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Am I A Brickhead? A S.B. Story

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    Posted 5 years ago

    (813 items)

    I go to all sorts of lengths to bring these things home. Bike, hiking, kayak, automobile-- doesn't matter, I'll bring as many as I can carry, even if I have 10 of the same brick in better shape. LOL.

    For those who don't know, they're early 1900s paver-blocks, which covered most early paved drives and important town-roads. I have finally found intact Iron Rock Blocks, which never seemed to survive well up here.

    Anyway, story-time.....

    His surroundings were dusty and dry, as most trainyards tend to be. In the near distance, beige box cars sat where they almost always do on the rusting sidings. Drying grass, pale green, shot up on only one side of the baked clay road cracking under the glaring, hot sun overhead.

    He dropped his torn pack as it was becoming heavy-- and he weary, as he had been cycling pretty hard for a few hours before this. His pack would be safe here, as he didn't intend to go much further. After all, he didn't want to risk being caught on railroad property, as it was mid-day, with trucks coming and going by the long building down the way.

    Dust filled his nostrils and every line on his hands and knees. It smeared over his arms and legs due to sweat. Moving his wristwatch, he saw the cleaner spot of lighter flesh, albeit it was more sweaty. He was beginning to blend with the aging ties and tracks.

    Looking down, he caught site of another one of the objects people don't understand his interest in. Walking toward it, he pulled out of his pocket the metallic object that had been clanking around with his keys.

    The wrench caught the gleam of sunlight even under its own layer of light rust and fine dust-- dust, from the cracked, shattered, clay-dirt, covering everything down here.

    He fell to his knees and plunged the wrench into the clay beside the object. Wondering what people who might see him were thinking, he began digging away with the only tool he had-- he didn't intend to come out here. This happened to be in his pack, and memory of the location crossed his mind. So, on the way home from another town, he stopped by.

    Now he was prying out antique pavers from an old, worn-out road in a train-yard he walked through earlier that year. They weren't of monetary value, but he enjoyed lining the gardens with these historical objects. Most were pretty well lodged, barely visible corners or sides peeking up to take on the driving rains and burning sun as they had for the past century.


    I ended up taking home all these, making two trips total to my car, as my pack could only hold 6 at a time (carried in my arms. I'm sure the people at the boat launch where I parked, thought I was most suspicious.)

    I have 4 (not from this pile) in my room as very-good-condition interesting displays, including a mottled-glaze Nelsonville. The Nelsonvilles seem to have a metallic glaze that sometimes has colours in it.

    I think that I have 4-dozen pavers. As each weighs a helluva lot, having brought them home via kayak, hiking, or cycling..... LOL. Yes, I sometimes have a kayak with, like, 5 or 6 of these in it.

    Few people collect them. Shipping is $20 to ship 2, so..... In very good condition, they tend to be worth $5-$10.

    Of interest, 90% of the bricks I find here, were made in Ohio. I'm in Michigan. We have Michigan bricks, but most were from Ohio-- specifically, Canton.

    I also have a bear of honey in the pic, cuz, as a bear, I love honey. <3

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    1. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      I used to have a buyer down in Florida-- hence why I know the shipping costs. LOL.
      Sadly, supply of those in decent shape (not cemented or cracked) was pretty low. These things are plentiful, but they tend to be in rough shape. I put the best of my collection, inside. Else they will crack under the normal freeze-thaw here, and will eventually erode under rain and wind-driven sand.
    2. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 5 years ago
      I have a PURINGTON PAVER around here somewhere, made in East Galesburg IL near where I grew up, which actually came from the original Galesburg Burlington Northern train depot. (sadly razed in the late 1970's) Galesburg, to this day, still has a good number of city streets paved with (and buildings built of) Purington Brick.

      Cool collection! :-)
    3. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      I've not seen that one yet. Our train depot here is paved with the Saginaw you see at the top.
      After our city's namesake road was torn up, I spent much of the summer sifting through debris and dirt to get pavers. All sorts came out. It's how I first learned of the Iron Rock Block, as I found one that I could read Iron on. Also found an 1860s 2-cent piece and a insulator from the debris.
    4. Caperkid, 5 years ago
      I have found a few of these near the old tracks by my childhood home. Almost got a couple home lol. Great to see the effort.
    5. PoliticalPinbacks PoliticalPinbacks, 5 years ago
      Cool old bricks, Woodward Ave. in Downtown Detroit is still paver brick for a block or two.
    6. PoliticalPinbacks PoliticalPinbacks, 5 years ago
      Looks looks the nelsonville hold the glaze good
    7. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      Almost, eh, Caperkid? I used to carry three at a time on my back and cycle home with them. LOL.
      Political Pinbacks, thank you. I have another post with pavers. You see a cleaner Nelsonville in it:
      The Nelsonvilles seemed to survive better than most-- I think due to its metallic glaze, albeit the Buckeye Block had a better clay, I think. But 20th Century and Iron Rock Blocks seemed to crumble.
    8. Caperkid, 5 years ago
      When I get back east in the fall I will bring one back for sure.
    9. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      With a rubber bumper on the door and foam pads on the base of the blocks (so as to avoid door and floor damage), they make decent door-stops.
    10. TheGateKeeper TheGateKeeper, 5 years ago
      My Dad worked with WPA during the Depression in the 30's. He worked on a gang in Texas that paved the highway between Fort Worth and Weatherford. Sadly I did not get one of the bricks before the highway was paved over. It's great that you have an interest in your history. I admire your imagination.
    11. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      Thank you, The Gate Keeper. It may be possible to see if the city can look up which company they bought their pavers from, in which you can likely find the same paver as an example of what he had seen.
    12. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 5 years ago
      I *knew* there was something more (now) local 'brick-related' -- the town of Malvern, AR is apparently known as the "Brick Capital of the World" due to its long history associated with the (now) ACME Brick Co. (and its predecessors) which is still very much in business today. The town even holds an annual "Brickfest" celebration, happening this very weekend.

      I don't believe I have any 'branded' bricks from any of those assorted companies over the years, but its quite likely that my house is otherwise built of ACME brick...I'll keep my eye out in case I spot a loose one with any maker's ID on it that you might like, SpiritBear?! :-)

    13. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      For some reason, it reminds me of A. B. Co. bricks. Not sure why. At some point, for a long period of time, they were unable to syncronise their labeling machine with their assembly line, so instead of all bricks coming off as A. B. Co., you see B. Co A., Co. A. B., A. B. C, & c. LOL.

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