Celebrating 100 years of Bowral Bricks
Bricks have shaped our architecture, our cities and our lives for more than ten thousand years. Along with our evolution, we have seen brick transform from a mere building block into a dynamic resource that can be used to create masterpieces of architectural fantasy, pleasure, protection and status.
The oldest dating back to 8,300 BC, these colossal bricks from Jordan, resembling a contemporary loaf of bread, were fashioned from a mixture of earth, clay and water, dried in the sun and joined with a similar mixture.
100 years later, in 7300 BC, Neolithic bricks from Jericho (Turkey) approached in dimensions our contemporary bricks at 400 x 150 x 100. Made from Varve clay, found on river beds and lakes, the material was composed of hydrated aluminum silicates. (A typical contemporary brick is made from a mixture of silica, alumina, lime, iron oxide, magnesia, sulfur trioxide, and water.) Jordan bricks are the oldest resembling our bricks, but there is ample evidence that bricks were being developed throughout Europe, North Africa and China around the same time.
Around 5900 BC. J.-C., wooden formwork was used, and from 3000 BC. BC, the Egyptians (who used a mixture of clay and straw for their first bricks) introduced moulds.
Around 5000 BC, shooting was developed by the Mesopotamians, but the process was difficult.
Around 4400, fully fired red clay bricks were produced in sufficient quantity to build a round-walled settlement in Chengtoushan, China. Built by the people of the Daxi culture, the village has lasted untouched for 2 millennia, serving three distinct cultures. Well done! The remains of the settlement are now preserved as an archaeological park.
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In 2111 BC, bricks shape the world we live in with temples for gods, kings and nobility. Moreover, they were used with increasing architectural and technical skill, and by 604 BC. J.-C., an architecture of great importance, such as the hanging gardens, was carried out.
From the medieval period there was a constant cycle of improvements to the presses and drying, although the drying process took a month, instead of the 2–4 days currently required. Then in the 9th century standard sizing began to appear and more recently it has become less relevant as custom and large format bricks have appeared.
Australia’s first bricks arrived by ship, with riverbed bricks being formed by convicts soon after. In 1908 a group of investors, led by William Dawes, recognized the need to industrialize brick making and formed Austral Brick Company, today a brand of Brickworks. By 1914 he was sufficiently established as a major contributor to the brick industry to survive the coming depression.
More recently, under Lindsay Partridge, Brickworks and its brands Austral Bricks, Bowral Bricks, Nubrik and Daniel Robertson, have been transformed into a national organization with manufacturing operations in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Australia -Western and Queensland. Continually upgraded and modernized, the world’s best environmental protection technologies and features are implemented to enable the introduction of highly innovative new products.
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