Tom’s Raritan River
Raritan River Railroad
Forgotten traces of the RRRR as seen in aerial maps from the late 1920s
Philadelphia & Boston Face Brick Company
J.C.Appleby Sand and Clay Company
East Brunswick between Harts
Lane (Wood Road) and Ryders Lane.
Late 1920s as
compared to 2002
& Boston Face Brick Company and the J.C. Appleby Sand and Clay Company were
both located in East Brunswick between Harts
Lane and Ryders Lane in the early
1900s. This area of East
Brunswick, as well as South River and Sayreville,
were full of Sand and Clay companies that the little Raritan River Railroad
served in its early years. Many of these
sand and clay pits were mined locally, and shipped to companies like Whiteheads
or Sayre and Fischer for processing or as raw materials for the bricks that
were made. Most of these companies
closed down after the depression of the 1930s.
Railroad Map 1915
the Bob Kipp Collection of Maps.
to match the photograph below.
Photograph from 1930?
Ryders Lane on left
and Sand and clay companies in East Brunswick.
There are no traces
of these Sand and Clay companies as developments and industries have completely
changed the landscape in East Brunswick today.
Philadelphia & Boston Face Brick Company
from 1902 for the Philadelphia and Boston Face Brick Company.
This helps explain
what these companies produced. The raw
materials of sand and clay would have been mined in East Brunswick
would have used to produce the ornamental brick for these fireplaces. According to History of the Clay working
industry in the United States, By Heinrich Ries,
Henry Leighton, “Pressed and ornamental brick manufacture was begun at Boston
in 1888 by the Philadelphia and Boston Face Brick Company, using red burning
clays from Maine, but brining buff and cream burning clays from New Jersey”. This might actually imply that the clays and
sand that were mined in East Brunswick during this
period would have been shipped to Boston
for final processing.
According to an
article from the New York Times archive, the Phila
& Boston Face Brick Co. was in receivership by 1903.
I have seen other
advertisements from 1906, so it would seem that the company did continue
operations until sometime in the future when ultimately they stopped
operations. The Philadelphia
and Boston Face Brick Company shows up in the time tables as a stop until
J.C. Appleby Sand and Clay Company
The J.C. Appleby Sand
and Clay Co. was a small sand company just north of the Philadelphia
and Boston Face Brick Co. They also had
a small siding on the Raritan River Railroad.
They are reported to have minded “Glass Sand”, which is a special type
of sand that is suitable for glassmaking because of its high silica, but low
iron oxide, chromium, and cobalt, and other materials that could color the
glass. Of all the states that mined
glass sand in 1906, New Jersey
was number 6 on the list with a total of 36,000 tons, Pennsylvania
was first on the list with 360,000 tons.
Sand that is to be
used for glass is first sent to scrubbers where any clay materials would be
removed. (Funny how right next door at
P&B, they wanted the clay materials, and probably removed the sand.) Eventually water gets mixed back in, and the
Silica Dioxide can be separated from the other contaminating metals in the
mix. Eventually the sand would be dried in
the sun, and then loaded for shipment, and possibly re-dried one it arrived at
a glass making plant.
There is the siding
noted on the map from 1915, as well as the plant pictures form the aerial photograph
from 1930. There is no way to tell if
the plant is still active in the 1930 photograph, although. It is believed, by me, that the plant was
long gone before this photograph was taken in 1930.
On the following “Conductors
Cypher Code for Stations” which was included in the Timetable
from 1915, only the Philadelphia
and Boston Face Brick Company is listed as a stop. Infact it doesn’t show
up on any of the timetables I have from 1912-1941. This might imply that Appleby’s had just
started production in 1915, and then ceased operations very quickly afterwards. So they show up on the map because the spur
is still connected, but if they weren’t an active customer, they wouldn’t show
up in the timetable.
From the July
16, 1915 Time Table
Here is an entire forum dedicated to
discussions of the RRRR!