October 13th 2008
Back in 1886 some relatives of mine (I assume) founded the Stiles Brick Company in Bridgewater, MA. The industrial revolution demanded mountain piles of high-quality bricks, and the SBC cranked them out with maniacal fervor. Take a walk through Lowell, Waltham, etc… these towns are 99 and 44/100% pure Stiles brick. I have often dreamed of having a house built entirely out of Stiles bricks, obviously with the “STILES” side facing out, so as to passionately declare that it is MY HOUSE.
At some point, the SBC underwent a merger of some sort and became the Stiles and Hart Brick Company. This business move created an unstoppable juggernaut of brick production that is in full force to this day. However, it entailed a redesign of the logo on the bricks, and they now feature a more modest “S+H” insignia. These bricks are everywhere, but you might never know it since the plain side is usually facing out.
Well yesterday I was wandering around Central Square in Cambridge, MA, where most of the sidewalks are brick-lined. I happened upon a few bricks that were overturned, and was pleased as punch to see that familiar S+H shining up at me. Yes, this entire sidewalk is constructed out of Stiles + Hart Bricks, so as far as I’m concerned it belongs to me. I can’t say for sure, but I suspect that much of the metro/Boston area is similarly paved with my bricks, and I would be entitled to claim ownership of all the sidewalks if it ever came down to that.