No Red Carpet for the Brick
The simple little brick has never stood in the spotlight and severely lacks any palpable beauty or luster. It has changed the appearance of our world. What once was a barren horizon, now abounds with structures reaching for the clouds. All because of one little brick!
The Origin of Bricks
Around 7500 B.C. man took a clump of clay and formed it into a shape allowing it to dry and harden in the arid sun of Turkey. A brick was born!
Thousands of years ago, brickmaking was labor intensive and was produced by hand. The clay was kneaded by bare feet and pushed into wooden molding frames. Excess clay was wiped away, and the frame lifted exposing each individual brick. The brick was left exposed to the sun to dry.
Up until late 1800’s, bricks were made by hand yielding up to 36,000 bricks a week. However, once machinery took over and started mass production, the weekly yield was 80,000 bricks.
Because of the low cost and quick production of bricks, raw materials were no longer the preference for building structures. The anatomy of a brick structure was resilient, durable and cost less than those made with wood or other materials.
Did You Know???
- Bricks are much more energy efficient because they hold the heat in during daylight hours and release that energy when it becomes dark.
- Dark red or cranberry colored bricks have the deeper tint of red from being heated and fired at extremely high temperatures.
- 70% of the world’s buildings are made of brick.
- The Empire State Building has over 10 million bricks.
- The Chrysler Building is the tallest brick building in the world.
- A standard size brick weighs 5 pounds.
- The BMM300 is part truck, part Zamboni and part locomotive which is filled with a mixture. As it drives, the mixture is extruded out onto the ground in perfect shapes of bricks. It can produce 300 bricks in 1 minute.
- Some bricks have three holes in them to provide stability when used for walls, chimneys or foundations.
Getting Creative with Brick
Acme Brick in Ft. Worth, Texas set their creative gears in motion to set a precedence for their business. Gathering clay material from twenty three of their brick plants, the crew quickly put their thinking caps on trying to design the world’s largest brick.
After four failed attempts, moving forward a fifth attempt was made. Not only was it a success, but the birth of “Clay” set the world record as being the largest brick.
“Clay” weighed in at a whopping three tons and measured nine feet long.