State Library of Queensland recently received a small donation of ephemeral material from Stanton Library in North Sydney. This donation includes several leaflets from Brick Supplies Pty. Ltd., an enterprise described in The Truth on 11 February, 1940.
To supply homebuilders with information, suggestions and advice on all matters pertaining to the economical and effective use of brick, the brick manufacturers of Brisbane have set up a free Service Bureau known as Brick Supplies Pty. Ltd., with offices in Empire Chambers (Wharf St.). This organisation employs experts who have already helped hundreds of home builders solve their problems, by giving friendly advice and suggestions on all matters pertaining to home-building. This service is rendered absolutely free. All the bureau asks In return is that the homebuilder uses brick as far as possible in the construction of the home.
The ‘improvements’ recommended in this publication might well give a heritage architect the horrors today but at Brick Supplies Pty. Ltd. they were only interested in telling people the benefits of building in brick. The other pamphlets in this series, donated by Stanton Library, are These cost comparisons show that brick homes cost less … and Brick fireplaces designs and suggestions.
One might well question the need for a fireplace in Brisbane’s climate but a fireplace was still considered essential when these pamphlets were published in perhaps 1939 or 1940. Indeed a handsome brick fireplace could be a focal point for a room.
The most important publication of Brick Supplies Pty. Ltd. was a substantial pamphlet Your home in brick which is described as a helpful book in The Telegraph of May 30, 1939.
You would like to build your new home of brick, but perhaps you have formed the impression that a brick home, however desirable, would cost too much. If that is so then you are just the very person for whom Brick Supplies Pty. Ltd., have published a most helpful and well illustrated 70-page book under the title, “Your Home in Brick.” It is particularly well printed and apart from all the essential information you require before you build, it contains 78 inexpensive and practical home designs which range in cost from £350 to £1,600.
The compilers have gone thoroughly into the question of cost which is carefully explained in special articles dealing with finance, first cost, maintenance, insurance and endurance. All the illustrations have been prepared by an architect and are reproduced to scale and the plans give a wide range of designs from which you should be able to make a choice. Anyone who is contemplating building a new home should get this helpful book at once by applying to Brick Supplies Pty. Ltd., Empire Chambers, wharf Street, Brisbane.
Queensland State Library holds a copy of Your home in brick and the Library has digitised the publication so it is available anywhere through our One Seach catalogue. Although timber and tin are considered the iconic Queensland building materials there are plenty of examples of fine brick homes in Brisbane and around the state of Queensland. Perhaps Brick Supplies Pty. Ltd. contributed to the builders decisions to use brick in their designs.
You can find many other images of houses built in brick on our Corley Explorer using the tag “brick walls“. The Corley Explorer is a feature of the exhibition Home : a suburban obsession in slq Gallery, level 2, State Library. You will find over 1000 images of houses built in brick including this extraordinary house in Clayfield.
Simon Miller – Library Technician, State Library of Queensland