brick sizes and making

England, 17th – 18th centuries

John Harris.
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:

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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