Sayre & Fisher Company
During the early stage of its history, S & F relied on horse-drawn wagons to import materials and export products. Brick Wheelbarrows were used to move brick within the plant. However, one of the reasons for the success of the Company was its ability to secure more economically viable means of delivery of its products to East Coast markets. The company capitalized on the Raritan River as the primary transportation artery and enhanced its shipping capability though company owned cargo vessels and construction of a berthing slip and docking facilities. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, S & F improved its market access by means of new railroads. As the S & F Company grew, so did the town of Sayreville. Immigrants came to the area to work in the brickyards and on the docks. Sayre & Fisher's subsidiary, Sayreville Electric Light & Power (which later became Jersey Central Power and Light Company), provided the power for the first incandescent lights in Sayreville.
By the late 1800's the S & F company became known for its excellent product quality. The company published advertising pamphlets in 1895 and 1914 which became a standard text in the offices of architects throughout the Eastern seaboard (Karcher, 1953: 11). The company produced decorative brick and various types of bricks, including common, front, enamel, and fire bricks. The brick making process included five major steps: mining, processing, molding, drying, and firing. The S & F processes used by the company changed through time, adapting to new technology as it became available. Sayre & Fisher bricks were used extensively throughout the East Coast, including buildings in Sayreville, New York City, and Rutgers University.
Archaeological investigations resulted in the discovery of features and structures related to operation of the company's brickworks. The innovations of the company's founders and the impact of the company on the clay industry and local and regional economies are detailed in the Historical Significance Section of the Sayre & Fisher Brick Company.