Almost 150 Years Old!
Brick manufacturing in Auckland can be traced back to 1852, when the value of clay deposits in Rosebank Peninsula was recognised and the first kiln was established. Brick manufacturing was very basic.
1862 Rice Owen Clark - a major participant in the history of the NZ brick industry got involved. He sourced machines from England to make pipes. The pottery and clay pipe making industry was interwoven with the brick industry.
1876 Rice Owen Clark left his business to his son, Rice Owen Clark Jnr, and returned to the UK. The business made 60,000 bricks a week.
1882 William Hunt built a factory that made a superior brick. He sold the factory to John Bycroft and retired.
1890s More brick yards were established, these included the Hepburn Brothers, William Thomas and Parker.
1896 John Bycroft sold to JJ Craig. JJ Craig increased production to 90,000 bricks a day - said to be the largest output of any yard in the country. He dominated the Auckland brick market.
1901 The first major challenge to JJ Craig came from the Gardner brothers, grandsons to Rice Owen Clark (Snr) by way of his daughter. In 1903 the Gardners installed steam-driven machinery and the competition with JJ Craig increased.
1905 South Islander Albert Crum purchased 64 acres of land in New Lynn. His successful operation threatened both the Craig and Gardner businesses. He built a modern plant which included a Hoffman kiln. Price wars began!
1927 Rice Owen Clark Ltd purchased New Zealand Brick, Tile & Pottery from Albert Crum
1929 The four largest brick companies in West Auckland combined to form the Amalgamated Brick & Pipe Company. Albert Crum set up his sons in a new business on Portage Rd, New Lynn. The Napier earthquake resulted in the Government banning the use of bricks on public buildings and discouraging their use elsewhere.
In 1932 Albert patented a clay brick that could be reinforced for earthquakes. He sold the patent to Amalgamated Brick & Pipe. His business rejoined the amalgamation in 1975.
1974 Consolidated Brick & Pipe Investments Ltd, the parent company of Amalgamated Brick & Pipe and Crown Lynn Potteries, was renamed Ceramco Ltd.
1989 Monier Brickmakers Ltd was formed on 1 July 1989, following the acquisition (from Ceramco Corporation) of New Zealand Brickmakers Ltd by Monier Tile (NZ) Ltd a subsidiary of Australia's Monier PGH Limited.
2012 Monier Bricks & Roofing NZ celebrates 150 Years of Heritage in New Zealand.