In the middle 1800s, a dramatic discovery was made beneath the earth in South St. Louis. It wasn’t silver or gold, but its enormous value would change the face and fortunes of the entire region, giving rise to an industry with multiple companies that would grow to become highly successful enterprises serving markets throughout the world.
For all images above, copyright 1905, by Keystone View Company.
The “treasure” they found was a high-quality clay that could be used for an array of vitally important purposes like paving streets and building homes and other structures across the city.
Rebricking the rotary kiln.
The choicest of those rich clay deposits could be used to produce a special type of brick that is resistant to temperatures in excess of 2700 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for use in high-heat furnaces for producing steel, glass and other materials.
One of the enterprises that capitalized on this mineral bonanza was the Christy Fire Clay Company. That business eventually spawned the formation of the Christy Firebrick Company in 1922, which was the beginning of the business that became today’s Christy Companies.
Cover from Christy's 1929 brochure.
Over the past century, we have expanded our product line and moved into additional markets throughout the world. The Christy Companies now sell products and services in more than 50 countries, operating in four lines of business – catalytics, minerals, refractories and industrial services. Looking to the future, we see significant opportunities for growth around the globe, making today an exciting time to be at Christy.
Christy's St. Louis Headquarters