Tuesday, August 26, 2008
A Tile Factory at Bhatkal
Popularly known as Mangalore Tiles by the name of the place where they originated, a German Missionary Plebot set up the first tile factory in 1865, after he found large deposits of clay by the banks Gurupur and Nethravathi Rivers. It was called Basel Mission Tile factory and located on the banks of the river Nethravathi.Several other tile factories came up in the years that followed. Abundant deposits of clay, plenty of firewood from the Western Ghats and cheap skilled labour helped the industry flourish. Since the tiles were made only in the city initially, they came to be called Mangalore tiles. Today, there are only five tile factories in the city as compared to forty-five in the Seventies. The first tile factory has also shut down. Reduction in clay deposits, labour problems and tile factories coming up in other places are said to be some of the reasons for the decline.