The first use of producer gas in the burning of fire brick in America,
that I know anything about, was at the Mount Savage Fire Brick Works.
There were two tunnel kilns (not car kilns) fired with producer gas for
about twenty years, from 1890, or a little before, to 1908. The suction
gas producer was on a car that was moved back and forth on a track on one
side of the kiln. The gas was conducted by sheet iron pipes to the ports
in the top of the kiln. When first installed, these producers were charged
through bell hoppers on top, but when I saw the kilns in operation, in
1904 and 1905, the bell hoppers had been removed and the producer was
charged with a shovel through a door in one end. In fact, the producer
was nothing but a big oblong stove with a thick fuel bed on a cast iron
grate. The gas, being fired at the top of the kiln, of course would not
burn the brick hard to the bottom, so coal was also fired through holes in
the top, in the usual manner.

Mr. J. P. Biays, Vice-president of the Union Mining Co., writes, “As
long as the foreman, who was at Mount Savage when I went there in 1901,
lived the kilns were operated with comparative success. After his death,
the operation of the kilns was not considered successful and they were
done away with.”