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Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil material containing clay minerals. Clays develop plasticity when wet, due to a molecular film of water surrounding the clay particles, but become hard, brittle and non–plastic upon drying or firing. Most pure clay minerals are white or light-coloured, but natural clays show a variety of colours from impurities, such as a reddish or brownish colour from small amounts of iron oxide.

Clay is the oldest known ceramic material. Prehistoric humans discovered the useful properties of clay and used it for making pottery. Some of the earliest pottery shards have been dated to around 14,000 BC, and clay tablets were the first known writing medium. Clay is used in many modern industrial processes, such as paper making, cement production, and chemical filtering. Between one-half and two-thirds of the world's population still live or work in buildings made with clay, often baked into brick, as an essential part of its load-bearing structure.

Clay is a very common substance. Shale, formed largely from clay, is the most common sedimentary rock. Although many naturally occurring deposits include both silts and clay, clays are distinguished from other fine-grained soils by differences in size and mineralogy. Silts, which are fine-grained soils that do not include clay minerals, tend to have larger particle sizes than clays. Mixtures of sand, silt and less than 40% clay are called loam. Soils high in swelling clays, which are clay minerals that readily expand in volume when they absorb water, are a major challenge in civil engineering.

Clay Media

1,918 media by topicpage 1 of 20
Thomas Jefferson, February 1777, Draft of Subscription to Support a Clerk to Assist Charles Clay as Minister in Charlottesville, Virginia

Thomas Jefferson, February 1777, Draft of Subscription to Support a Cl...

Draft of Subscription to Support a Clerk to Assist Charles Clay as Minister in Charlottesville, Virginia

Horatio Gates to Joseph Clay, July 3, 1780
Thomas Jefferson to Charles Clay, January 27, 1790
Thomas Jefferson to Charles Clay, September 11, 1792
Henry Clay, portrait print

Henry Clay, portrait print

This record contains unverified data from PGA shelflist card. Associated name on shelflist card: Schnabel & Finkeldey.

Thomas Jefferson to Charles Clay, January 11, 1807
Thomas Jefferson to Matthew Clay, September 19, 1807
Henry Clay / Childs & Inman Lith.

Henry Clay / Childs & Inman Lith.

Print shows Henry Clay, half-length portrait, facing slightly left. Title from item. Stamped on back: Briggs Coll. A. 41499.

Thomas Jefferson to Charles Clay, August 23, 1811
Henry Clay, portrait print

Henry Clay, portrait print

This record contains unverified data from PGA shelflist card. Associated name on shelflist card: Warner. Copyright Deposit, Eastern District of Penn.: 1814. Check 500 field.

James Madison to Henry Clay, August 30, 1816.

James Madison to Henry Clay, August 30, 1816.

Transcripts, guides, and tools to help you use this collection may be found at http://www.loc.gov/collection/james-madison-papers/about-this-collection/.

Thomas Jefferson to Paul Clay, July 12, 1817, with List of Advice
Washington, Sir: a meeting of the friends of Mr. Clay, and of the policy of which he has long been the distinguished champion … very respectfully, yours, &c. &c.

Washington, Sir: a meeting of the friends of Mr. Clay, and of the poli...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. 2 duplicate copies Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 193, Folder 32. Copy scanned: 1

Sir. Having been appointed by a public meeting held in this city, a Committee of Correspondence to promote the election of Henry Clay, we take the liberty of asking your assistance and co-operation ... [Signed] Richard W. Meade [and 17 others] P

Sir. Having been appointed by a public meeting held in this city, a Co...

Clay, Henry.; On verso: a. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 152, Folder 23.

James Madison to Henry Clay, January 6, 1828.
Life in Philadelphia. Plate 13 / Clay fecit 1829.

Life in Philadelphia. Plate 13 / Clay fecit 1829.

Print shows an African American couple walking on the street; the woman asks the man whether he likes the waltz. Exchange; (DLC/PP-1973:253). Title from item. Caption: "How you like de waltz, Mr. Lorenzo?" "'... More

James Madison to Henry Clay, October 9, 1830.

James Madison to Henry Clay, October 9, 1830.

Transcripts, guides, and tools to help you use this collection may be found at http://www.loc.gov/collection/james-madison-papers/about-this-collection/.

Like master like man / E.W. Clay del.

Like master like man / E.W. Clay del.

Print shows two African American men, with their seconds, about to fight a duel with pistols at close range.

Toasts for the National Republican Clay celebration of the Fourth of July, 1831 at the City of Washington.

Toasts for the National Republican Clay celebration of the Fourth of J...

Fourth of July celebration. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 194, Folder 13.

Henry Clay's quick step
Public meeting of the friends of Henry Clay. The standing committee of "The association of mechanics and other working men of the City of Washington," having consulted a Committee on the part of the citizens generally, who are friendly to the el
Old Jack, the famous New Orleans mouser, clearing Uncle Sam's barn of bank and Clay rats; ...

Old Jack, the famous New Orleans mouser, clearing Uncle Sam's barn of ...

A rare pro-Jackson satire on the President's campaign to destroy the political power and influence of the Bank of the United States. It was probably issued late in the presidential campaign of 1832, after Jacks... More

James Madison to Henry Clay, March 13, 1832.

James Madison to Henry Clay, March 13, 1832.

Transcripts, guides, and tools to help you use this collection may be found at http://www.loc.gov/collection/james-madison-papers/about-this-collection/.

James Madison to Thomas H. Clay, December 16, 1836.

James Madison to Thomas H. Clay, December 16, 1836.

Transcripts, guides, and tools to help you use this collection may be found at http://www.loc.gov/collection/james-madison-papers/about-this-collection/.

Henry Clay / painted by G. Linen ; engraved by J. Sartain. Philada.

Henry Clay / painted by G. Linen ; engraved by J. Sartain. Philada.

Print showing Henry Clay, full-length portrait, sitting with legs crossed, facing front, with right arm resting on a table, and holding papers in lap with left hand. Title from item. Entered according to Act of... More

Henry Clay, portrait print

Henry Clay, portrait print

This record contains unverified data from PGA shelflist card. Associated name on shelflist card: Robinson, H.R.

Henry Clay / painted by J.W. Dodge 1843 ; engd. on steel by H.S. Sadd, N.Y.

Henry Clay / painted by J.W. Dodge 1843 ; engd. on steel by H.S. Sadd,...

Print showing Henry Clay, full-length portrait, sitting under tree, facing front, with dog at his feet. Includes facsimile signature and a remarque with view of Ashland, home of Henry Clay. Title from item. Ent... More

The Prize Song, "The Whig Chief"...dedicated...to Henry Clay, by the Boston Clay Club, No. 1

The Prize Song, "The Whig Chief"...dedicated...to Henry Clay, by the B...

Three oval views of Clay's birthplace, Hanover, Ky.; Clay's residence "Ashland"; and White House, Wash., D.C. LOT subdivision subject: Birthplace and Homes. Title and other information transcribed from caption ... More

H. Clay, Head and Shoulders Portrait

H. Clay, Head and Shoulders Portrait

Another campaign portrait of Whig presidential candidate Henry Clay. In an oval frame, surrounded by an ornate floral wreath, is a bust-length portrait of Clay. Two books and a quill pen are visible over his sh... More

Henry Clay / painted by James Wise ; engraved by J. Sartain.

Henry Clay / painted by James Wise ; engraved by J. Sartain.

Print showing Henry Clay, full-length portrait, standing, facing slightly left, gesturing with right hand, left hand resting on table; a globe and two books are on the floor in lower left corner. Title from ite... More

Fellow citizens:- It is not to be disguised that we are on the eve of one of the most important elections ever held in this country, and we of the Democratic Whig party ... By order of the Bensalem Clay Club [October, 1844].

Fellow citizens:- It is not to be disguised that we are on the eve of ...

Page Order: Leaflet Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 154, Folder 22.

The life and public services of Henry Clay

The life and public services of Henry Clay

Text illustrated with patriotic symbolic vignettes. Etching, 32 x 25.7 cm., copyrighted by R.G. Berford, So. Dist. of Pa., No. 94? Reference copy may be in Biog. File. This record contains unverified, old data ... More

[Henry Clay, three-quarter length portrait, three-quarters to the left, facing front, seated, holding cane, tall hat on table with tablecloth]

[Henry Clay, three-quarter length portrait, three-quarters to the left...

Republican Senator from Kentucky, 1806-1807, 1810-1811; Congressman, 1811-1814, 1815-1821, 1823-1825; U.S. Secretary of State, 1825-1829; Whig Senator, 1831-1842, 1849-1852; Democratic Republican candidate for ... More

Clay gallopade

Clay gallopade

From: Music Copyright Deposits, 1820-1860 (Microfilm M 3106) Also available through the Library of Congress Web Site as facsimile page images. (additional physical form) In bound volumes: Copyright Deposits 1820-1860

Henry Clay Copied from a daguerreotype portrait by Anthony, Edwards & Co. taken April 1844 / / on stone by F. Davignon ; lith. of Endicott.

Henry Clay Copied from a daguerreotype portrait by Anthony, Edwards & ...

Print showing Henry Clay, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing slightly right, in medallion and wreath. Title from item. Inscribed in ink: Deposited in the Clerk's Office for the Southern District of New York Oc... More

Clay Frelinghuysen Markle Stewart

Clay Frelinghuysen Markle Stewart

Print shows a Whig campaign banner composed of a pattern of alternating red and white stripes reminiscent of the American flag. On each of the four white stripes appears the name of a Whig candidate for the 184... More

The coon party crossing Cayuga Bridge Novr. 1844.  Or the effects of Cassius M. Clay's  political tour to western N. York

The coon party crossing Cayuga Bridge Novr. 1844. Or the effects of C...

A cartoon on the defeat of Whig Henry Clay in the 1844 presidential election, ascribing his loss of the state of New York to his cousin Cassius M. Clay's campaign tour on his behalf. Oddly, though given promine... More

Cassius M. Clay
Mr. Clay taking a new view of the Texas question

Mr. Clay taking a new view of the Texas question

Illustration shows Henry Clay, dressed in doublet and breast plate with a brace of pistols at his waist, holding a carving knife and fork, at an open door in which a tiny "Mexican" cowers on a shelf. Below the ... More

General Taylor's letter of condolence to Henry Clay on his recent distressing bereavement .... Philadelphia. Published by C. Alexander Daily Chronicle Office, Franklin Place 1847.

General Taylor's letter of condolence to Henry Clay on his recent dist...

Page Order: Leaflet Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. 2 duplicate copies Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 155, Folder... More

The people's welfare. My reward. [Picture of Henry Clay] Protection to American industry is necessary to secure the independence of our country. And a national bank is as necessary to a nation as national laws. H. Clay.

The people's welfare. My reward. [Picture of Henry Clay] Protection to...

1 silk badge. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 244, Folder 10.

The Clay statue. A model of a man. Designed by the goddess of liberty

The Clay statue. A model of a man. Designed by the goddess of liberty

The artist lionizes Kentucky senator Henry Clay, author of the Compromise of 1850, and slams his political foes and critics of the compromise, particularly those in the Taylor administration. A text in the lowe... More

... Onward is the cause of Clay & Relinghuysen glorious Whig triumph !!! The old Maryland line forever!!! By the official returns from all the counties it appears that the Whigs of this gallant State have elected a Whig Governor, a Whig Senate a

... Onward is the cause of Clay & Relinghuysen glorious Whig triumph !...

Republican banner, Nashville, Tenn. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 175, Folder 6.

Seventh annual celebration of the birthday of Henry Clay, April 12, 1852. The Natal day song. Written and sung by William G. Mickell, Esq. [s. l.]

Seventh annual celebration of the birthday of Henry Clay, April 12, 18...

Clay, Henry.; Verse. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 22, Folder 27.

Henry Clay, portrait print

Henry Clay, portrait print

Currier & Ives : a catalogue raisonné / compiled by Gale Research. Detroit, MI : Gale Research, c1983, no. 3010

Hon. Brutus J. Clay of Ky
Hon. Brutus J. Clay of Ky
Hon. Brutus J. Clay of Ky
Hon. Cassius Clay, Glass negative photograph, American Civil War time.
Hon. Cassius Clay, Glass negative photograph, American Civil War time.
Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co., Cal. / From nature & on stone by Kuchel & Dresel, 176 Clay St., S.F. Print by Britton & Rey.

Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co., Cal. / From nature & on stone by Kuchel ...

Exchange; Amon Carter Museum; (DLC/PP-1975:230). Title from item.

Letter to Henry Clay Whitney, Esq. from Abraham Lincoln, November 30, 1858.

Letter to Henry Clay Whitney, Esq. from Abraham Lincoln, November 30, ...

Requests copies of the Lincoln-Douglas debates as they were reported in the Tribune.

[Clement C. Clay, Senator from Alabama, Thirty-fifth Congress, half-length portrait]

[Clement C. Clay, Senator from Alabama, Thirty-fifth Congress, half-le...

Illus. in: McClees' gallery of photographic portraits of the senators, representatives & delegates of the thirty-fifth Congress... Washington: McClees & Beck, [1859], page 169. Each item includes subject's orig... More

[James B. Clay, Representative from Kentucky, Thirty-fifth Congress, original signature]

[James B. Clay, Representative from Kentucky, Thirty-fifth Congress, o...

Illus. in: McClees' gallery of photographic portraits of the senators, representatives & delegates of the thirty-fifth Congress... Washington: McClees & Beck, [1859], page 224. Each item includes subject's orig... More

Hon. Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn of Ky.
[Old Swedes Church (Gloria Dei Church) and cemetery, Philadelphia, with Reverend Jehu Curtis Clay standing among gravestones]

[Old Swedes Church (Gloria Dei Church) and cemetery, Philadelphia, wit...

No. 51. Marian S. Carson Collection (Library of Congress). Title devised by Library staff.

John Lemmax to Abraham Lincoln, Monday, December 10, 1860  (Recommends Cassius Clay for cabinet)
Spot him! "Rev." Henry Clay Dean, of Iowa, who was present at the Chicago Convention in 1864, at which McClellan was nominated at the Copperhead candidate for President, is now addressing the Pierce-Davis-Sinclair & Co. democracy in this state .

Spot him! "Rev." Henry Clay Dean, of Iowa, who was present at the Chic...

Dean, Henry Clay. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 94, Folder 21.

Wake Nicodemus! Words and music by Henry Clay Work. H. De Marsan, Publisher, 60 Chatham Street, N. Y
Fall of Lieut[enan]t Col[one]l Henry Clay, Jun[io]r / Designed by T.H. Matteson ; Engd. by H.S. Sadd.

Fall of Lieut[enan]t Col[one]l Henry Clay, Jun[io]r / Designed by T.H....

Print shows soldiers carrying a dying Henry Clay, Junior, away from the Battle of Buena Vista, Coahuila, Mexico, February 23, 1847, during the Mexican-American War. Title from item. In album: [Album of ephemera... More

The flow'ry Shannon side. Air: Burning of the Henry Clay. H. De Marsan, Publisher, 38 Chatham Street, N. Y
Clay, Thos. Hart, Glass Negative, 1860s
The flow'ry Shannon side. Air- Burning of the Henry Clay. Sold by H. De Marsan, publisher, 38 Chatham Street, N. Y
Hobart Clay at 17, with an unidentified woman
Hon. Green Clay Smith of Kentucky
Game birds of America. California or Valley Quail (Laphortyx Californicus) / H.M. Clay 1861.

Game birds of America. California or Valley Quail (Laphortyx Californi...

Print shows three dead quails hanging upside down from a nail in a wall. Title from item. Entered according to act of Congress AD 1861 by H.M. Clay in the Clerks Office of the Dist. Court of the Northn. Dist. of N. York.

Game birds of America. Snipe (Scolopax Wilsonii) / H.M. Clay 1861.

Game birds of America. Snipe (Scolopax Wilsonii) / H.M. Clay 1861.

Print shows three dead snipes hanging upside down from a nail in a wall. 19478 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. Inscribed in blue pencil on lower left: Deposited Feb'y 5 1861. Inscribed in pencil on lowe... More

C. Bassett to Abraham Lincoln, Thursday, January 24, 1861  (Recommends Cassius Clay for cabinet)
Henry Clay, portrait print

Henry Clay, portrait print

This record contains unverified data from PGA shelflist card. Associated name on shelflist card: Lafosse.

Philip P. Wilcox to Abraham Lincoln, Tuesday, January 15, 1861  (Recommends Cassius Clay for cabinet)
Cassius M. Clay to Abraham Lincoln, Monday, February 25, 1861  (Recommendation)
Game birds of America. Woodcock (Scolopax Minor) / H.M. Clay 1861.

Game birds of America. Woodcock (Scolopax Minor) / H.M. Clay 1861.

Print shows three dead woodcocks hanging upside down from a nail in a wall. Title from item. Entered according to act of Congress AD 1861 by H.M. Clay in the Clerks Office of the Dist. Court of the Northn. Dist... More

H. Clay / Brady, N.Y., Mathew Brady Photograph, 1850s.

H. Clay / Brady, N.Y., Mathew Brady Photograph, 1850s.

Title from item. "Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1861 by M.B. Brady, ... New-York."

Game birds of America. Quail (Ortyx Virginiana) / H.M. Clay 1861.

Game birds of America. Quail (Ortyx Virginiana) / H.M. Clay 1861.

Print shows three dead quails hanging upside down from a nail in a wall; also shows a fly on the wall at lower left. 19479 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. Inscribed in blue pencil on lower right: Deposi... More

Thomas H. Clay to Abraham Lincoln, Wednesday, October 08, 1862  (Telegram concerning affairs in Kentucky)
Abraham Lincoln to John M. Clay, Saturday, August 09, 1862  (Acknowledgment)
Abraham Lincoln to John M. Clay, Saturday, August 09, 1862
Thomas H. Clay, et al. to Abraham Lincoln, Wednesday, September 03, 1862  (Telegram concerning situation in Kentucky)
Cassius M. Clay to Samuel Hallett & Co., Wednesday, April 08, 1863  (Printed letter)
Brutus J. Clay, Thursday, January 21, 1864  (Draft of order granting Alpheus Lewis permission to purchase supplies)
Smith, Hon. Green Clay of Ky. 2nd Lt in 1st Regt. Kentucky Vol. Inf. June 9, 1846. Colonel of 4th Regt. Kentucky Vol Cavalry. April 4, 1862 Brevetted Maj General, March 13, 1865
McCreery, Hon. Thomas Clay of Ky
Proclamation by the mayor of the city of liberty.
H. Clay Hart to Francis P. Blair Sr., Saturday, February 04, 1865  (Passes for family of J. O. Harrison)
Mason Street, from Clay Street, looking North, San Francisco

Mason Street, from Clay Street, looking North, San Francisco

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 341. LOT subdivision subject: San Francisco General Views. This record contains unverified old dat... More

The heroes' memorial. A memorial to perpetuate the remembrance of the heroes of the Empire State, who fell fighting for the Union, or died in rebel prisons, in military hospitals or at their homes in the years 1861, '62, '63, '64, '65 / Clay, Cosack & Co., Buffalo, N.Y.

The heroes' memorial. A memorial to perpetuate the remembrance of the ...

Print shows an obelisk monument with Niagara Falls in the background. 31729 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. Inscribed in pencil at top left: May 30, 1866. No. 590. Inscribed in pencil at bottom left: No... More

One little curl of auburn hair--Words and music by J.H. McNaughton / Clay, Cosack & Co.

One little curl of auburn hair--Words and music by J.H. McNaughton / C...

Sheet music cover showing young woman, seated, three-quarter length, facing left, with her head propped on her right hand, holding lock of hair. Copyright by William A. Pond & Co.

Thos. Clay McCreery, Ex Sen. Ky. Late 1870's
[Page with three original photoprints "Views on the Pennsylvania Central Railroad" and advertisement for Moorhead Clay Works, Philadelphia]

[Page with three original photoprints "Views on the Pennsylvania Centr...

Illustrations (possibly stereo halves) of views, one mile east of Black Log Water Station, Black Log Water Station, and Lewiston Narrows.

Head of the family, try Atmore's mince meat and genuine English plum pudding / Clay, Cosack & Co., Buffalo, N.Y.
Canal St. [Street] from the Clay Monument
The Clay Monument, [Canal Street], New Orleans
Map of Clay County, Texas /

Map of Clay County, Texas /

Shows landownership. LC Land ownership maps, 925 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.

A sensation! An innovation! All ladies! All ladies! Grand inaugural tour of America of the famed European sensational attraction, Lilly Clay's Company of Ladies Only the only real novelty Garden of Eden : an Adamless Eden.

A sensation! An innovation! All ladies! All ladies! Grand inaugural to...

Created by "Metropolitan Job Print, 38 Vesey Street, New York." Forms part of: Theatrical poster collection (Library of Congress)

Map of Clay County, Missouri /

Map of Clay County, Missouri /

Shows names of residents. "Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1887 by G.M. Hopkins in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington." "J.H. Kaefring Lth 831 Arch St., Phila." LC Land owner... More

J.H. Clay sod house, east Custer County, Nebraska.

J.H. Clay sod house, east Custer County, Nebraska.

summary: Note: Mr. Clay appears seated, holding a crutch. The two women standing are wearing the same dress original size: 6x8

Proceedings of a meeting held by the Democrats of Clay county at Liberty, Missouri, on Saturday, November 17th, 1888.
Extract from the speech of Genl. Benj. Harrison to the Clay County, Indiana, miners. Pittsburgh. [Reprinted from the American people of Sept. 12, 1888.].

Extract from the speech of Genl. Benj. Harrison to the Clay County, In...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 160, Folder 28a.

President Cleveland, an illustrated poem by H. Clay Preuss. Respectfully dedicated to the members of the New York delegation to the National Democratic convention, at St. Louis, June 5th, 1888, as a just tribute to a noble son of the old "Empire

President Cleveland, an illustrated poem by H. Clay Preuss. Respectful...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 31, Folder 34a.

[Northern peaks from Mt. Clay, Presidential Range, White Mountains, New Hampshire]
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