After having obtained a degree in biochemistry, Leah works for a small biotechnology company and enjoys writing about science. This article will break down some of the history of the Lego company and provide some information on how to identify vintage Lego sets. The Lego company did not always make building blocks. In the s, owner Ole Kirk manufactured various toys and furniture, in an attempt to remain solvent through the Great Depression.
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Roman brick can refer either to a type of brick used in Ancient Roman architecture and spread by the Romans to the lands they conquered; or to a modern type inspired by the ancient prototypes. In both cases, it characteristically has longer and flatter dimensions than those of standard modern bricks. The Romans only developed fired clay bricks under the Empire , but had previously used mudbrick , dried only by the sun and therefore much weaker and only suitable for smaller buildings. Development began under Augustus , using techniques developed by the Greeks, who had been using fired bricks much longer, and the earliest dated building in Rome to make use of fired brick is the Theatre of Marcellus , completed in 13 BC. Roman brick was almost invariably of a lesser height than modern brick, but was made in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Other brick sizes in Ancient Rome included 24" x 12" x 4", and 15" x 8" x 10".
Deciding on the date of a brick is a far from simple process. The very first point to remember is that bricks are regularly re-cycled; consequently bricks may well be older than the buildings that contain them. Secondly, any attempt to date British bricks stylistically must allow for regional variations; the size of pre th century bricks, and their arrangement, did not conform to any nationwide standards.
Part of the interest of brickwork is the ability to observe subtle and some not so subtle differences in size as you walk round different towns. When you 'get your eye in' you will find that different sized bricks, and especially bricks where the sides are in a different ratio, stand out and catch your eye, even before you resort to a ruler. Several things influenced the size of bricks. They mustn't be too big, or they will be too heavy and awkward to pick up with one hand, while applying mortar with a trowel held in the other. They mustn't be too small, or a wall will need more of them, and more mortar, and more time to lay it.