manitoba Brick and Tile Company

 

 

Manitoba Clays and Building Supplies

Virden

1923

Manitoba Composite Brick Manufacturing Company

 

 

Manitoba Pressed Brick Company

 

 

Manitoba White Granite Pressed Brick Company

 

 

Modern Pressed Brick and Stone Company

 

 

Morris Brick Manufacturing Company

 

 

National Brick Company

 

 

Phoenix Brick Tile and Lumber Company

 

 

Pinto Coal and Brick Company

 

 

Portage la Prairie Brick and Tile Company

 

 

Pressed Brick and Tile Company

 

 

Red River Valley Brick Company

 

 

Reinforced Brickwork Company Limited

 

 

Reliance Brick Company Limited

 

 

Saul and Irish

Virden

1893-1902

Sherif and Neden

Virden

1890

Sidney Brick and Clay Works Limited

Sidney, RM of North Norfolk

 

Sidney Brick and Tile Company

RM of North Norfolk

 

Somerset Brick Company

 

 

Souris

RM of Glenwood

 

Standard Brick and Tile Company

 

 

Stephens Brick Company

 

 

Virden Brick and Tile Company

Virden

1905-1915

Western Brick Company

 

 

Whalen’s Brick and Tile

Darlingford

c1898-c1910

Whitemouth Brick Company

 

 

Winnipeg Brick and Tile Manufacturing Company

 

 

Winnipeg Brick Company

 

 

Winnipeg Brick and Fuel Company

 

 

Winnipeg Sandstone Brick Company

Winnipeg

 

Wood’s Brick Company

 

 

Brick Samples

Brick

Notes

Albert Business
Block (1870s)

This primitive, yellow-coloured brick with no frogs was salvaged in April 2012 from the remains of the recently burned Albert Business Block on Albert Street in Winnipeg.

The building is thought to have been built around 1877 and the brick veneer was added at that time, or shortly thereafter, using bricks made at Dominion City.

Leary bricks

Leary

Leary

Leary

Leary bricks

Samples of the bricks produced by the Leary Brickworks near Roseisle. The bottom-most brick was produced during a short period in 1962 when the facility was operated by Winnipeg contractor Erven Talman, who was reportedly unable to produce satisfactory bricks, as the specimen is soft and easily crumbled. The Leary bricks are characteristically salmon-red in colour, usually with a single frog but sometimes with none, as in the top two specimens. Most bricks have the imprint “Learys” in the frog.

Snyder
bricks

These two bricks were obtained in May 2012 from the remains of the Don School and its associated teacherage, in the Rural Municipality of Mossey River. The top brick, stamped “Snyder”, came from the school’s chimney. The bottom brick, stamped “A S Co” (A. Snyder & Company), came from the teacherage ’s chimney. Each brick has a single frog and a medium yellow colour.

Sidney bricks

The Sidney Brickworks, located immediately west of the village of Sidney in the RM of North Norfolk, produced distinctive red bricks in the early 20th century. A single frog contains the imprint “Sidney”.

Unidentified
bricks

This brick was obtained in May 2012 from the crumbling west wall of Eldon School, a brick-veneered, one-room schoolhouse in the Rural Municipality of Gilbert Plains. It has a single frog and is a light yellow colour, although the above photo makes it appear slightly reddish.

Wardrop bricks

Wardrop

Wardrop

These single-frog bricks were recovered from the former site of the Wardrop Brickworks near Whitemouth. The imprint “D M W” presumably refers to David M. Wardrop. The facility was later operated by the Alsips of Winnipeg.

Concrete Blocks

For a few years in the early 20th century, buildings around southern Manitoba were built with locally-cast concrete blocks. Much larger than bricks, these distinctive blocks could measure up to 30 to 32 inches long, 9 to 10 inches tall, and around 3 inches thick. The blocks were hollow, and were typically flat on the interior face but variously patterned on the exterior face. The blocks were made using locally quarried clay by Frank Thomson at Austin (RM of North Norfolk), David Wright at Emerson, L. C. McIntosh in the RM of Winchester, William J. McKinney in the RM of Morton, Maurice Boughton at Arden (RM of Lansdowne), and possibly others. The idea was that concrete blocks could be made with limited infrastructural investment because they did not require high-temperature firing like bricks. For reasons unknown, widespread construction use of the blocks ended around 1910.

Concrete block manufacturing on the farm of William J. McKinney (1904)
Source: Mrs. Ina McKinney, Beckoning Hills, page 73.

Manitoba Agricultural College brickmaking, c1915

Men make concrete blocks at the Manitoba Agricultural College (circa 1917)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Site #15.

Blocks were made at Arden, Manitoba by the Arden Cement Block and Building Company, incorporated in early 1904. [1] Parners in the enterprise included hardware merchant and tinsmith John A. Gilhuly, merchant and municipal official Maurice E. Boughton, carpenters George and William Stockdale, and stonemasons Robert Lamb and John Samuel McGorman. They used a Harmon S. Palmer block-making machine to construct several buildings around the Rural Municipality of Lansdowne. These include the municipal office and present-day post office (formerly a pharmacy and doctor’s office) on Lansdowne Avenue in Arden, and private residences in the surrounding countryside.

Examples of Manitoba buildings made with locally-cast concrete blocks:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Arden Concrete House

Arden, RM of Lansdowne

1905

 

Arden Post Office

Arden, RM of Lansdowne

?

 

Argyle Hotel

Austin, RM of North Norfolk

1904

Demolished

Ayr School

RM of Lansdowne

1908

 

Bergthaler Church Waisenamt

48 Main Street, Altona

?

 

Booth Concrete Granary

RM of North Norfolk

?

 

Boulton Manor

322 Memorial Avenue South, Russell

1912

 

Casselman House

Park Street, Emerson

1905

 

Clifford Barn

RM of North Norfolk

1912

 

Culross School

RM of Shoal Lake

1908

Demolished

Emerson Baptist Church

Third Street, Emerson

1905

 

Emerson Presbyterian Church Manse

129 Park Street, Emerson

1905

 

Ferguson Building

275 Stephen Street, Morden

1910

 

A. E. Gardiner Building / Seton Centre

116 Main Street, Carberry

?

 

Grove School

RM of Winchester

1907

 

Hamilton Hotel / Towers Hotel

203 Main Street South, Dauphin

Before 1911

Destroyed by fire (2014)

Kilkenny General Store

Broomhill, RM of Albert

1908

 

Lansdowne Municipal Office

Arden, RM of Lansdowne

1904

 

Lowe Farm School

Lowe Farm, RM of Morris

1913

 

Lyleton Post Office

Lyleton, RM of Edward

?

 

Matchettville School

RM of South Norfolk

1906

 

McDermott School No. 810

RM of Dufferin

1919

 

McKinney House

RM of Morton

1904

 

Nelson Concrete House

RM of North Norfolk

?

 

Northcote School

RM of Killarney-Turtle Mountain

1906

 

Otter School

RM of Brenda

1908

 

Price Concrete Barn

RM of North Norfolk

?

 

Ritzer House

RM of North Norfolk

1906

 

Royal Oak School No. 1354

RM of McCreary

1906

 

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Mather, RM of Roblin

1905

Demolished (1971)

Shellmouth School No. 292

Shellmouth, RM of Shellmouth

1910

Destroyed by fire

Snell House

RM of Lansdowne

?

 

Swan River Concrete House

500 Duncan Crescent, Swan River

circa 1905

 

Sylvester Hill School No. 1368

RM of Shoal Lake

circa 1906

 

Tenby School

RM of Lansdowne

1904

 

Thomson Barn

RM of North Norfolk

1908

 

Union Bank Building

Waskada

1906

 

Westaway House

Miami, RM of Thompson

1909

 

Terminology

Term

Definition

Frog

A recess on one or both sides of a brick, created by inserting a spacer into the brick mould during manufacture. It creates a space for mortar that provides additional strength to the wall.

See Also:

MHS Centennial Business: Alsip’s Building Products and Services

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Leary Brickworks (RM of Lorne)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Sidney Brickworks (Sidney, RM of North Norfolk)

Sources:

“Manitoba Gazette”, Manitoba Free Press, 6 June 1904, page 9, and Legacies of Lansdowne.

Manitoba Brickmakers by Hugh Henry, Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature, 1992.

Manitoba Brick Yards by Randy Rostecki, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch Report, May 2010.

Additional information used here was provided by David Butterfield, Ed Ledohowski, Tracey Winthrop-Meyers, Lynette Stow, Frank Korvemaker, and Neil Christoffersen.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 November 2017

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