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THE EVOLUTION OF SCAFFOLDING

THE EVOLUTION OF SCAFFOLDING

In growing cities, scaffolding can become part of the architecture more than the buildings they are restoring or building. They are also an engineering feat within themselves. Steel beams interlaced to create a structure stable enough to support an army of workers swarming all over it like worker ants.

While we have been accustomed to seeing scaffolding of the steel variety dotted throughout our cities, their origins are far more ancient than most people know, and the materials are varied beyond the steel we see today.

While their intended use has remained constant throughout history, it’s the material that has changed along with safety concerns and laws.

Sockets have been found in the walls around the Palaeolithic cave paintings at Lascaux, which strongly suggests that a scaffold system was used for painting the ceiling, over 17,000 years ago.

 

evolution scaffolding1

(https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/scaffold-design/)

 

When it came to the ancient Egyptians, they used wooden ramps with scaffolding in order to build the pyramids. The ramps were used to push and pull the giant stone blocks to positions where they could be laid, while the scaffolding would lift the blocks and place them in to position. Wooden scaffolding was also used to enable workers to carve highly detailed statues out of gigantic rocks or blocks of stone.

 

evolution scaffolding2

In China, bamboo scaffolding has been in use for over 5,000 years. Traditional bamboo scaffolding is assembled by the workers as they go, lashing poles together with ropes and building upon the size. When a building is finished, the workers start from the top and disassemble the scaffolding as they go down, which can then be taken to the next site.

Yet the turning point for scaffolding was not until the early 20th century when some interesting developments started to occur. One of the most subtle, yet important changes came in the form of an invention. At the time the only material used to hold the beams together was rope, but in 1906 two brothers, Daniel Palmer-Jones and David Henry-Jones, who created the company Patent Rapid Scaffold Tie Company, invented the scaffixer. The scaffixer was able to hold wooden and steel pieces together far more securely than rope. Because of their invention, in 1913 they won the commission to work on the reconstruction of Buckingham Palace.

 

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Not long after, in the 1920’s, metal pipes started to replace wooden poles. And as time has gone on, modern technology has enabled us to be able to create light-weight steel poles that ensure a greater stability and strength than any other material. Mainland China is one of the last countries that still uses bamboo for their scaffolding.

Stronghold’s range of CHS Pre-Galvanised steel pipes are ideal for use in scaffolding. To find out more, please feel free to contact us on 02 9791 1886, or fill out our Online Enquiry Form, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

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