Acme Brick

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Acme Brick Company
Type Private
Industry Manufacturing and Distribution
Founded 1891, Bennett, Texas, USA
Headquarters Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Key people Dennis Knautz, President and CEO
Products Brick, Tile, Concrete Block, Glass Block Systems, and Cut Natural Stone
Owner(s) Berkshire Hathaway
Employees 2,913 (as of 4/19/2006)
Website www.brick.com

Acme Brick Company is an American manufacturer and distributor of brick and masonry-related construction products and materials. Founder, George E. Bennett (October 6, 1852–July 3, 1907), chartered the company in Alton, Illinois as the 'Acme Pressed Brick Company' on April 17, 1891. The company grew to become the largest American-owned brick manufacturer by the mid-20th century and was the first of its type to offer a 100-year limited guarantee to its customers. Acme Brick Company was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. on August 1, 2000.

History[edit]

  • In 1890, Acme Pressed Brick Company was established fifteen miles (24 km) southwest of Weatherford near present-day Farm Road 113, in southwestern Parker County, TX. The company town that evolved from the establishment of the manufacturing plant was called 'Bennett'. The community included Acme Brick homes (for 100 employees and their families), a church, a public school, and a general store.
  • In 1916, Acme Pressed Brick stockholders elected new officers, applied for a Texas charter, began doing business as Acme Brick Company, and dissolved the company chartered in Illinois. Walter R. Bennett (George E. Bennett's son) was elected the first president of the newly renamed Acme Brick Company.
  • In 1968, a merger of the Acme Brick Company and the Justin Boot Company resulted in the formation of the First Worth Corporation.
  • In 1972, First Worth Corp. changed its name to Justin Industries, Inc., a 'parent' corporation who would grow to acquire many 'children' companies.
  • In 1976, Featherlite (then known as Kingstip-Featherlite) was acquired. Featherlite began as a Texas-based, privately held company in 1949. Featherlite began acquiring concrete block companies in 1953 and continued its expansion over the years - now operating 7 block producing facilities and 2 cement bagging facilities in Texas and 3 other locations.
  • In 1981, as housing starts hit a 35-year low, Acme built inventory: 400 million brick were manufactured by the year's end.
  • In 1984, record housing starts propelled Acme to record sales years in 1983 and 1984.
Acme Brick stamps its logo into the end of select bricks.
  • In 1987, Acme began stamping its logo on one end of select residential brick. This tradition in brand recognition continues today.
  • In 1994, American Tile Supply, a tile distributor and retailer in Texas, was acquired.
  • In 1997, Fort Worth-based Innovative Building Products, developer and manufacturer of a mortarless installation system for glass block windows, skylights, shower enclosures, and floors, was acquired.
  • In 2000, the Justin Industries Board of Directors approved the sale of the publicly traded company to Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. The boot companies and the building companies were split to form Justin Brands and Acme Building Brands as separate entities. At the time of the acquisition, Acme Building Brands was 'parent' to the following four 'child' companies:
    • Acme Brick Company, the leading domestically owned United States manufacturer of face brick.
    • Featherlite Building Products Corporation, the leading Southwest producer of concrete masonry products.
    • American Tile Supply Company, a major Texas distributor of ceramic and marble floor and wall tile.
    • Justin Brands - Justin Boot Company, Nocona Boot Company, Tony Lama Company, and Chippewa Shoe Company.
  • In 2001, Acme Brick set a new company record for shipments - exceeding 1 billion company-manufactured bricks shipped.
Brick mock-up panels are sometimes created to aid commercial customers in the selection process. These bricks are likely candidates for the new Acme Brick Company Headquarters building.
  • On October 6, 2006 (October 6 was also the birthday of Acme's founder, George Bennett), Acme Brick broke ground for the company's new headquarters building to be located in southwest Fort Worth. The 77,000-square-foot (7,200 m2), three-story building was completed in 2007.
  • On January 24, 2011, Acme Brick agreed to purchase Jenkins Brick in Alabama.

Manufacturing plants[edit]

Acme Brick manufactures brick (primarily for U.S. customers) at plants located in seven states:

Sales offices[edit]

Acme Brick sells manufactured and purchased products from sales offices located in ten states:

  • Arkansas (Fort Smith, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Russellville, and Springdale)
  • Colorado (Castle Rock)
  • Kansas (Olathe and Wichita)
  • Louisiana (Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans, and Shreveport)
  • Mississippi (Holly Springs)
  • Missouri (Joplin, Maryland Heights, and Springfield)
  • New Mexico (Las Cruces)
  • Oklahoma (Oklahoma City and Tulsa)
  • Tennessee (Jackson and Memphis)
  • Texas (Abilene, Amarillo, Austin (Round Rock), Bryan, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Denton, El Paso, Euless, Houston, Lubbock, Longview, Midland, San Antonio, San Angelo, Temple, Texarkana, Tyler, Waco, and Wichita Falls)

Acme Brick Technical Center[edit]

Acme Brick's Exploration Department, Quality Management, and Laboratory are based in Denton, Texas at the Acme Brick Technical Center.

References[edit]

  • Lehr, Edwin E. (1998). Colossus in Clay: Acme Brick Company: the story of the largest American owned brickmaker. The Donning Company Publishers. ISBN 1-57864-040-7. 

External links[edit]