The History Of Scaffold

By October 14, 2020Construction Industry
building surrounded with scaffold

If you’ve been to a densely populated city you’d be more than aware of what a scaffold is and probably have a basic idea of what it is used for. To summarise, this network of now metal pipes are used to create platforms around buildings so that works have an optimal level for them to either build or repair. However, the history of scaffold dates back so far the people often argue is the true date of origin. Below we are going to explore the history of scaffold and how it is used in today’s day and age.


Through the ages

Historians have been able to deduce that humanity had invented scaffold 17,000 years ago as there is holes in the walls of the Palaeolithic caves in France. These elevated platforms that they had created allowed them to reach all around the cave to cover it in their wall paintings.

Additionally there is strong evidence that the Egyptians utilised a wooden variant for building the pyramids. To jump forward into the medieval times, there were individuals who were trained to man the scaffold to build churches and abbeys in the 20th century. These workers were also photographed for definite evidence.


Starting off

Back before metal bars were a thing a lot of scaffold was made from wooden branches or bamboo. The bamboo would be tied together with hemp string which was easily accessed through Eastern countries and Spain and Italy.

In the 1900’s Daniel Palmer-Jones, who has been referred to as the grandfather of scaffold, realised that there was a demand for this product to be stronger but the ropes weren’t able to tie the metal poles together effectively. He enlisted the help of his brother David to source a solution that would stop the metal poles from slipping. After many tests they arrived at an invention that is pretty much the bracket connectors that we see all over the place today. This bracket was so popular and effective that the brothers were awarded a contract in 1913 to remodel the Buckingham Palace.

A few years later they improved their design to the Improved Universal Coupler which became a standard across the entire industry and is still commonly seen today. After the release of the new coupler in the 1920’s, metal poles started to pick up for scaffold as it was stronger and provided greater safety and stability.


Safety

With the advancement of technology and the shift from wood to metal, safety has always been on the mind of the workers who use these networks. However these concerns were thrown out the window in the times following World War II with many people stating that they would be elevated really high and weren’t required to wear harnesses, gloves or even clips.

In modern times safety is the number one concern to ensure that all workers are able to go home to their families. Workers are required to attend training sessions, wear the appropriate equipment and all of the structures are designed by qualified engineers to ensure that all weight and structure points are taken into consideration. With the rise of worker’s unions and the general care for workers this is no surprise. While the systems are very effective in helping workers achieve those optimal angles for working, their safety shouldn’t be sacrificed to do so.

Hopefully, by this point, you have a basic understanding of these systems. If there’s one thing to take away from all of this is that they are at the height of technology. The brackets that they use were developed in the 1930s!


Through the ages

Historians have been able to deduce that humanity had invented scaffold 17,000 years ago as there is holes in the walls of the Palaeolithic caves in France. These elevated platforms that they had created allowed them to reach all around the cave to cover it in their wall paintings.

Additionally there is strong evidence that the Egyptians utilised a wooden variant for building the pyramids. To jump forward into the medieval times, there were individuals who were trained to man the scaffold to build churches and abbeys in the 20th century. These workers were also photographed for definite evidence.


Starting off

Back before metal bars were a thing a lot of scaffold was made from wooden branches or bamboo. The bamboo would be tied together with hemp string which was easily accessed through Eastern countries and Spain and Italy.

In the 1900’s Daniel Palmer-Jones, who has been referred to as the grandfather of scaffold, realised that there was a demand for this product to be stronger but the ropes weren’t able to tie the metal poles together effectively. He enlisted the help of his brother David to source a solution that would stop the metal poles from slipping. After many tests they arrived at an invention that is pretty much the bracket connectors that we see all over the place today. This bracket was so popular and effective that the brothers were awarded a contract in 1913 to remodel the Buckingham Palace.

A few years later they improved their design to the Improved Universal Coupler which became a standard across the entire industry and is still commonly seen today. After the release of the new coupler in the 1920’s, metal poles started to pick up for scaffold as it was stronger and provided greater safety and stability.


Safety

With the advancement of technology and the shift from wood to metal, safety has always been on the mind of the workers who use these networks. However these concerns were thrown out the window in the times following World War II with many people stating that they would be elevated really high and weren’t required to wear harnesses, gloves or even clips.

In modern times safety is the number one concern to ensure that all workers are able to go home to their families. Workers are required to attend training sessions, wear the appropriate equipment and all of the structures are designed by qualified engineers to ensure that all weight and structure points are taken into consideration. With the rise of worker’s unions and the general care for workers this is no surprise. While the systems are very effective in helping workers achieve those optimal angles for working, their safety shouldn’t be sacrificed to do so.

Hopefully by this point you have a basic understanding of these systems. If there’s one thing to take away from all of this is that they are at the height of technology. The brackets that they use were developed in the 1930’s!