This is a nicely detailed working model of a 'Platt' brick press, which was probably powered by a model steam engine via a belt. It features two brick-shaped moulds for holding dry clay while it was subjected to pressure. It represents a major innovation in brick-making, which traditionally used a wet clay slurry, as making bricks with dry clay was quicker and more fuel-efficient.
In 1894 Mr J. Chadwick made this model of a brick press at his workplace, Fowler's Pottery, in Sydney. This machine compressed dry powdered clay into moulds. It was powered by a steam engine via a belt around one of the two smooth-rimmed wheels.
The model represents an interesting sideline for Platt Bros of Oldham, England, a firm that made large numbers of machines for processing wool (see objects F387 and F388) and cotton (see object D9742 and D9743). It also represents both the enthusiasm of Mr Chadwick for a machine he worked with and his model-making skills.
Debbie Rudder, 2015