The vertical shaft brick kiln (VSBK) is classed as a continuous updraft kiln and represents a comparatively new and unique method of firing bricks. It was developed in China in the late 1960s during the cultural revolution, when there was a large demand for bricks in the rural areas of China. There are thousands of this type of kiln currently operating in China, but only a few proto types have so far been builtin other countries. It is a revolutionary type of brick kiln, combining the simplicity and low cost of updraft firing with very impressive fuel economy, plus the benefits of continuous operation. It is used in China as a single or double shaft kiln by small scale seasonal brickmaking entrepreneurs, wherever there is an abundance of good brickmaking clay and a reliable supply of coal fines. Its operation is very similar to that of a vertical shaft lime kiln, with coal and bricks being loaded at the top, and fired bricks combined with a small amount of ash beingunloaded at the bottom.