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A Visit to Carder Bros

A Visit to Carder Bros



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Published by Lisa Truttman
Article originally published by the "Evening Star", Auckland, 18 December 1872, describing the Waitemata Potteries operated by Carder Brothers at Hobsonville
Article originally published by the "Evening Star", Auckland, 18 December 1872, describing the Waitemata Potteries operated by Carder Brothers at Hobsonville

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Lisa Truttman on Dec 30, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A Visit to Carder Bros. Pottery
[By Our Reporter] (
 Evening Star 
, 18 December 1872)The other morning, from instructions received, I proceeded on board the Royal MailSteamer Gemini for a trip to Hobsonville, on a visit of inspection to Carder Bros. PotteryWorks on the banks of the Waitemata. Of the trip down it is unnecessary to say much,suffice it that the steamer cast off from her moorings at 11.5 a.m.; cleared the wharf at11.8; passed on the weather-side of the Norham Castle, tea ship, and bore up the harboursteering W.N.W. Hoisted mainsail at 11.12, and proceeded under easy steam and sailtowards Riverhead. Passed Kauri Point at noon; arrived off a long low building on thesouthern side, with two tall smoke-stacks, which proved to be the Waitemata Potteries.Tide having run out it was impossible to fetch the wharf in the steamer, so fetched thecaptain, and explained matters. He immediately ordered engines to be stopped; main-yardput back, and short boat lowered. Into this I stepped, and in less time than it has taken topen this, found myself “On the sands, On the sands.” Made tracks for the pottery.Meeting one of the Messrs Carder, and explained nature of my errand. He at once offeredto escort me over the premises and instruct me into the nature of his business. I placedmyself entirely in his hands and followed him where he list. He showed me wonderfulthings, and from that which I saw and that which I heard from his lips I have beenenabled to gather the following particulars of this most important local industry –important because the articles manufactured here are articles in daily demand. They havehitherto been imported at an expense which in consequence of their bulk and risk of breakage has raised the cost to something like cent. per cent. Upon the original invoiceprice, and it is to be hoped that the day is not far distant when not a crate of such goodswill ever be described on the manifest of an inward ship’s cargo.In the first place the ground covers an area of about forty acres of land, possessing a claysoil of thirty feet and upwards. The clay hole at present being operated upon is a shortdistance from the shed, and is being dug to a depth of twenty feet. The clay is of a
brownish colour; it is mixed on the spot according to the articles it is required to be madeinto. The principal work on hand at time of my visit was the manufacture of large drainpipes for sanitary purposes, which when finished are exported by the firm to all parts of New Zealand. The clay is wheeled in barrows up a short incline to the top of the pipemachine, and there deposited. The pipe machine is driven by an eight horse-power steamengine, manufactured and fixed by Messrs Masefield & Co, the engineers, and both are ina shed measuring about 34 feet by 34 feet. The pipe machine is simple, but effective, andturns the drain pipes out entire, and not as in the case with some machines which have adivision half way through the pipe. The machine is calculated to turn out from 60 to 70feet of 18-inch pipe in an hour, while 15 or 12-inch pipes more could be made inproportion. As the machine drives the newly-formed pipe from the mould it is cut off atthe requisite length and conveyed away on a board to the drying shed and its place istaken by another length. The pipe is laid in the drying-shed, which is a long building orrather two sheds running parallel a distance of 170 feet, with a depth of 66 feet. At timeof my visit the floors of bot5h these sheds were covered with pipes, in the process of drying. These sheds are walled round with large wooden shutters, which are raised orlowered according to the weather. The flue from the engine-house is conveyedunderneath these sheds, and the hot air and smoke passing under-ground keeps theground dry, and adds to the temperature of the place.After sufficient exposure to the air in the drying-shed the pipes are conveyed to the kiln-shed – a structure of two storeys, and measuring 60ft X 50ft, the upper storey having aperforated floor for facilitating the drying. This kiln consists of a massive domed cylinderof brickwork bound with iron and protected from the weather by an outer conical hood orcasing. The dome contains openings for the exit of the smoke, which escapes into the airthrough a chimney in the hood. Heat is supplied by means of ten furnaces fixed round thecylinder with proper circulating flues and dampers for regulating the draught. The kiln isso constructed that the heat is equally distributed throughout. Hoffman’s kiln is a nearapproach to the principle on which this is built. In this kiln is now deposited 506 ft of 18-inch pipes, 300 ft of 12-inch, 500 ft of 9-in, and 550 ft of 6 in., with room for about 1000ft. of 4-in pipe, if required. The whole is bricked up and the opening daubed with clay. A
slow fire is kept burning for three days and gradually increased in intensity until thebaking is completed.When the ware is removed from the kiln its characters are found to have undergone aremarkable change. Instead of a soft, dull, friable, or plastic material there is a hard,brittle, resonant, light-coloured porous body. In the common kinds of stoneware, such asdrain-pipes, gingerbeer bottles, etc., the glazing is by an ingenious device effectedsimultaneously with the baking. It is done in this wise: when the ware has attained a veryhigh temperature in the kiln, a quantity of chloride of sodium is thrown in; this isvolatized and decomposed in the presence of moisture, and by contact with the heatedsurfaces of the clay hydrochloric acid is dis-engaged, and the ware becomes covered withthe silicate of soda, which, combining with the silicate of alumina of the ware, forms afusible double alkaline silicate, or glaze on the surface. The object of this glaze is torender the articles impermeable by water. In addition to the large kiln there is a smallerone for burning fancy goods. The time occupied in making drain-pipes is varied,according to the weather, so strong do they become by the process that a six inch pipewill stand a pressure of 200 lb. to the inch, a test exceeding that applied to boilers. Thepipes are now finished, and are stacked in the yard alongside the wharf to await shipment.Having partially described the method of making the drain-pipes it might be as well tomention a few of the articles turned out by the Waitemata potteries, many of which wereunder the process of drying during my visit. Chemical utensils and vessels, which areadapted to sustain, uninjured the action of different powerful agents, syphons, receivers,bends, worms, for chemical distilleries, bread pans, cream pots, butter jars (both tall andsquat), champagne porter bottles, “old shape” bottles, gingerbeer bottles, poultryfountains, filters, jugs, demijohns, jars, spirit bottles, pickle pots, tripe jars, garden andsundry pots, chimney pots, blacking bottles, ink bottles, telegraph insulators, butter andwine coolers, fancy cut bricks for windows and cornices, agricultural drain tiles inendless shapes and variety. Amongst the fancy goods were some ornamental stands, thatwere composed of the following articles, all fitting compactly into one another: -- First, anut dish, which inverted formed a stand for a tobacco pot, the damper being so shaped as

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