Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation

Advisor

Hudgins, Carter L.

Committee Member

Ford, Frances

Committee Member

Marks, Richard

Committee Member

Gilmore, Grant

Abstract

Surviving brick clamps at Grove Creek Plantation provide exceptional information about the brick industry that flourished in the antebellum era along the Cooper River. Both the topography and natural resources necessary for brick making supported the industrial production of brick along the Cooper River and its tributaries from the colonial period into the post-bellum era. At the Grove Plantation, the arrangement of clay and sand pits, work yards, wells, and clamps are still intact provide a unique opportunity to explore the brick production process as it evolved to met growing demand for building materials from nearby Charleston. Most brick clamps were temporary structures, dismantled after each burning, leaving behind only scorched earth and fragments of brick. The surviving Grove Plantation clamps offer an exceptional research opportunity. This thesis analyzes the brick making processes employed at the Grove, from clay and sand mining to molding to firing and shipping. Results of physical and chemical analysis of brick, sand, and clay specimens taken from the site are compared to brick samples from Charleston. The results of this comparison link the production of brick at the Grove to buildings in Charleston and provide initial results in the application of XRF technology as a diagnostic tool in architectural investigation.

Included in

History Commons

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