Wet look of the antique Bessemer Metropolitan brick paver installed in street. (more pictures)
We have a limited inventory of the salvaged Bessemer Metropolitan street brick paver, so get them while you can! This unique reclaimed paver brick measures 8.59" x 4.15" x 3.5" and weighs approx. 10 pounds each. This antique brick makes for a perfect used material for your next driveway, garden walkway, sidewalk or authentic brick path. We are down to under a hundred pallets of these salvaged, antique stamped sidewalk brick in our yard on a first come, first serve basis.
The Bessemer Metroplotian street brick pavers were made at the Bessemer, PA plant by the Metropolitan Paving Brick co. circa 1917-1931, making these brciks over 100 years old! Formed in 1902 by the merger of the Imperial Shale Paving Brick Co. and the Royal Brick Co., Metropolitan quickly became one of the leading producers of street pavers in the world. Within a decade, its four colossal plants were churning out over 500,000 bricks a day, and its materials were being used for paving and construction projects from the Mississippi to the Atlantic and from Canada to the Gulf.
The company spared no expense to achieve a superior product, ensuring its historic bricks would hold up for generations. According to a 1911 industry journal, its plants represented $2 million of investment in machinery, equipment and processes, equivalent to more than $50 million today. With 600 employees, Metropolitan shipped more than 100 million street pavers and blocks annually — one eighth of all brick production in the United States.
From the raw shale it used to the innovative production techniques it developed, Metropolitan gained a reputation for top-quality pavers.
At each plant, a 125-ton steam shovel scooped shale from 25-40 feet below ground. “Starting at the bottom of the shale bank, the strong arm of the machine shoves the shovel up through the tough shale, biting its way to the top, catching in its cavernous jaws with each two trips sufficient material to make a thousand bricks,” an industry journal described.
From there, the shale mixture was crushed into a powder. Quality control was paramount at every step, so any coarse portions found at this stage were sent back to be ground again. Next, the powder was mixed in a process “that resembles the kneading of dough,” forced into columns and sliced into bricks or blocks. Afterward, the bricks spent two days in the drier, followed by a week in the kiln, the temperature increasing gradually along the way.
Throughout the process, “special machinery is used in this company’s factories, which is said to have no equal in the brick making world in point of strength and compactness, and in producing uniformity of product.” Today, that attention to detail and quality benefits you when you choose our salvaged Metropolitan bricks for your patio, landscaping or driveway.