brick sizes and making
England, 17th – 18th centuries
Lexicon Technicum, or a Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences....
London: Printed for D. Brown, et al 1723.
BRlCKS. The several Kinds of Bricks used in Architecture are these:
- 1. Compass Bricks, which are of a circular Form, and are used in steyning of Wells.
- 2. Concave or hollow Bricks, being one one Side flat like a common Brick, but on the
other hallowed: They are used to·convey water.
- 3. Cogging Bricks are used to make the indented Work under the Coping of Walls built of great Bricks.
- 4. Coping Bricks, which are formed on Purpose for coping of Walls.
- 5. Dutch or Flemish Bricks, used to pave Yards and Stables, and for Soap-Boylers Fatts, and for Cisterns.
- 6. Clinkers are such Bricks which are glazed by the Heat of the Fire in the making.
- 7. Feather-edg'd Bricks are like the common Statute Bricks, only they are thinner on one Edge than on the other, and are used to pen up the Brick Pannels in Timber Buildings.
- 8. Didoron, was a Brick, used by the Ancients of 1½ Foot, or two Spans long, (whence the Name) and one Foot broad. This was the smaller Sort of Bricks used by the Greeks in their private
Houses, for there was a large Sort in Use in their publick Edifices, which they called,
- 9. Pentadoron, which was 3 Foot 9 Inches long, and 1 Foot broad.
- 10. Samel or Sandal Bricks, are such as lie outmost in a Kiln or Clamp, and consequently are soft and useless, as not being thoroughly burnt.
- 11. Great Bricks are 12 Inches long, 6 broad, and 3 thick. The Weight of one about 15 Pound; so that 100 will weigh 1500, and 1000 of them 15000 Pound. Their Use is to build Fence Walls, together with,
- 12. Pilaster or Buttress Bricks, which are of the same Dimensions with them, only they have a Notch at one End of half the Breadth of the Brick. Their Use is to bind the Work at the Pilasters of Fence Walls, which are built of great Bricks.
- 15. Paving Bricks or Tiles, these are of several Sizes in several Counties or Places.
- 14. Place Bricks are such as are made in a Place made on Purpose for them near the Building they are to be used in.
- 15. Statute or small common Bricks: These ought to be 9 Inches long, 4½ broad, and 2½ thick; 100 of them usually weighs about 550 Pound, and consequently 1000, 5500 Pound, and about 407 in Number are a Tun Weight. These are commonly used in paving of Cellars, Hearths, Sinks, &c. 30 or 32, if true Measure, will pave a Yard Square, and 330 will pave a Square of 100 Foot, laid flat; but if laid edge-wise, they must be double in Number.
Bricks are burnt either in a Kiln or a Clamp: Those that are burnt in a Kiln, are first set or placed in it, and then the Kiln being covered with Pieces of Bricks, they first put in some great or cord Wood to dry the Ware with a gentle Fire, which is continued till the Ware is pretty dry: which they know by the Colour of the Smoaks turning from a whitish dark to a black transparent Smoak: then they put in no more Wood, but proceed to burn the Bricks with Bush, Furze Straw, Heath, Brake or Fern Faggots, having first damm'd up the Mouth of the Kiln with their Shinlog as they call it (which is Pieces of Bricks piled up one on another, and then closed up with wet Brick Earth instead of Mortar) only leaving just Room to put in a Faggot. They then continue to put in more and more Faggots till they make the Kiln and its Arches look white with Heat, and that the Fire begins to appear at the Top of the Kiln. Then they begin to slacken the Fire for about half an Hour or an Hour, and so let all cool by Degrees. The Ware will be burnt usually in about 48 Hours. But now-a-days about London, they usually burn Bricks in Clamps, which are built of the Bricks to be burnt, something after the Manner of the Arches in Kilns, viz. with a Vacancy between each Brick's Breadth, &c. for the Fire to play through; but with this Difference that instead of arching they truss or span it over, by making the Bricks project one over another on both Sides the Place for the Wood and Coals to lie in, till they meet, and are bonded by the Bricks at the top which closes all up. The Place for the Fuel is carried up strait on both Sides, till about 3 Foot high, then they fill it almost with Wood, and over that lay a Covering of Sea-coal; and then they over-span the Arch: But they strew Sea-coal also over at the Clamp, betwixt all the Rows of Bricks, then they fire the Wood, and then the Coal, and when all is burnt out, they conclude the Bricks burnt enough. Builder's Dictionary.
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Last revised: 19 October 2011.