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Richtex Bricks, 5100 Brickyard Road / 2000 Taylor Street: 1999   14 comments

Posted at 2:03 am in closing

You wouldn't think bricks would need or indeed have much consumer advertising. After all, the only time you buy bricks is when you buy a house, and unless you are rich and doing a custom build, you probably end up with whatever the contractor uses rather than doing brick shopping.

Nonetheless, Richtex Bricks seemed to have a major advertising presence for most of my life, or at least it seemed major, since it was very eye-catching. And by that, I don't mean image ads like the one here from an old Sandlapper Magazine, I mean the billboards on I-20 near the brickworks. (Actually I didn't know where the works actually are until I looked it up today, but it was fairly clear from the fact that the billboards were always on I-20 just east of Broad River Road).

These billboards went through a number of campaigns, but the one I remember best, and which seemed to last the longest was one which made brick-related "visual puns". I'm sure if I weren't trying to think of them, I could remember more, but the only one that comes specifically to mind now was one that depicted a huge flying mammal constructed entirely of brick -- That's right, it was a brickbat. There were never any captions to these billboards, so you would try to figure them out as you drove by.

I see a little Richtex history here:

Richtex Brick in Columbia, South Carolina, recently initiated a special training program for inmates at Stevenson Correctional
Institution sentenced to the Shock Incarceration Program. Richtex, a company that has been in Columbia since 1919, employs 450 people in its three plants and is the largest brick company in South Carolina. Richtex operates an evening brick masonry school for adults which allows individuals to achieve apprenticeship or journeyman status depending on their individual career goal.

That document seems to be undated, but this 2003 link from Hanson explains what eventually happened to the company:

The integration of the seven companies was a huge undertaking that began in 1999, when Hanson Building Materials America, a subsidiary of London-based Hanson PLC, acquired seven major brick companies. Hanson Brick integrates Boren Brick (North Carolina), Richtex Brick (South Carolina), Sipple Brick (Kentucky), Michigan Brick (Michigan), U.S. Brick (Texas), Canada Brick (Ontario) and Briqueterie St. Laurent (Québec).

Hanson Brick brings together the skills and experience of more than 2,000 employees who serve customers in three languages - English, Spanish and French. The new company provides its customers with superior selection and service, offering five regional brick collections with more than 1,000 styles of brick.

I had thought a company called Boral Brick figured into the mix somewhere, since it seemed that I saw their billboards after I stopped seeing Richtex's, but as far as I can tell, they are unrelated and not subsumed into Hanson.

UPDATE 1 November 2009 -- Here is some more Richtex history from an archived version of their vanished web-site:

Richtex Brick began in 1919 as a small kiln operation on the banks of the Broad River, near Jenkinsville, SC. P.H. Haltiwanger, the original proprietor, early on felt an uncomfortable division between his commitment to Richtex Brick and his duty to Carolina Life, an insurance company he owned. Thus, he soon gave the presidency to his son, Deams Haltiwanger, who presided over the business during its casually prosperous early years, and who engineered its first significant advances in size and profitability.

In 1943, after more than two decades of steady business, an opportunity arose for immediate expansion. Deams Hatiwanger, on discovering that the Columbia Pipe Company had recently gone bankrupt, decided to acquire the business for Richtex Brick.

Richtex Brick has expanded and changed in important ways every decade since. A third plant was built in 1955, bringing the company's annual production capacity to 70 million brick. Plant number four was built in 1965 for the production of terra cotta pipe. Four years later, Richtex Brick was purchased by the Pomona corporation, which converted the fourth plant to brick manufacturing the following year, in 1970. In 1984 Richtex Brick was sold to Founders Court, and sold again in 1986 to Jannock Limited. Currently, Richtex Brick is owned by Hanson, PLC, a diversified building products corporation with operations in the U.K., Canada and in the United States. It ranks as one of America's largest producers of clay brick.

UPDATE 11 Nov 2010 -- Here's the I-20 visible site of the old Richtex (now Hanson) brickworks:

UPDATE 19 January 2022: Adding map icon, updating tags.

Written by ted on October 27th, 2009

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

14 Responses to 'Richtex Bricks, 5100 Brickyard Road / 2000 Taylor Street: 1999'

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  1. Some of their "visual pun" billboards that I remember:
    A blonde singer with a brick face: Brickney Spears!
    A rowboat being attacked by a swimming brick: Moby Brick!
    A brick-bodied golfer teeing up: Jack Bricklaus!
    And there were probably more.


    27 Oct 09 at 8:02 am

  2. I remember a billboard in October.
    A bat made of brick : A Brick Bat

    Eric S

    27 Oct 09 at 3:56 pm

  3. Some memories of the Bush River Road area, with a bonus mention of another Richtex pun:


    27 Oct 09 at 4:24 pm

  4. A brick in a dog bed with puppies... "Brick of the Litter"! That's the one I remember the best!


    22 Jul 11 at 12:34 pm

  5. I bought a house that was built in 1965 with an unfinished basement. At the bottom of the stairs in the basement at approx. 5 feet high is one brick different from all the others, it was no doubt placed there on purpose. Stamped in the brick it says "Richtex Bricks" and just under that it says "Columbia, S.C." I have not seen another anywhere on the house in 7 years.


    22 Jul 11 at 9:29 pm


    james miller

    11 Jan 12 at 9:38 am

  7. Didn't Richtex Brick once have billboards that said something like "The third little pig was right!"


    9 Feb 12 at 1:36 pm

  8. Yeah, they had a series of funny (punny) bullboards like that.


    10 Feb 12 at 7:34 am

  9. No one mentioned the baseball player...
    Brickey Mantle.


    20 May 14 at 3:09 pm

  10. Brick Tracey!


    27 May 14 at 9:37 pm

  11. A. A cereal bowl filled with bricks : the "brickfast of champions!"

    Teresa A.

    22 Dec 16 at 4:59 pm

  12. Wasn't one of the bill board pun ads a picture of a brick in a toilet?

    Mark Harden

    18 Feb 19 at 4:38 pm

  13. After Richtex was acquired in '86 by Jannock out of Canada, they kept the Richtex name

    Hanson, out of the UK, bought Jannock's North American brick plants in 1999 and renamed it Hanson

    Heidelberg Cement, out of Germany, bought Hanson in 2007 but did not change the name

    Heidelberg sold the UK and North American brick and pipe in 2015 to Lone Star, a private equity group that changed the name to Forterra

    Forterra merged with Boral, out of Australia, in 2016 and renamed itself Meridian. Boral had purchased Guignard Brick in 1976 which formerly operated in Cayce & Lexington, and was the one of the oldest brick companies in the US. That is why you remember the Boral billboards around the region.

    General Shale acquired Meridian in 2021; Watsontown Brick is part of General Shale, the largest brick manufacturer in North America.

    Mergers & Aquisitoins Dept

    31 Aug 22 at 4:50 pm

  14. Can we still purchase queen brick with the old Williamsburg pattern?

    Ralph Busbee

    15 Jul 23 at 7:05 pm

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