The History of Brick Masonry

The use of bricks for building purposes goes back in history to the Taj Mahal, the pyramids of Giza as well as the Roman Colosseum. These great feats of architecture are lined with bricks throughout their interiors. In those times mud and clay was mixed with dung and straw and then left out to bake in the sun. Further down the line, rudimentary molds were used in order to shape or cut the brick material. Instead of baking the brick material in the sun. circa 3500 BC, kilns and furnaces were used for the bake. This meant that bricks could manufactured all over the world and throughout all seasons. 

Although bricks were all the rage throughout the ancient world, they were not without fault. Buildings made of brick started experiencing leaks. It was then that the cavity wall was developed. They were made by means of constructing two spaced wythe's made of bricks. This would make sure that any moisture coming through the first layer would be filtered and not come through the second wythe, which was the internal building's walls. In the late 17th century, brick-making was introduced in North America to the British colonies. The oldest brick that has been manufactured was found in the city of Virginia. 

Many of the brick constructions of colonial times can still be found today, for example, the Independence
Hall found in Philadelphia and the Tryon Palace situated in North Carolina. A steam-powered machine that manufactured bricks was invented in 1852 by a man named Richard VerValan. This would allow a mixture much stiffer to be created which would result in much more uniform bricklaying. It also allowed brick to be manufactured at a much higher rate. 

Although the production of bricks and buildings boomed, many people of the late 20th century and early 21st century blamed these industries for the degradation of natural resources. Because of this, the modern brick industry has taken on a more environmentally friendly approach. Instead of using fossil fuels to fire furnaces and kilns, we now used natural gases. We also make use of waste materials that include sawdust as an alternative to fuel. The difference in strength from modern day bricks to colonial bricks is the temperature at which bricks are manufactured. We use much higher temperatures in modern days; 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Types of bricks

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