All posts tagged: Leslieville history

Pigs, Flowers and Bricks history of Leslieville Toronto Ontario Canaada

On this place: Riverdale Collegiate (cont’d)

Although large operations like those of Joseph Russell and John Price with heavy machinery dominated the industry by the time Riverdale Collegiate was built, small operations like this still continued using methods that had changed little since the Middle Ages. The horse is working the first type of machine that was introduced to the brick industry — in the 1850’s. The horse walks around and around that beaten track, pulling that big piece of timber which turns a grinding wheel. The machine, a pug mill, grinds the clumps of clay into a powder. The brick moulder mixes it with water and sand and pushes it into a wooden mould (in his hands). He then dumps it onto the ground to dry in the sun. The figure to his right is a young boy, probably his son. Often the women and younger children worked with the father but by this time it was not socially acceptable so they don’t appear in the photo. The children did much of the heaviest labour. The green is the richest …