Found by Ian Suddaby in Penicuik, Midlothian. This example is not in my possession. The reference to ‘Penicuik’ may well be a reference to the customer ordering the product. There might also be another letter stamped below the word ‘Bluebell’. Stein, Castlecary Fireclay Works, Castlecary, Stirlingshire. Stein, Manuel Firebrick and Refractory Works, Whitecross, Stirlingshire. Stein…
Found by Ian Suddaby in the Edinburgh area.
This example is not in my possession.
The manufacturer of this brick is unknown. I have included it here as it could be of Scottish origins.
UGB – stands for United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. They were formed in 1913 and folded in 1999.
This has the look of a high silica content brick.
It is unknown if UGB had possession of a brickworks themselves and manufactured their own bricks or did they buy in their bricks with their logo already stamped thereon.
I note this detail regarding UGB and their ownership of the Portobello brickworks near Edinburgh – “After the death of Victor Wood in 1935, the old Family connections ceased and in 1937 Woods Bottle Works (1920) Ltd. was taken over by The United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. A new batch house was built in 1937 and a third furnace, a Teisen Recuperative Furnace, was built alongside No. 62 Furnace at that time known as the oil tank”
Teisen Furnaces of Kings Norton, Birmingham. C.E. Offices and Stores: Eckersall Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham. 30. T.A ., “Tete, Birmingham”. T.N., King’s Norton 2284/6 (3 lines). Continental Branch: Fours Tiesen, Paris. Represented in Scandanavia, India and South America. Established 1923.
Contractor, patentee and designer of tank furnaces, pot furnaces, lehrs, pot arches and all other glassworks furnaces for firing with producer gas, town and coke oven gas or oil; recuperators, glassworks refractories and machinery; gas producers; oil burners, regulators and valves for furnaces; mixing plant; Teisen patent hexagonal recuperators; glassworks refractories and special cements; automatic batch feeders and all other glassworks plant; complete glassworks planned and built in all parts of the world.
So it is possible that Teisen supplied refractory bricks to UGB for their furnaces and therefore equally possible that they marked these bricks UGB for the customer.
Equally this was found alongside Bluebell bricks manufactured by JG Stein / GR Refractories in West Lothian. Both the UGB and the Bluebell bricks have very similar visual characteristics and makeup so UGB could have been manufactured more locally.
Harry Hickson, writes:
“I am pretty certain UGB did not have a brickworks of their own which manufactured their Glass Furnace bricks. I would suggest they had them made by the Ravenhead Sanitary Pipe and Brick Company, but not at the brickworks half a mile away, rather at the Upholland near Wigan one.
They in their sales description of around 1910 describe their Firebrick as being used for the past 40 years by some of the largest Iron, Glass, and Bottle Manufacturers in the UK. Having the initials UGB on the Brick, signifies that it was uniquely made for them with their specific operating conditions [this was a particular brickworks sales pitch], and also was not likely to get mixed up in the storage yard prior to delivery.
However there are a number of locations in Scotland itself with the Strata containing the sand ingredients suitable for the production of appropriate bricks, and the Eglington Silica Brick Company Ltd in Glasgow produced a high temp’ brick. I do not know if a Scottish brick was used, but again would suggest the placing of initials in the moulds at another company would add to the cost, and UGB were an efficient company who I think would standardise their operations at both of their factories in St Helens/Edinburgh.
Obviously the fact that the brick Ian found had UGB on it means that its age varied between 1937 when they took over the Woods Bottle Works, and 1967 when it closed down.”