Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

1940 BRICK STREET PROJECT FEATURED DUNN PATENT BRICKS

Morning Star, August 27, 2017, pg. 7

In 1940, the 1910-laid bricks were replaced, as well as the installation of a new concrete base which was 9 inches thick (Note: Our 2017 concrete base is 8 inches thick). It was a major project, with the installation of new utility lines, sidewalks and sewers. The cost of the project was $55,319. The contractor was L.W. Edison of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Superior St. was completely closed to traffic during that time, much like it has been for this year’s project. Bricks arrived at the railroad depot two blocks west of Superior St., and then were moved to the sidewalks of Superior St. by hand cars. The installation included special white colored bricks which marked the center line of the street as well as parking areas. It was during this time that Albion switched from angle parking on Superior St., to parallel parking. The new arrangement wasn’t enforced however until the end of World War II.

The 1940-laid bricks were grooved and contained round indentations and ridges on the sides for interlocking with adjacent bricks to help prevent the bricks from moving. These bricks measure 8 11/16" long x 4" wide, and 2 15/16" thick, and weigh 8.2 pounds, a full 2 lbs less than their 1910 counterparts. On the side is imprinted "ORIENTAL DUNN PATENT BLOCK." Mr. Frank Dunn of Conneaut, Ohio held the patent for this design which was subsequently produced by various companies. It is assumed that these bricks were also produced in Ohio. The brick pavement ended at Erie St. however. That is because a few years earlier experiment asphalt was laid from Erie St. to Irwin Avenue, just eliminating a block of brick pavement.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of workers moving the concrete base in 1940. Our second photograph shows the side of a 1940 brick. When these bricks were removed in 1993, some of them were transported to the Albion tree dump, where residents could purchase them for 10¢ each. How many of our readers have 1940 bricks in their garden, yard, sidewalk or driveway?


Workers moving the concrete base in 1940


1940 Grooved Brick

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - SEPTEMBER 1917

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