In this year leading up to Arizona's centennial, Feb. 14, 2012, we'll reprint a story or excerpts each day from the Arizona Daily Star or Tucson Citizen archives.
Nov. 30, 1912
Samples of decomposed volcanic rock were sent east yesterday by Maxwell and Harding to be made into brick as samples for the paving of the Tucson streets. It has been proposed to pave some of the streets with vitrified brick, and the matter is being investigated.
J. M. Ruthrauff, assistant city engineer, accompanied Maxwell and Harding to their deposit of rock yesterday and helped them take the samples. About 1,000 pounds of the rock was taken out. This was sent to East Liverpool, Ohio, to be made into bricks. These bricks will be given all kinds of tests to see if they will come up to the standard required for street paving.
Bricks for this kind of work should be composed mostly of silica. Besides this, they must be tough, and not easily broken, as pure silica has been found to be easily ground to pieces under heavy traffic. It chips off, and soon big ruts appear in the street. The brick that will be made from this deposit of volcanic rock is said to be tough as well as hard.
There is a large deposit of the rock. If the bricks, made from it, will stand the tests, it is possible that the city will adopt them for paving around the curbing and it may be that the whole street will be paved with them, instead of some other kind of paving. The matter will be thoroughly investigated before it is taken up as a final solution of the problem.
In case that bricks are adopted, Maxwell and Harding will bring in machinery and start the manufacture of them.
It was thought for a while that the laying of the bricks in any event would be very expensive, and that the added expense of laying them would be too much for the taxpayers to bear. Mayor Huffman said that this idea was erroneous. Bricks can be laid with great rapidity, in fact much faster than any other kind of paving. If the bricks prove successful in the tests, it will be cheaper to put them down than any other form of pavement that could be recommended.
A report from the Ohio company, who are experts in this line in the Ohio city will be given in a few days and made public. This paving brick industry promises much to local people and if the test is satisfactory may be one of the big industries of the city in time.
Arizona Daily Star The Sundt Cos., O'Rielly Chevrolet, Research Corp. for Science Advancement, the University of Arizona, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., Rosemont Copper, Tucson Realty & Trust. Co., Jack Furrier Tire & Auto Care, Walgreens and Carondelet Health Network are sponsors of the Star's Arizona Centennial project.