The humble brick has housed us for thousands of years, but how much longer will it endure?
'I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble,' Caesar Augustus apparently boasted. If so, he wasn’t the only person to dismiss the humble brick. They’ve housed us for tens of thousands of years. They are all rather similar – small enough to fit into a human hand, and half as wide as they are long – and they are absolutely everywhere. Why, asks Tim Harford, are bricks still such an important building technology, how has brickmaking changed over the years, and will we ever see a robot bricklayer?
Hannah B Higgins, The Grid Book p25, MIT Press 2009
James W.P. Campbell and Will Pryce, Brick: A World History, Thames and Hudson, London 2003
Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, Poor Economics XXXX
Edward Dobson and Alfred Searle, Rudimentary Treatise on the Manufacture of Bricks and Tiles 14th Edn 1936, (The Technical Press, London)