Brick collectors from all over the country gathered at the home of Dan Strange in Minden this past weekend, bringing with them fun, food, fellowship and thousands of bricks.
The International Brick Collectors Association met at Strange’s home for one of three annual brick swaps. Collectors from everywhere brought with them bricks from other states, special bricks with novelty stamps on them, fire bricks, and others.
Strange says he became a member about 10 years ago because he thought it would be fun to do.
“I just collect bricks, and it’s something to do,” he said. “I was a bricklayer, my dad was a bricklayer. So that’s where I learned. Even after I got my graduate degree, I laid bricks.”
He was injured in a car accident in 1974, and when he recovered, he says he used his degrees in education.
“It’s just a fun thing to do,” he said. “One of the interesting things is the first swap I went to in Stonewall, I bought a brick there called an L-stand little jewel. I had four of them and I’ve given three away.”
A brick swap is where members will bring their bricks to the swap, and during one of the events, they will stack the bricks behind their vehicles. Once they are able to start, swappers will pick up and take home bricks that interest them.
So far, Strange has about 4,000 bricks from several states in his collection.
Terry Taraba, president, from Stonewall, says many of the bricks collected are rich in history. Some collectors just collect bricks from their states, others collect bricks from all over the United States.
“We collect marked bricks and bricks with designs on them, both building and firebricks,” he said. “We have close to 500 active members in almost every state in the Union plus foreign countries. We’re a structured, nonprofit organization.”
Taraba says his father collected bricks, and after he passed away, his interest in collecting grew. As for the IBCA, Taraba says much of the interest lies in the history. Many members are bricklayers or worked for brick factories.
“There’s a lot of history in these bricks,” he said. “There’s a lot of history in brick companies, and a lot of people are interested in only different states. We have other people that collect everything they can get.”
One member has more than 14,000 bricks from all over the United States and all over the world, he said.
Taraba has about 5,000 bricks in his collection, many from prisons in Ohio, Oklahoma, Kansas, Oregon and Texas.
The IBCA prints a journal each year, and membership dues go to help cover the printing costs.
For anyone interested in collecting bricks or just want to be a part of a big family, contact Jim Graves, librarian at email@example.com. Taraba says Graves has extensive knowledge on its history and will be able to answer many questions. To become a member, go to their web page at www.ibcabrick.com.