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British Industrial History

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Beeby's Brick Co

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Yaxley, near Peterborough.

Established 1897.

Extract from The Engineer 1899/06/16.

'The works comprise four Hoffmann kilns of eighteen chambers each, their chimney shafts being 160ft. high, together with the necessary engine, boiler, and machine houses. The compound engine - by Messrs. Yates and Thom, of Blackburn - has cylinders 23.5in. and 37in. in diameter by 4.5ft. stroke; but at present the high-pressure cylinder only is being used. The bricks are manufactured on the semi-dry principle. There are four grinding pans, eight single mould, two double-mould, and one four-mould press, capable of turning out about 8000 bricks per hour. The clay is known as the Oxford clay or Knotts, and is about 55ft in depth, covered by about 8ft of earth, which has to be removed. The clay is barred down into trucks, which are drawn up into the machine-house. It is then put through grinding-pans, which have perforated bottoms. By this process the clay is reduced to a powder, and is taken by elevators into the hoppers, and from thence passes through the presses, and then the bricks are ready for burning. The exhaust steam of the engine is used for drying- on cast iron plates any clay that is too wet for grinding. The loading accommodation is conveniently arranged by three sidings which are connected with the main railway line running between the kilns, forming a dock or loading stage, thus saving as far as possible manual labour. The whole of the works are lighted by electricity about 100 incandescent lamps, from 16 to 50 candle power, and 4 arc lamps being used. A lamp socket is built into the wall of each chamber wicket, at which a connection is made to light the interior when necessary for setting and drawing the bricks. The dynamo is driven by a separate engine.'

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