Decline of the Sayre & Fisher Brick Company
The new company continued to function until 1934, when the Depression caused construction throughout the nation to decelerate. The company was unable to meet its interest obligations on its bond issue and was forced to file an application for reorganization under Section 77B. Between 1934 and 1943, the company was headed by a court-appointed Trustee. In June 1943, the reorganized company began again to function on its own and modernize and expand its plant facilities, with a conversion of its kilns from coal firing to oil firing, reducing the firing cycle from eight to four days. Many of the existing structures were also rehabilitated or rebuilt. The gasoline shovels, locomotives, and other similar equipment were almost entirely replaced. Production of bricks grew from 18,000,000 per year to over 62,000,000 per year. After World War II, the manufacture of enamel and fire brick at the company was discontinued and the equipment and structures for these operations were dismantled (Gates-Elston, 2006; Karcher 1953: 21-22). During the 1950s and 1960s, there was a steep decline in the brick market due to high production and freight costs and because of the popularity of new building materials (Sayreville Society, 1976: 23). Sayre & Fisher Brick Company ceased operations and demolished most of the buildings of the brick plant in 1970 (Fraser, 1970). See Photo Locations of places associated with the company still present in Sayreville and the Archaeological Investigation section.