year of 1930 was an important one for
The Belden Brick Company. In March 1930 The Belden-Stark
Brick Company of Detroit was incorporated as a joint
venture of The Belden Brick Company and Stark Ceramics
Inc. for the purpose of promoting and distributing Belden
Brick and Stark Ceramic products in the Detroit area.
This was followed in June 1930 by the incorporation
of The Belden-Stark Brick Corporation of New York to
do the same thing in the New York metropolitan area.
These two subsidiary companies were to play
a large part in the promotion of clay products and in
obtaining architectural specifications for The Belden
The sale of Acid proof brick was a lucrative business
venture, and the company was proud of its achievements.
It was a useful diversification during the depression
and an important factor in keeping Belden in operation
during World War II. The Belden Brick Company began
to come out of the depression about 1936. In 1936
The Belden Face Brick Company became the Port Washington
plant of The Belden Brick Company. By 1939, the economy
had shown signs of improvement due to the national defense
effort. During these years several personnel changes
occurred within the Belden Management. At a special
meeting in 1935, the Board of Directors elected Paul
Belden Sr., President and General Manager.
War broke out in Europe in September 1939.
Large orders for war material began to pour into U.S.
steel plants and other essential industries.
Building brick was not considered essential to the war
effort, and could not get priorities except on small
orders. Most plants operated at minimum levels or were
forced to shut down completely. Once again, The Belden
Brick Company benefited from their line of acid proof
brick and tile. Steel mills needed them for their pickling
lines and the government needed steel for the war. Unlike
stainless steel, acid proof clay didn’t require
valuable alloy needed for other war material. The few
brick companies making acid proof brick and tile got
priorities for these orders, with material and labor
It was not long before the War Production Board realized
that face brick actually were essential to the war effort.
Buildings had to be re-built. Wood was in short supply
and highly impractical to use. Supplies of sheet steel
were critical. The ban on brick sales was lifted, and
many priority-building permits were issued bringing
back the need for face brick. Belden Brick would more
than break even in spite of wartime restrictions on