The Little Red Row-house in the Cemetery
By the 1830s, brickmaking processes were slowly industrializing in the Northeast and along the Eastern Seaboard. The introduction of hand-operated pressing machines led to the production of bricks with smoother edges. Other developments that tempered and cut clay using wires also arose. While these processes would eventually be introduced to New Orleans brickmakers, the clean, dense, fine-edged bricks they produced would be especially associated with northern cities like Philadelphia.
In the rear of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the “Protestant Section” is dominated by below-ground burials, a feature attributed to the cultural inclination of non-Catholics toward in-ground burial regardless of circumstances. Those burials which are accommodated by above-ground tombs are distinguished by construction using bricks that would sooner be at home in a northern row-house than a New Orleans tomb. The tombs of the Layton and Johnson families exhibit this brick for tomb construction. The tradition expanded beyond the 1830s, as exhibited by the multiple pressed red-brick tombs associated with Northern-born families in Cypress Grove Cemetery. Unlike traditional New Orleans tombs, these bricks were likely meant to be bare, without stucco.
Beginning in the 1840s and likely earlier, brickmaking machines of all different types arose in New Orleans. The first machines were modifications of the “pug mill,” an apparatus by which brickmaking clay is churned and cured in order to make it suitable for molding. In 1848, John Hoey prominently advertised the construction of Hall’s “patent brickmaking machine” on his property near Bayou St. John. This machine was essentially a pug mill in which clay was churned, cured, and extruded into molds.
Prior to 1865, most of these operations, as well as smaller brick-making industries on plantation land, were operated by enslaved African Americans who were skilled in trade. In one instance, Gabriel Parker of St. Tammany Parish came to own his own brickyard after emancipation. In many other instances, freed tradesmen passed on their skills to their children.
 “Biloxi Fire Brick,” Daily Crescent, July 29, 1850, 3; Daily Picayune, June 3, 1866, 3; “Hoffman’s Brick Making Kiln,” Daily Picayune, March 8, 1867, 2; The Picayune’s Guide to New Orleans (New Orleans Daily Picayune: 1903), 41; “Brickmaking Machine,” Thibodaux Minerva, January 21, 1854, 3.
 Ellis, St. Tammany Parish: L’Autre Cote du Lac, 159; Crary, J.W., Sixty Years a Brickmaker: A Practical Treatise on Brickmaking and Burning and the Management and Use of Different Kinds of Clays and Kilns for Burning Brick (Indianapolis: T.A. Randall & Co., 1890), 36.