NZ Brick Database




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R.O. Clark

R11/1508 New Zealand Clough, R. 2006. Hobsonville Limeburners Bay, Proposed Subdivision Dp104222: Archaeological Assessment. Unpublished Report.

Rice Owen Clark had bought land at Hobsonville in 1854 and became the first European settler in the district. Finding his land too wet to farm efficiently, Clark began digging the clay on the land and forming crude drainage pipes as early as the 1850s. Local demand for the drain pipes arrived with new settlers (Ceramco 1979: 3; Eaves 1990: 87). The Clark pottery focused on the production of bricks, tiles and pipes. It is unclear, however, whether Clark or Carder established the first commercial concern in Limeburners Bay, but both brickworks were established during the 1860s (Eaves 1990).

R.O. Clark?s works were the second largest pottery works in Auckland, with Dowden?s Waitemata Pottery being the most extensive, with a staff of ?nearly twenty?. Each pottery had its own wharf from which products were conveyed to the Auckland market (Goodall 1965).

Advances in technology meant that those with the new machinery could produce on a scale unheard of in the previous decade. In 1885 R.O. Clark?s works alone were able to manufacture 60,000 bricks per week (Thornton 1982: 115). The product was available, but the market was not.

The year 1929 saw the end of production at Limeburners Bay. The clay had all but run out and the cost of transport from Hobsonville was becoming more of a hindrance. Tom Clark of R.O. Clark Ltd had masterminded his next move. Clark negotiated a merger of the west Auckland ceramics industries.


© Simon H. Bickler (2007)