A couple of years ago Te Toi Uku had the pleasure of a visit from Ian Crum, who brought with him these miniature treasures. They may be the subject of nostalgia for some of our readers, having been produced as children’s toys for the better part of the twentieth century.
Kiddibricks were first produced in 1893 by Luke Adams Pottery of Christchurch. Having ‘toyed’ with the concept of a brick-pressing machine, Adams’ son Percival explored his idea with a scaled down timber press, producing excellent model bricks. The press never came to full-size fruition, but the miniatures sold like hotcakes when marketed towards children! Around 1975, ownership of the miniature press had passed to Ralph Crum who took it upon himself to restart production in his retirement. Filling the boxes in which the bricks were sold earned some pocket money for Crum’s grandchildren, each order complete with cardboard roof and chimney.
Ian Crum tells us that part of the original miniature brick recipe comprised of clay and flour. Unfortunately for us, all attempts to replicate this recipe and process have turned to custard!