Scaffolding in the Earlier Times and How Technology Has Developed Over Time

February 10, 2017


If we could sit an ancient architect and an old world construction supervisor together, perhaps by using some hypothetical time machine, we'd ask them how they built their fine structures. No, better yet, we'd ask them both to tell us what scaffolding looked like in times gone by. Unfortunately, the only time machine we have is the imagination and what the historians can tell us. It all began with wooden staging, or was it bamboo?

Scaffolding: A Historical Overview

We won't spend too much time on this early chapter because we've covered much of this topic in our History of Scaffolding article. Basically, rope and twine were used as a fastening mechanism. The toughened strands held wooden beams and bamboo canes in rickety arrays while wooden planks were used as work platforms. Perhaps it was the hollow nature of the bamboo stalks that provided a clue as to what would come next; we'll never know for sure.

Early Twentieth Century Advents

It's at this point in time that people were flooding growing cities. Farmlands still surrounded these burgeoning cultural centers, so buildings started going up instead of out. In response to this sweeping social change, that wooden scaffolding was beginning to look a little long in the tooth. What was the solution? Well, the creation of the "Scaffixer," a solid coupling that took the place of rope, introduced the construction site to modular scaffolding. In quick succession, universal couplers, and tubular steel pipes arrived to completely modernize the industry.

Infused with Modern Technology

Bracing components and early safety regulations were the next pieces in the puzzle. They were responsible for dramatically cutting the accident statistics that troubled the temporary erections. Now, however, light aluminium frames and multiple safety systems prevail. There's one redundant safety solution on top of the other, all so that the workers on the platforms are cradled in an invisible safety net. That safety net is even very real in some scenarios, with the netting acting as a pedestrian guard when the structure is operating above a busy street.

Cost efficient modular resources load into trucks quickly. They're nearly maintenance free, although a care program does regularly check each component for damage or wear. Otherwise, the technology keeps the strong alloy light but corrosion free, and always fastener dependable so that the erected tower is guaranteed as entirely stable. As for additional technological aids, advanced safety assemblies are currently combining with new at height solutions to propel this venerable work asset deep into the twenty-first century.

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