Adobe Houses, dwellings built of unburnt brick, in common use in Mexico, Texas, and Central America. Adobe bricks are made of loamy earth, containing about two thirds fine sand and one third clayey dust, which under the action of the sun becomes a hard, compact mass, without a crack. Four men generally work at the making of these bricks, one to mix the mass, two to carry it in a hand-barrow, which is sprinkled with finely powdered dry manure or dust to prevent adhesion, and one to mould the prepared substance into bricks. The moulds are double, each 10 to 18 inches long, 9 to 12 inches wide, and 4 inches thick, and have projecting handles at each end, but no bottom, the brick being deposited on the surface of the ground, which has been previously levelled; and the adobes are carefully turned on the edge, and left to harden in the sun. They are laid with mud mortar, made from the earth at the foot of the wall; and on the completion of every two feet of the structure, an interval of one week is allowed for drying, and a similar space of time between the completion of the walls and fixing of the roof. The houses are usually one story high, and the inside plastered before the roof is put on, so that it may dry With the walls.
An adobe house costs little; it is warmer in winter and cooler in summer than either wood or brick, and its duration is extraordinary, adobe houses 50 feet high being in existence which have stood for more than a century.