Tuesday, April 11, 2023

This Old Brick--What Do the Initials Mean?

While prepping the Veblen House for asbestos removal, I removed a grate on the wall and found this very clearly initialed old brick. Our carpenter, Robb Geores, had introduced me to the meaningfulness of stampings on old bricks, so I knew to give these initials their due. There's a substantial compendium of brick initials online, but it didn't include SRBC. 

Back to Robb for his take, and sure enough, he had a possible answer:
I think that might stand for “ South River Brick Company.” I’m not sure, but it may. There was once a company in South River N J that made enameled bricks. It’s near the town that I come from, Sayreville n j which is known for Brick Manufacturing as well. Bricks from Sayreville are embossed S&F B C. ( Sayre and Fisher Brick Company).


The brick was inside the opening for a duct that led to or from the furnace along the edge of the chimney. The orange marking dates back to around 2017, when Mercer County hired a company to mark where asbestos--coated heat ducts could be found in the house. That was part of the county's process that would have led to demolition of the house if not for the Friend of Herrontown Woods' successful effort to save it. 

Also in this photo are two square-shaped impressions in the wall, behind which is the chimney. It will be interesting to see what's behind those two squares. 

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