White chimney brick from the old farmhouse on the Korns Somerset County PA family homestead.

Glazed white brick from house on Korns farm

This 2001 photograph shows the type of white glazed chimney brick appearing above the roofline of the house on the Michael Korns, Sr. family farm in Southampton Township, Somerset County PA. These bricks were present on the house at least during the majority of the 20th century. It is possible that the glazed bricks are not original to the house, but they have been there a long time, as Lester Korns stated that they were there for as long as he could remember, even when he was a boy. By local oral tradition, the man who made the white glazed brick took the secret of how to make them to his grave. The glazed corner bricks (like this one) had a radiused corner, and had glaze on the exposed side and on the exposed end. The other glazed bricks were only glazed on the exposed side.

The local oral tradition about the enamel bricks turns out to have a basis in truth, according to an article in the March 2000 Cumberland times titled Mount Savage Enamel Brick Co.. An individual named Andrew Ramsay developed a way to apply the enamel to the bricks in a single firing, and they were sold throughout the western hemisphere. The business was in operation from 1896 to 1928.

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