Model, of Johnson's stiff plastic brick moulding machine and 3 model bricks

c. 1884 in Leeds

Model of Johnson's stiff plastic brick moulding machine, 1884, belt driven and 3 model bricks.

This is a model of a steam lever brick and tile press. This was a machine patented in 1884 by William Johnson, a leading brickmaker and manufacturer of brickmaking equipment based in Leeds. The press was used in conjunction with the pug mill or moulding machine, from which moulded bricks or tiles were pressed and consolidated by the action of a vertical plunger. Each finished brick was automatically displaced by the next one to be pressed. Batches of bricks were then taken to the kiln for firing. The full-size machine weighed 3.5 tonnes, and was driven by a 0.5 horse power steam engine. The model, scale 1:4, was made by the manufacturers.#

This is an example of a machine used to press bricks which were already cut into shape by a by a wire-cutting machine. Wirecut bricks did not have to go through this stage but it made the bricks more accurate in shape and was popular in Victorian times for facing bricks. The bottom of the brick mold is moved vertically, so timed that it forced the pressed brick to the top of the mould and table when compression is completed. The finished brick is displaced by a fresh brick.


Building Construction
Object Number:
William Johnson and Sons