Nissa said...

My parents dismantled the chimney on their lake cottage and found some bricks that were imprinted with the letters WPA. Would those have been made by men in the WPA or is it a brick company? The cabin probably was created in the 1930s.


  1. Hi Nissa,

    This is interesting. We don't seem to have anything on the WPA brand. It is possible that brick could have been marked to reflect WPA as in Works Progress Administration. though it could, also, be the mark of a small local producer. Since you found the brick in (I suspect) a privately built and owned structure, the local manufacturer possibility appears more likely.
    We presume that there were several marked brick in the chimney and their lettering collectively indicated that the brand mark is W P A and not WHA or WPK with broken letters.

    Where is the cabin located?

    Thank you for visiting Fred R.

  2. The cabin is in northwest Minnesota. There are 2 bricks that are clearly labelled WPA, but all of the bricks are similar. Did they have "brick factories" making bricks for the WPA projects that you know of?

  3. Hi Nissa,

    I'm not aware of any plants that produced WPA , as in Works Progress .... That doesn't preclude the possibility that there was a requirement that brick used in some public projects be marked to reflect that (WPA).
    Bricks have been made with lumber and masonry dealer/supply company names and initials moulded into them.
    I rather doubt a brick yard would change a whole lot of moulds for the simple purpose of indicating that the brick would be destined for a WPA project.
    The fact that your brick was found in a cabin ... may suggest the cabin was privately built and owned. But even that may not preclude the possibility that the brick may have been brought to the site as replacements for a repair. If the cabin was part of a Civilian Conservation Corp. camp, - then that may support the possibility of a WPA project. Then too, there would probably be similiar brick found in nearby like service cabins. After all, "Is it reasonable to make brick with a special marking for just one ... cabin?"

    You may also contact the IBCA directly and ask them. There is a link to the IBCA website elsewhere on BrickCollecting.com.