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American Bricks


These bricks interlock by means of studs and look similar to Lego bricks in that the studs are laid out in a 4 x 2 pattern on the standard size brick. Originally produced in wood, it was later made in plastic but both have a distinctive vertical grooving on the outer faces which simulates smaller bricks. Main bricks are red but cream / white bricks are supplied for foundations and lintels. The early card windows and doors are reminiscent of those found in Minibrix sets being merely flat printed parts with tabs top and bottom which fit into slots in the bricks. Later windows and doors are moulded plastic and many open, hinging on the brick studs. Angled bricks allow for gables and various sized green card roofs were supplied. The card was textured with an interesting hexagonal pattern.

Later still, American Bricks were produced by Playskool, who added other colours and parts and used a different pattern of card roof. These then became Playskool Building Bricks.

Sets of Halsam American Plastic Army Bricks were also produced, in the 1960's to 70's judging by the box design. These contained dark green bricks, with white windows and doors and foundation bricks. Other than the colour of the bricks, parts are identical to those found in the regular Halsam American Plastic Brick sets. The card roofs had a curious green and white camouflage-style design.

category bricks that interlock
materials wood and card, later plastic and card
date 1940s to 1970s?
made by Halsam Products Company, Chicago
later Elgo Plastics Inc.
later still Playskool


A sample building from a plan booklet:

american bricks

The back of a plan booklet showing the general style of buildings produced:

american bricks

The Playskool version:

american bricks

further information

There is lots of information about American Plastic Bricks here.