Tile Rhymes With Awhile

Dear batcheldertiledotcom and missiontilewestdotcom,

You’ll notice first off in the salutation of this letter that I haven’t linked to your respective websites. I did that on purpose because I’m perturbed at you both and ain’t no way I’m giving you any kind of recognition. I won’t go so far as to say you suck because that’s kind of a blanket statement and I’m sure in your own respective ways you guys are great at what you do and really enthusiastic about tile since the word is in your name and all.

But you coulda fooled me with your failure to respond to or even most basically acknowledge in a timely fashion my simple email inquiry sent this past weekend about the Batchelder tile I discovered on the premises:


While working in the backyard today I discovered amongst a pile of old bricks a single 4″x 4″ tile with the familiar BATCHELDER PASADENA stamp on the bottom that’s also accompanied near the tile’s center with two 1s, one on top of the other. Through a search via Google I found your wonderful site and I’m curious if you might know whether these stamped numbers signify perhaps a style and/or a lot number, or if it might mean the year of the tile’s manufacture.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

Will Campbell
Los Angeles

P.S. Our house is an old craftsman built around the mid 19-teens, but somewhere along the way the fireplace and chimney were removed.

Sure, you could argue like it’s 1992 that I’m way too impatient and doubly so unrealistic what with corresponding on a Saturday and expecting someone there to turn around a response so quickly — and I would almost totally agree with you if this were Monday afternoon or even Tuesday morning. But now that we’re midway through the work week and I got nothing from you I think that argument is a little “first-class mail” if you know what I mean. But in case you don’t perhaps it’s important to remember that the flow of information is near instantaneous what with the internut running 24/7 on an uptime of somewhere in the neighborhood of 99.99867%, which means barring a nasty kink in the tubing the email that near-instantaneously arrived in your inbox has been getting moldy for going on 24/5.

And that blows. Categorically — especially when a Google search of “Batchelder Tile” yields you two up near the top of the pile. I mean, if you guys had been buried somewhere three or four pages into the search results I would totally not be holding my breath waiting to hear from the likes of such lower eschelon losers. But you guys, whether you deserve it or not, have positioned yourselves online as the first-click, go-to industry leaders so you should think about acting like it and you can start by checking your incoming email at a highly accelerated and more regular rate and replying to those people who have an interest in the thing you’re selling. Duh! They’re called “customers” (kuhz-tah-merz). Or at the very least enthusiasts (in-thooz-ee-istz).

See, I love this stuff. I love the artifactness of it. I treasure the history. I love that this single remnant shows me the appreciation for quality held by the home’s builder, even if it dismays me that someone came along later and saw fit to destroy it, the bastards. I love the idea that this solitary tile could be one of who knows how many more discards waiting discovery. And I try to imagine what the fireplace might have looked like.

In the meantime growing old and bitter waiting for either of you to have the courtesy to reply to I took a white tile of the same dimensions as the red that’s been hanging around the backyard since I unearthed it last year and whose bottom was still encased in its mortar (thus preventing me from ID’ing it as a Batchelder), and chiseled all that crap off, and wouldn’t you know that one has “BATCHELDER PASADENA” stamped on its underside along with a “5,” whereas the red tile has a “1.” If the white tile had a “1” in it, that similarity would lend me to hope it somehow signified the year they were made. Instead with the “5” and the “1” I’m leaning more towards those numbers representing the tiles’ respective colors.

So in a way maybe that helped answer the question I had. No thanks to you two.