Down the Bessemer Brick Path

About four years ago Jack laid a brick path for me made from bricks that came from our street. The bricks were torn out during a repaving project. We asked if we could have some and we gathered them from the piles in front of our house and two neighbors’ frontages.  We couldn’t use a wheelbarrow because of the muddy hills of bricks on the sidewalks. We would have gathered more but we went to Michigan for the birth of our grandson. Some things are more important than the garden. Family first!

Vintage Bessemer Brick

The bricks were engraved on one side with “Bessemer Youngstown O Block” (see photo). Today I researched the company and found some information about the company from a blog called ‘brickfrog’ (at Brickfrog collects antique bricks out of Boston! Brickfrog lists the information as from: Dependable Highways, Vol. 3, Nos. 3-9, 1916.

It seems that our bricks were made by Bessemer Limestone Co., Youngstown, Ohio. The company advertised they were the “licensed manufacturers of Dunn-Wire-Cut Lug Brick.” If you look at the four corners of the brick in the photo you can see the lugs. I’m guessing this engraved side was faced down toward the ground with the smooth side facing up. Jack decided that putting the lug-side up would keep the bricks from becoming slippery when wet. I didn’t care for walking on the lugs but wasn’t about to turn all the bricks over – I have weeds waiting for me! Now I’m glad he laid them this way so I could find out their history.

These bricks fit right in with our house; it was built c. 1910. I particularly like the wayAntique Bessemer Brick the brick appear as the moss grows on them. Perhaps I should not be allowing this because it could break down the embossed lettering. I’m hoping brickfrog or other collectors find my blog and explain the best way to treat my antique pavers. My knowledge of vintage bricks is a work-in-progress too!

5 Responses to Down the Bessemer Brick Path

  1. That is an awesome find! Hope they find you too!! I would love to read about how they tell you to care for them.

    • Hi Winnie, The bricks really are great! The only problem we had was they were heavy to move by hand since they were covered in dirt/clay! If you check the next comment you’ll see what brickfrog has to say about them.

  2. The bricks were often laid down entire streets with the lugs face up. It was thought to be better traction for the horses. I doubt the moss can hurt the letters. Paving blocks are burned extra hard, but if you put any common building brick on the path that can be a lot weaker and break down over time. I let moss grow on mine too, as they are also in my garden. Enjoy!

  3. Brickfrog, Thanks for visiting. It makes sense to have the lug side up for the horses but I thought the roads looked smooth in the Dependable Highways advertisement pictures. My bad. Where did you get the info about 48 million (!?) bricks a year in your article? And with fracking in the local news, I wondered about the shale angle. How did they use shale? Ground up? They really are beautiful and much sturdier than my present day bricks. I feel another brick post coming on. Do people really pay $10 for one? Do I have to lock ‘em up? LOL

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