Britain was in need of funds after losing the Revolutionary War. In British fashion, they turned to taxation. This time, it was bricks. The brick tax, which also covered tiles, was introduced in 1784. It was fixed at 2s. 6d. (two shillings and sixpence) for 1,000 bricks but increased to four shillings 10 years later and to five shillings by 1797.
Brickmakers got creative and started making bigger bricks. The treasury found out and, in 1803, decreed that bricks should be no larger than 25.4 centimeters (10 in) by 12.7 centimeters (5 in). Anything bigger would be taxed at twice the normal rate. The tax was further increased to 5s. 10d. for every 1,000 bricks in 1805. The tax remained at this rate until the tax was repealed in 1850.