Not Just Any Tile

Not only won’t the square tile pictured in the photo below mean that much to some of you, but to make things worse I’m showing you its unfinished underside:


Discovered while doing some labor after dismantling the rat cave I immediately knew this was no ordinary tile and upon flipping it over and reading the “Batchelder Pasadena” stamped into its bottom I knew we had a nice little artifact that spoke of the house’s long-removed fireplace.

For those not familiar with the Batchelder name he’s pretty much considered a god of the tile world. One website I found sells these recovered 4″x4″ field tiles for $45. Each!

What made me most curious  — beyond where any others might be hiding on the premises — was the two inverted 1s that you’ll find stamped one atop the other near the tile’s center, one lighter and not as deep as the other. Do these numbers represent the style, color and/or lot information? Or perhaps the two ones are indicative of the year of its manufacture, as in 1911? I searched the internut but could only find a couple email addresses of tile places to which I sent that inquiry.

As to where any the other surviving tiles might be, my guess is that whenever the home’s owners made the stupid decision to demolish the fireplace and chimney they just got rid of most of them. But this isn’t the only Batchelder on the premises. I found the first one last year but its bottom is fully encased in mortar that blocks out any stamp, and it was only after today’s find with its width and length and thickness being identical to the first one that I realized they’re related.

Published by


Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."