The Oldest Building Material
Brick is one of the oldest manufactured building materials. Ancient records and excavations show that brick construction dates back more than 5000 years. Brick making was a highly respected skill in early civilizations. Many old masonry walls bore evidence of royal support for the craftsman who made the bricks. Royal seals and the names of kings were stamped in some of the bricks.
Early records indicate that the first brick manufactured in the United States were made in Virginia in 1611 and in Massachusetts in 1629. The brick were made by hand using very simple methods and tools. Many of the brick used in construction in the early American settlements were brought from England as ballast in sailing ships. Some of these brick can still be found in the foundations and walls of the remaining original houses in the eastern part of the United States.
As the Masonry Association of America states:
The Egyptian Pyramids, the Colosseum in Rome, India’s Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China – some of the world’s most significant architectural achievements have been built with masonry. Through civilization, architects and builders have chosen masonry for its beauty, versatility, and durability. Masonry is resistant to fire, earthquakes, and sound. Artistic and durable, masonry structures can withstand the normal wear and tear of centuries.