handmade brick

Contributed by ccowing

I found this brick in a cellar hole on a friend's property in Maine. Cellar holes, or house sites, can be found in forested areas all over New England. Such areas were once pasture land that has now grown over. This brick dates from around 1800, and was made from local clay with a wooden paddle. It has what appears to be a fingerprint on one side. I can imagine the brick maker setting the bricks out to dry as he formed them, and touching each one to see if it were dry. I was struck with the continuity between rural northern New England and the ancient world, where bricks were made in exactly the same manner thousands of years ago. Bricks such as this have an individual character that is lost in machine made bricks.

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