Clay is one of the most ancient piping materials, with the earliest known example coming from Babylonia (4000 BCE).

In the U.S., vitrified clay pipe (with a salt glazing applied to both the pipe’s interior and exterior surfaces, a “carry-over” process from Europe) was the material of choice for a lot of sewers by the 1880s-1900s. Clay pipe was very heavy by nature. Delivering it required the availability of either rail or water transport. Until those systems developed, clay pipe plants were created in many towns, wherever there was a need and an adequate supply of clay.

See Tracking Down the Roots of Our Sanitary Sewers for more information.

For Reference

Dickey Clay Manufacturing Company was one of the largest clay pipe manufacturers at the beginning of the 1900s