The Dean

Below – Dean ventilating brick. J & R Howie Ltd, Hurlford Fireclay Works, Kilmarnock catalogue dated 1952.

air vent J & R Howie, Hurlford, Kilmarnock

At the rear of the catalogue an entry states “Dean ventilating air brick in salt-glazed fireclay, for the fumes from gas boilers, gas fires etc. 4 1/2″ x 6” in section. Made to suit wall of any thickness.

From the information below it appears these ‘Dean’ gas ventilation bricks were originally the invention of W H Dean & Son of Victoria Works, Accrington Road, Burnley.  From the Hurlford catalogue, they state they manufacture The Dean gas ventilation bricks so did they do so after the patent ran out or did WH Dean perhaps lease out the patent on some sort of franchise. WH Dean appears to have had some connection with Glasgow whether it be an office or manufacturing premises?

Graces Guide – W H Dean & Son of Victoria Works, Accrington Road, Burnley, Lancashire. Also at London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow. Telephone: 2129/2120. Telegraphic Address: “Dean, ‘Phone, Burnley”.

1895 – Company founded.

1936 – Public company.

1937 –  British Industries Fair Advert for Gas Heated Washing Coppers (assorted); Copper Water Heaters; Rustless Cast Iron Pan Boilers; Gas Heated Washing Machines. Copper Urns for counter use, in restaurants, workshops, etc. Flue Piping. Corrugated Elbows, Bafflers. (Gas: Industrial and Domestic Section – Stand No. Ca. 410).

Below – 1938 – Graces Guide. Sole makers of ‘The Dean’ specialities.

Below – 22/07/1933 – Burnley Express – The Dean specialities.

1945 – Patent – Improvements relating to the casings of domestic wash boilers and washing machines.

1948 – Patent – Improvements relating to domestic clothes washing machines and wash boilers.

1955 – Merger with Burco, also of Burnley. Converted to a private company.

1961 – Engineers, sheet metal workers, iron and aluminium founders and galvanizers, specialising in the manufacture of gas heated wash boilers and washing machines. 200 employees.

Below – The following ventilating air brick is in the possession of Thomas Hayman. It was recovered in Barnstaple.

This example is not in my possession.



Below – Found at Castlehill, Carluke.

This looks like the same sort of ventilation brick as detailed above. It is a longer version though.

It is salt-glazed.

It is unmarked and thus the maker is unknown but very possibly, due to the find location, it is a J & R Howie, Hurlford product.

Ventilation brick. 15″ x 5 3/4″” x 4 “. The rectangular opening (On both sides) measures 3″ x 3/4”.  The end circular air vent measures  2 3/4″ in diameter.




Below – Two similar vents in the possession of Ian Suddaby. The smaller was found in Barnstable and the larger in Shrewsbury.

Below – An internal view of the smaller vent found in Barnstable.

Below – The vent found in Shrewsbury.


Below – An internal view of the vent found in Shrewsbury


Tagged with:

Similar articles