9N85 Brown Tweed, Closure Size

9N85 Brown Tweed, Closure Size

9N85 Brown Tweed, Closure Size

1S79 New Used, Standard Size

1S79 New Used, Standard Size

1S79 New Used, Standard Size

1S39 Oxford, Standard Size

1S39 Oxford, Standard Size

1S39 Oxford, Standard Size

9S60 Standford, Closure Size

9S60 Standford, Closure Size

9S60 Standford, Closure Size

9N82 Soulard Tudor, Closure Size

9N82 Soulard Tudor, Closure Size

9N82 Soulard Tudor, Closure Size

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Making Quality Bricks for Over 100 Years

Richards Brick Company traces its beginnings back to 1890 when a brick layer named Benjamin H. Richards had trouble getting a steady supply of brick for his projects. To solve this problem, he purchased half of Springer and Tunnell Press Brickworks, a brickyard in his hometown of Edwardsville, Illinois. As the years passed, Richards grew more interested in making brick than in laying them. He purchased the remaining half of the brickyard and, in 1905, incorporated as Richards Brick Company.

  • Today, Richards Brick remains a family-owned company, now managed by members of the fourth generation.
  • The company has grown in size while retaining flexibility to meet standard and special orders. Richards Brick Company celebrated its 100th year of operation in1990.
  • The Richards Brick Company corporate office is located at 234 Springer Avenue, Edwardsville, Illinois 62025, at this location we manufacture brick and have a sales office with a display room. We also have a sales offices and display rooms at 3816 Union Boulevard, St. Louis Missouri 63115 and 1329 North Route 3, Suite 3, Waterloo, Illinois 62298. We are the only brick manufacturer in the St. Louis area. Richards Brick also sells many styles of brick supplied by other companies.
  • Richards Brick sells brick and related items to contractors, home owners and do-it-yourself'ers' in the Illinois and Missouri areas surrounding St. Louis, Missouri.
    Edwardsville Illinois Office 618-656-0230
    St. Louis Missouri Office 314-383-1750

Richards Brick Company - Our History

historical photos of Richards Brick Operations

  • 1890 - Benjamin H. Richards bought out Tunnell of the Springer and Tunnell Brick Works September 15th. It then became referred to as the Richards and Springer Brick Works.
  • 1891 - Richards and Springer started making dry pressed brick in place of old hand-made brick.
  • 1893 - A serious plant fire caused a loss of one of the roofs over an updraft kiln, a machine building and the drying sheds.
  • 1896 - Richards bought out the Springer half of the business and renamed it Edwardsville Press Brick Company
  • 1905 - The Company was incorporated as the Richards Brick Company with B. H. Richards Senior President, Russell H. Richards Vice-President and B. H. Richards, Jr. Secretary and Treasurer. A bad fire burned down the dry press machinery building.
  • 1907 - Built the fifth updraft kiln which gave the company five updraft kilns each with a capacity of over 300,000 brick.
  • 1910 - Made a new railroad switch agreement with the new McKinley Belt Line east of the plant and purchased four new 4-wheel clay scrapers. Began construction of a clay shed to hold enough clay for 3 or 4 million brick.
  • 1911 -Completed electric railroad to haul clay from the new clay storage shed to the plant and installed a gravity two car dump system used for loading the clay shed. At this time, the company had four teams of mules for hauling brick locally. Balance of the brick was loaded in railroad cars.
  • 1912 - Completed the first twenty chambers of the continuous Tunnel Haigh Kiln and erected a 175 foot brick smoke stack to furnish draft for the kilns.
  • 1915 - Bought first gasoline tractor which provided too light and had it around for five years because they could not sell it. Purchased and electric battery driven truck for hauling brick out of the kiln to the McKinley switch tracks. Bought the first Ford Roadster as a company car for the salesman.
  • 1917 - Converted from steam power to electricity
  • 1920 - Abandoned the gravity two car dump system of loading the clay shed and installed a cable winch driven by an electric motor.
  • 1923 - Completed sixteen more chambers to make a total of 40 chambers in the Haigh Kiln. Started using Fordson tractors for winning clay.
  • 1924 - Bought three more Fordson tractors for the clay hill and purchased the first Dodge Graham truck for hauling brick.
  • 1925 - Purchased two more gasoline hauling trucks.
  • 1926 - William H. Mundrup, Superintendent, made two more clay gathers twice as big as the original ones and of an improved design. He had made the first improvement on one back in 1923. V. W. Boeker started work as a young Ceramic Engineer and was assigned to study the possibility of developing a new shale stiff mud plant. Purchased property on Union Street in St. Louis and opened up a St. Louis distributing yard.
  • 1928 - Sold all of the mule drawn equipment
  • 1929 - Sold all of the old mule drawn equipment that was left.
  • 1930 - Built warehouse which later served as the office for a cost of $2,286.00. Installed truck scales along this warehouse and we now had a total of five trucks for hauling brick locally.
  • 1935 - Abandoned the electric motor locomotive for an 8-ton gasoline Plymouth Locomotive which had been used at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago. Also, purchased the first Industrial Brown-Hoist dragline for digging shale at the shale pit. Built the east storage shed which is still in use.
  • 1936 - Built the west storage shed which is still in use.
  • 1937 - Plant employees joined the AF of L United Brick and Clay Workers Union.
  • 1939 - Purchased mechanical unloading trucks capable of picking up and setting down 2,500 brick at a time.
  • 1943 - Plant forced to shut down due to World War II
  • 1945 - Plant opened after war in October
  • 1946 - Purchased first forklift truck. Also, had a strike of employees due to the Office of Price Administration not giving us permission to raise prices so that we could in turn pass on wage advances to the men. The strike lasted only four days.
  • 1948 - Purchased new P & H dragline.
  • 1951 - Built and started up the first gas fired Allied car Tunnel Kiln.
  • 1958 - Tore down the 175 foot chimney which was long a landmark in Edwardsville.
  • 1960 - Started up the second gas fired Allied car Tunnel Kiln and started manufacturing two shifts a day. Purchased a new American dragline for digging shale. Converted to “Pack-Hauler” packaging and paved approximately three acres south and across the tracks from the brick yard. This was used for storage of 3,000 brick packages. B. H. Richards died April 8, 1960. C. T. Richards assumed presidency.
  • 1965 - Installed Signode Octagon Packaging machine and went to 100 packs wrapped in steel and switched to boom trucks for unloading brick on the job. Built new office at 234 Springer Avenue, Edwardsville, Illinois.
  • 1968 - Purchased new Steele de-airing brick machine.
  • 1981 - Moved to new shale pit 2 miles south of original one.
  • 1983 - Completed extra insulation on Tunnel Kilns to save fuel.
  • 1984 - C. T. Richards assumes Chairman of the Board. R. W. Richards assumes President and Treasurer. C. Thomas Richards assumes Vice-President and Secretary.
  • 1988 - Added Pixley Quick Cool System on Tunnel Kiln #2.
  • 1989 - Added Pixley Quick Cool System on Tunnel Kiln #1. Added Techni-Ceram Preheat Recirculation System to Tunnel Kiln #2.
  • 1986 - Increased production from 85,000 to 126,000 brick per day. Eliminated one handling of brick by going to direct setting. Invested about 1 ½ million dollars in a new dryer and new handling equipment.
  • 1990 - Will replace Pixley Quick Cool System with Hendryx System on Tunnel Kiln #2.
  • 1990 - Celebrated our 100th year in business with an open house celebration
  • 1991 - Ben. H. Richards, our oldest stockholder, died February 19, 1991. C. T. Richards died on October 31, 1991.
  • 1993 - R. W. Richards retires, but continues as president. Started Stockpiling at pit.
  • 1998 - Railroad pulls out and takes up tracks. Start stockpiling at plant.
  • 2001 - Put new high-velocity burners on both kilns. Built new grinding and manufacturing buildings with conveyors replacing bucket elevators, Stedman rock grinder replacing crusher and grinder, Steele 45 pugmil replacing Steele 40, basic push up cutter replacing reel cutter. Invested about 5 million dollars.
  • 2004 - C. Thomas Richards died May 21, 2004
  • 2006 - R. W. Richards assumes Chairman of the Board. John Motley assumes President and Treasurer. James R. Richards assumes Vice-President and Secretary.
  • 2011 - Still going strong