How Jackson Ready-Mix Made Jax-Lite Blocks

In addition to the double-page advertisement shown below and the description of the benefits of Jax-Lite concrete blocks reprinted in yesterday’s post, the Jackson Daily News devoted space in its June 13, 1954 issue to a description of the Jackson Ready-Mix operation north of the Woodrow Wilson overpass. Jackson Ready-Mix is still going in that location, but I don’t know whether any of the machines are still operating or if the company still makes concrete blocks. Maybe someone knowledgeable out there can help answer those questions for us.

Jax-Lite--unifiedsmall

W.H. (Brock) Day Will Open New and Modern Concrete Masonry Plant

W.H. (Brock) Day, president and general manager of Jackson Ready-Mix Concrete proudly announces the opening of their new and modern manufacturing plant for the production of quality Concrete Masonry Units, a product that is becoming recognized as the most dollar-value building material on the American market today. The new plant is located in conjunction with the present business location at 103 Woodrow Wilson Drive.

Erected as a cost of one-quarter million dollars, the plant represents one of the most modern and efficient of its type in the country, and is equipped with the latest facilities for the manufacture of a product to meet the most rigid specifications for top-quality merit of the finished building units.

Specifications for building materials govern quality just as the Pure Food and Drug Laws protect the health of the American public, Mr. Day pointed out. And building material specifications are set up by the American Society for testing materials, federal specifications of the National Bureau of Standards, and Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc., for certification of fire-safety. All units as manufactured by Jackson Ready-Mix Concrete in their JAX-LITE Masonry Unites will be made to comply with these specifications, a policy which has been consistent with the Jackson Ready-Mix firm to give their valued customers full value in products which they are privileged to furnish. Raw materials are received by rail cars in sidings at the plant where mechanical unloading facilities convey the aggregate and cement to their respective overhead storage bins.

From these material storage bins aggregate and cement are accurately weighed for prescribed designed mixes before being placed into a 75-cubic feet mixer which, incidentally, is the largest capacity-type mixer of its kind. To the proportioned aggregate and cement, water is introduced by an intricate and scientific water meter which adds to the mix an eact amount of water to obtain a consistent concrete mix. After a timed mixing cycle, the concrete mix is conveyed to a hopper located directly over the huge GO-CORP “King” machine which, by electronic and automatic control, proceeds to form masonry units at a production rate of 1000 to 1200 eight-inch building units per hour. These units are formed six-at-a-time on two steel pallets. They move out of the machine in a continuous line to an off-bearer which lifts the two pallets of six units from the machine to place them in steel curing racks. As the off-bearer places two pallets into the curing rack, in the same move the magnetic off-bearer picks up two empty steel pallets for placement within the machine for another cycle of operations.

Jackson Ready-MixWhen the 72-unit curing racks are filled with newly-moulded units, heavy lift-trucks pick up the rack and move it into one of three steam curing kilns, each of which is 13′ x 80′ in size. When a kiln is filled with racks, steam generated with an automatically operated 150 HP boiler is introduced into the kilns until a live steam temperature within the closed kiln is increased to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The Units are held under this temperature and steam for a given period, then steam is turned off and the masonry units are allowed to “soak” for several hours before removal.

When the kiln is opened racks are then removed by lift-trucks to the cubing yard where respective size units are cubed for storage, until thoroughly aged and cured before shipping to jobs. The storage yard area covers aproximately three acres.

As a means of plant control for the QUALITY OF JAX-LITE Masonry Units, a well-equipped testing laboratory was installed so that aggregates and raw materials can be checked for consistency of desing, and where compressive strength tests can be made as desired to assure the highest product control for quality that may be reflected in the finished building unit.

Dr. Day states that this modern new plant is the result of two years of studying and surveying of the industry throughout the United States. Being impressed with the potential of well-made, top-quality concrete masonry units as the ideal and most economical, permanent-type construction material, and for his interest that such an economical and high-type of building material might be made available to the future construction and building of a Greater Jackson, Mr. Day is particularly happy about the completion of this new manufacturing plant.

Jackson Daily News, Sunday, June 13, 1954, p.4

 

 



Categories: Architectural Research, Jackson, Recent Past

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4 replies

  1. I am partial to today’s post over yesterday’s. While yesterday’s article was interesting it came across as speaking in general terms about concrete and concrete block construction rather than our very own JAX-LITE. Today’s description of the Jackson plant and how it operated is very interesting to me.

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  2. I hope someone from the modern day plant responds. It would be interesting to see what they are making and if they might be using the same Jax-Lite formula. Down here in Texas we refer to similar blocks as cinder blocks, although they are made of a concrete mix. Thank you for these 2 interesting posts!

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  3. I’m not sure of the details or time frame, but Jackson Ready Mix sold the plant pictured several years back. Block USA, a concrete block manufacturer serving the southeast, now operates there. Block USA is owned by Cemex, a global cement company. But, the plant still produces concrete block of various types.

    Jackson Ready Mix remains one of the chief suppliers of ready-mixed concrete in the Jackson metro area, although it’s now owned by Delta Industries, which supplies ready-mixed concrete throughout southern MS. One of their batching plants is visible in the photo above, south of the Woodrow Wilson overpass

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