1986 – Pioneer Const.

31 October 2019

400 block Marshall Way, Alameda

I took a hike through Alameda and spotted dozens of tempting sidewalk stamps, many of which I have not seen in Oakland. I ignored those. But some, like examples I’ve posted from Berkeley, add new dates to the record of Oakland sidewalk makers, so here’s one that adds to the single undated example I documented in Oakland.

1940 – Chas. Somers & Sons

30 October 2019

28th Street behind the Humanist Hall

Now this is interesting. In 1940 Chas Somers and Sons changed their stamp. From the 1930s to early 1940, the stamp included the firm’s phone number “NIGATE- 7470” at the bottom: see it in 1938, 1939 and January 1940. And here, as of March 1940 (I think), is the earliest instance of the stamp they used for the rest of the documented record, with the notation “PI. 4041J” at the bottom, as seen here beautifully in 1946.

1952 – Lee J. Immel

13 October 2019

702 Solano Avenue, Albany

I have only a single Lee J. Immel mark from Oakland, which I think is older than this one.


12 September 2019

This access cover, next to the Paramount Theater on 21st Street, combines hardware from East Bay MUD and its primary predecessor, the East Bay Water Company. The two leaves look to be the same vintage and installed at the same time. It’s my theory that when EBMUD took the reins of the East Bay’s water system in the 1920s, they inherited a bunch of plumbing stock with the EBWCo logo and just deployed it until they ran out. It helped that local foundries could quickly adapt their existing forms to the new client.

1928 – Lovisone & Co.

26 May 2019

Peralta Street at 16th Street

Lovisone & Co. used two different stamps in 1928. This was the first one, with straight text. Later in 1928 they switched to a stamp with arched letters, and used it in 1929 as well. From 1930 to 1939, the last year I’ve documented, they used an arched-text stamp saying “Lovisone” without the “& Co.”

The only reason I know this is from 1928 and not 1925 is that a 1928 mark appears on the other side of this driveway.

1929 – J. H. Fitzmaurice (II)

29 April 2019

389 Euclid Avenue

This Fitzmaurice mark is rarely found and even more rarely dated.

1936 – Lindgren & Swinerton

26 April 2019

Broadway Terrace at Route 13

Right next to the Hayward fault trace, at the entrance to Lake Temescal Regional Park, this mark sits out in the middle of the road.

Lindgren & Swinerton was the name of a company founded in 1888 by Charles Lindgren, an immigrant Swedish brickmason, and going strong today under the name Swinerton, Inc.. It adopted this name in 1923 to acknowledge the role of Alfred Swinerton, a pioneer in the use of reinforced concrete in the days before the 1906 earthquake proved its worth in spectacular fashion. The name lasted until 1942.

Lindgren was no relation to C. J. Lindgren.