Dr Mobile | A brief history of scaffolding

Blogs

03/04/19
It’s difficult to walk down the street without seeing scaffolding at least once, especially if you live in a large city, but it’s likely that you haven’t paid it all that much attention in the past. However, as it’s one of the construction industry’s most useful innovations, it’s certainly worth paying attention to. As it turns out, scaffolding has an extremely interesting history, as we discuss here.

Early Beginnings

There’s been a need for scaffolding for as long as people have been building. After all, it’s highly difficult to work at height without a stable structure in place to support a worker and their tools. For this reason, evidence suggests that construction workers have been using scaffolding for thousands of years. Although early designs wouldn’t have been as sophisticated as modern structures, it’s a testimony to the effectiveness of the humble scaffold that it’s been a useful part of construction since the palaeolithic period.

Ancient Egypt

There are many ideas circulating about the construction of the pyramids, but it’s theorised that the Egyptians used scaffolding to transport heavy blocks to the top of the structure during the building process. During this time, the scaffolding they used would have been produced from wood and, as a result, would have been fairly easy to transport. This would have made it an extremely useful tool for construction workers to move further up the pyramid when laying the final blocks.

20th Century

It wasn’t until the 20th century that advancements in scaffolding began to see major changes. In the early 1900s, brothers David Henry Jones and David Palmer Jones invented the “Scaffixer” as a way of binding and clamping scaffolding poles. This was a truly exciting invention at the time of patenting because it offered a safer and much more durable alternative to rope. Following this, builders began to choose steel scaffolding poles instead of wooden structures, as they were much sturdier and less prone to weather-related deterioration

Modern Day

In recent years, as technology progresses dramatically, we’ve seen some big changes in scaffolding structures and the way they’re used. Steel scaffolding is still the preferred choice for many manufacturers, but we can now choose between a wide range of models and styles depending on the project’s requirements. There are also legal requirements in place to make sure that all scaffolding is erected and dismantled according to official safety standards, from weight restrictions to inspection checklists, governed by the European Union to protect all construction workers working at height.

At DH Scaffold Services Ltd, we’re proud to be part of such fascinating construction history. We offer only the highest quality scaffolding solutions to our valued customers from our HQ in Sheffield, and go above and beyond to prioritise safety and professionalism during every project. Whether you’re in need of scaffolding design packages, as-built structures or safety inspections, look no further for services you can trust.

For more information about our range of scaffolding services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts today.