home history mohawk clinker
Colonial Brick is the nation's lone survivor of literally hundreds of brick plants using the extrusion process and firing with coal-fired periodic kilns.

An Indianapolis newspaper published an article about a tour of Colonial Brick and other sites conducted by Historic Landmark Foundation. The article described Colonial Brick as "anachronistic" (misplaced in time).

The plant was built in 1904 by a group calling themselves "Acme." After several ups and downs and three owners, the plant was purchased by newly formed Colonial Brick in 1965. With this purchase, the company acquired some excellent raw material, early twentieth century production machinery, the ten original beehive kilns, and an exceptionally good workforce.

Some changes have occurred in the last 100 years. Most of the kilns have been rebuilt, the mules are no longer there to pull the clay from the pit, and steam power has been replaced by electrical power. However, most of what you can see, plus all of the tunnels that you can't see, are pretty much the same as they were originally, 100 years ago.

Using antiquated machinery and firing 100-year-old kilns with coal is not a choice most brickmakers would select if given the opportunity to use automated equipment and gas fired tunnel kilns. However, it does give the manufacturer the ability to make and fire the bricks as they were manufactured during the early 1900s. Thus, Colonial Brick can very accurately duplicate the colors, sizes, shape, and face texture of brick facing in buildings from that era.