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The Neptune Project: Background
Geographic Area and History
Sayre and Fisher Brick Company
Transportation
Employees
Economics
Brick Making Process
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Brick Types
Archaeological Investigations
Legacy in Sayreville
The Historical Significance
List of Figures, Photos, and Maps
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Other Early Companies in the Area

The Hercules Powder Company, an offshoot of the DuPont Company, was incorporated in 1912. The company, which purchased the Union Powder Company (owned by T. Gillespie) in 1915, was involved in the manufacture of nitrocellulose, which is used in the manufacture of explosives (Sayreville Historical Society, 1976:24). In 1918, one of the shell loading plants in Morgan, New Jersey, was involved in 3 days of violent explosions, which killed 64 (Home News Tribune, 1998).


The New Jersey Clay Products (later National Fire Proof Company) manufactured brick and hollow tile from shale obtained in Somerset County. They were the first in the ceramic industry to use a continuous tunnel kiln (Sayreville Historical Society, 1976: 24-25). The plant was sold to contractors exclusively to make tile and conduit for the Empire State Building in New York (Deibert, 1983:12).


In the 1930's, the Quigley Company, Inc., came to Sayreville and developed a technique of shooting high-temperature cement onto the walls of large steel hearths. The company was purchased in the 1970's by the drug company Pfizer. In the early 1900's, other industries moved into the Sayreville area. The Brookfield Company took advantage of the sand deposits in the area to produce glass insulators in response to new electrical devices such as the telegraph and telephone. In 1900, the International Smokeless Powder and Dynamite Company (later known as International Smokeless Powder and Chemical company) established itself in Sayreville. They were purchased by the DuPont Company in 1904 and started producing gunpowder, solvents, and lacquer. With the onset of WWI, DuPont received very large orders for smokeless powder from the Navy. The company expanded and increased the workforce from about 200 employees in 1910 to about 5,500 in 1914. After the war, powder production was curtailed, and the company concentrated on automotive finishes, solvents, resins, and photographic film and X-ray film (Sayreville Historical Society, 1976:24-25).


Hercules Powder Company (Sayreville Historical Society, 2001)

Aftermath of Morgan Explosion (Sayreville Historical Society).