The History of Brick Masonry

Brick masonry has been a highly popular construction material for a very long time. If you ever visited Independence Hall in Philadelphia, you likely noticed that it is made of brick. That is because brick masonry is durable and fireproof.

You can maintain and repair brick buildings as needed to keep them standing for a very long time. You might wonder: How long has masonry been around? The answer is thousands of years.

Brick masonry has been around longer than the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Early brick construction relied on a combination of mud and straw dried into bricks of roughly the same size. The brickmaking process has improved greatly over the centuries, which is why masonry remains one of the best construction materials throughout history.

Automation Standardizes Brick Masonry

Possibly the single-greatest advancement in masonry occurred during the Industrial Revolution. In 1852, inventor Richard VerValan developed the steam-powered brickmaking machine that made identical bricks rapidly.

The invention churned out hundreds of identically sized and shaped bricks every day. Those bricks also benefited from a stronger mix of clay that greatly added to their strength.

The advent of automation in the masonry industry helped to make brick a primary construction material that rivaled the use of wood in new construction. Brick wall masons could use standardized bricks to build walls that are straight and tall with virtually no variation in the size of the bricks.

The bricks were easier to transport to the worksite and resisted fire much better than wooden structures. Subsequent events, like the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, helped to establish brick as the preferred construction material in large cities and other communities.

Brick Stays the King of Construction for a Century

Continual improvements in brickmaking and quality enabled brick masonry to dominate the construction industry for about 100 years. Eventually, two primary issues led to its greatly reduced use by World War II.

Landslides and earthquakes showed brick masonry had its limitations. After all, if the land is moving, the brick structure becomes unstable and might suffer a total collapse.

The Great Depression also caused many brickmaking companies to go out of business. Fewer bricks meant fewer construction projects that used brick masonry as their primary material.

Despite a reduction in use as a primary construction material, brick masonry remains a very important part of the construction of homes and commercial buildings around the world. Experienced brick wall masons are essential for quality masonry work.

Hire the Area’s Best Masonry Service

Mitchell Masonry in St. Augustine has more than 40 years of experience providing professional masonry and concrete services in St. Johns County. We are a family-owned and operated provider of the area’s best masonry and concrete services.

Our expert masonry and concrete services enable you to build a new home and transform your outdoor spaces into truly unique and useful areas. From pouring foundations to installing driveways, walkways, and more, we provide the best services at competitive prices.