Clyde Iron Works and Fire Brickworks, Tollcross, Glasgow.

1858 – Mineral Statistics of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for 1858 – Clyde Iron Works, Clay of coal measures. Name of freeholder – Clyde Iron Co. Manufacturer – Clyde Iron Co. Manufacture – Bricks, furnace blocks, covers, tiles, stopping clay, &c – estimated 12,000 tons annually.

Below – 1859 – Clyde Fireclay Works.

27/01/1873 – Glasgow Herald – Wanted, a party to contract for malting, kilning and burning all the various classes of fire brick manufactured at the Clyde Iron Works. The contractor must be a thoroughly practical and experienced man, ready to devote his whole time and attention to the work and must not be otherwise engaged. For further particulars, apply to Mr Niven at the works.

10/06/1880 – Glasgow Evening Citizen – Wanted, brickmaker, one accustomed to making fire bricks preferred – Apply at Clyde Foundry, Greenock.

1890 – 1891 – James Dunlop & Co, Fire brick manufacturers, fire bricks, facing bricks, covers, ground fire clay. Works – Clyde Ironworks by Tollcross. Office – 175 West George Street.

31/01/1893 – Invoice – Clyde Iron Works, 97 Bath Street, Glasgow. James Dunlop and Co Limited.

1907 – James Dunlop & Co Ltd, Clyde Ironworks by Tollcross. Office, 7 Royal Bank Place, Glasgow.

1912 – 1913 – James Dunlop & Co Ltd, Clyde Ironworks by Tollcross. Office, 7 Royal Bank Place, Glasgow.

1915 – David Colville & Sons (thereafter Colvilles) took over Clyde Ironworks.

Below – 1934 – Clyde Fireclay Works.

03/09/1954 – Motherwell Times – Firms display products at Scottish Industries Exhibition in Glasgow … Colvilles Ltd – The main feature of the stand Messrs Colvilles Ltd., is a model of the proposed development at Ravenscralg. Measuring eleven feet by eight feet, the model itself has been developed since it was shown to pressmen at Dalzeil Steelworks recently because it now shows the final development and not the initial stages of the £2om project as originally shown. Round the base of the stand are some slag facing bricks manufactured by the firm at Clyde Iron Works  …

July 1961 – Clay Worker Magazine? – Colvilles  –  The brickworks works is situated at the company’s Clyde ironworks, near Glasgow and the material used for their bricks is blast furnace slag.  The first bricks they made consisted of 97 per cent slag and 2 1/2 per cent hydrated lime.  These were put into an autoclave and steamed for five or six hours but, apparently in the process, the colour was leached out and only grey bricks came out of the oven.  As saturation point was soon reached in the popularity for grey in Scotland that company had to turn to colouring their bricks.  To do this they reduced the slag content to 87 per cent and added 10 per cent cement bonding and 2 per cent colouring material, consisting of synthetic iron oxide and carbon black.  Water makes up the round of 100 per cent.  The autoclave was scrapped and the bricks are now hardened in the atmosphere for a minimum period of six weeks.  As a result, the company have a more saleable brick but they have lost something in quality.  The drying shrinkage, for instance, is 0.28 per cent and only just manages to meet the specifications whilst one would guess there might be sulphate trouble in time.  In addition, the greys are cheaper at £9 per 1,000.

Manufacturing Process – The slag is first put into pits and allowed to cool. From here it is loaded into a hopper and fed by skip hoist (about 160 tons a day) to storage bins in the making shop.  Other bins cement and colouring which with the slag (ground and turned to dust) are drawn from their respective hoppers and batch weighed.  Water is added and the material is mixed in an August Simpson mixer, which used to have rolls but now has a series of paddles. A rotary feeder conveys the mixture to the Hercules presses where a pressure of 120 tons is exerted.  There are three presses, each has twelve moulds and can produce 1800 bricks per hour and from here the bricks are carried by forklift truck to the curing shed.
The colour range of the bricks is now red, brown, yellow and sun buff as well as grey….(there is more but the print is too faint to read)


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