Fonds - Estevan Brick fonds

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Estevan Brick fonds

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  • 1933-1979 (Creation)

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Physical description

175.7 cm of textual records; 76 sheets of architectural drawings
1 photograph; 1 cartographic item
2 rolls of microfilm.

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Administrative history

Estevan, Saskatchewan's brickmaking industry began as an offshoot of the coal industry in 1902. The first plant started in 1906 as a private company, Eureka Coal and Brick Co. In 1912 the plant was sold and renamed Estevan Brick and Coal Company. In 1918 it was sold again and renamed International Clay Products. As Estevan clay was unsuitable for refractory (fire) bricks, the plant focused exclusively on face and common brick during its early years. In the 1920s, as part of a general plant expansion, the plant expanded its product line to include "Scots Gray" building tile, terra-cotta, quarry floor tiles, and pottery (wine jugs). This necessitated shipping in clay from Eastend for blending with Estevan clay.

In 1932 the plant closed due to the Great Depression. In 1945 the Saskatchewan government purchased the plant and reopened it as a Crown Corporation operating under the name Saskatchewan Clay Products. In 1964, the plant underwent another name change, to Estevan Clay Products Division. In 1965, the daily management of the plant was handed over to Industrial Management Ltd. The plant, which underwent another name change to Estevan Brick Ltd., became a limited liability company with the province as majority shareholder.

This structure continued until 1969, when the plant was sold to Peben Contractors Ltd. The revamped company, called Estevan Brick, introduced new product lines, including what was reputed to be the whitest brick produced in North America. In 1978 Estevan Brick became a division of Thunderbrick Ltd.In 1992 it was sold again to Canada Brick, and in 1995 it was sold a final time to I-XL Industries Ltd. It was incorporated in 1995 as Estevan Brick (1995). In 1997 the plant was closed due to shrinking markets.

The plant's face brick can be found in a number of buildings in Western Canada and North Dakota, including the Estevan Court House (now a provincial heritage site), the Federal Building in Regina, the Assiniboia Court House, the Saskatoon Normal School, the Power Station at Estevan, and the SaskPower building in Regina. An official edict from the province, brought in in 1965 during the years of W. Ross Thatcher, ordered that buildings constructed with public money be built from Saskatchewan brick; hence many public buildings constructed during this period contain bricks from the Estevan brick plant. Much of the snow-white brick was sold in the province of Quebec.

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Custodial history

One pallet of material was delivered to the Claybank Brick Plant National Historical Park from an unknown donor. Research has revealed that the most likely source for this material was Willett Manufacturing Ltd., a metal fabrication company that makes threaded pipe nipples. Willett Manufacturing Ltd. purchased the physical location of the Estevan brick plant and proceeded to modify the grounds to suit its own needs in 1997, just shortly before Municipal Affairs received the records.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of material gathered from 1933 to 1979, during the period when Estevan Brick was owned by a private company, during the period when the Estevan brick plant was a wholly-owned Crown Corporation of the Province of Saskatchewan operating under the name Saskatchewan Clay Products, during the period when the Estevan brick plant was operated by a private company with the Province of Saskatchewan as the chief stockholder of the corporation Estevan Brick Ltd, and during the period when the Estevan brick plant was owned by a private company.

Included are accounting records and journals, statistics, supplies records, personnel records, payroll records and journals, plant repair and maintenance records, sales records and journals, quotations, production records, cost sheets, stores ledgers and disbursement ledgers. The fonds consists of five series: Letter Series Files, Architectural Drawings and Photographs, Accounts Receivable, Production Records, Plant Maintenance and Administration, and Ledgers. There are also architectural drawings relating to plant maintenance and repairs, one cartographic item relating to clay, and one photograph relating to advertising.

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Physical condition

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Whenever possible, the original numeric or alphanumeric arrangement employed by employees of the Estevan Brick Plant was retained. Records acquired with no discernable order have been arranged according to chronological or alphabetical order.

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Restrictions on access

Some of these records are subject to access restrictions. See reference archivist for assistance.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication, and/or reproduction of these records are subject to the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

Consult SAFA 5 for manual file lists of textual records, lists of mircofilmed records, architectural drawings lists, and lists of photographs. For access to file-level textual records database, architectural drawings database, cartographic records database, and photographs database, see reference archivist for assistance.

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No further accruals are expected.

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