Adel Has Been Cranking Out Bricks Since the 1880s

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ADEL, Iowa  --  On Friday, the Adel Chamber of Commerce Partners met for a morning Chamber meeting at one of the town’s more distinctive businesses, United Brick and Tile.

Once the meeting time concluded, some members of the chamber stayed on for a tour to see how bricks are made.

The plant is one of only three brick-making plants in the state of Iowa; the others are located in Redfield and Sergeant Bluff. At one point in time, Iowa had around 300 brick plants.

Plant manager Phil Bazan explained to those on the tour how the clay is mixed to get the right color. It’s molded, cut, and stacked before the bricks are eventually put into a kiln, which is just below 2,000 degrees.

Bazan said the plant runs five days a week, but it takes three days to shut down the kiln, so they leave it fired up and have carts loaded with brick going through the fire all weekend and during the week.

The plant produces around 250,000 bricks per day, with 100 employees working.

Bazan said he loves working in the brick industry.

“Its kind of an industry thing, you get that dust in your blood, and that's what does it."