There’s nothing boring about the fascinating, centuries-old history of bricks
Updated: Oct 16, 2020
You don’t have to be a student of history to find satisfaction in knowing some interesting facts from the past. In the case of masonry and brick making you can look back 7,000 years. That’s how long brick making and use has helped shape structures around the globe. From the first bricks that were made of mud and dried in the sun, to mixing mud with straw, to the use of fired bricks made from clay, it is amazing how this simple discovery has endured and transformed our lives right up to today. When skilled trades people place a brick or block today, they are continuing a 7,000-year-old legacy.
The practice of making bricks and building structures that endure for decades slowly made its way around the world, with different cultures and artisans incorporating and improving on methods, and shapes and uses. Examples from around the world provide some of the most spectacular visuals of the range of uses for bricks. During some centuries, the art of brick making almost disappeared, but something as valuable and durable as bricks would not be lost to time.
Although the use of brick has flourished and waned over the centuries, it has always regained its rightful place in construction, as an art, a skill and a reliable tool for building communities, industries and nations.
Brickmaking started out with each piece being shaped and compressed by hand until the late 1800s when it became part of the industrial revolution. What took months and sometimes years to create now could be produced at super speeds fueling dramatic changes in landscapes and the way we live and work. These days bricks come in a variety of colors and sizes and are used to construct everything from skyscrapers, to factories to homes and can add an artistic touch to any dwelling. Masonry is magnificent and over the centuries has earned its way to being one our most reliable products for building and design. Learn more.