Building Construction Before Mechanization

Front Cover
MIT Press, 1989 - Architecture - 326 pages

How were huge stones moved from quarries to the sites of Egyptian pyramids? How didthe cathedral builders of the Middle Ages lift blocks to great heights by muscle power alone? Inthis intriguing book John Fitchen explains and illustrates the solutions to these and many otherpuzzles in preindustrial building construction.This is the first general survey of the practices androle of the builder (as opposed to the designer) in constructing an array of structures. Fitchen'sapproach gives a valuable hands-on feel for what it's like to work with ropes and ladders, wedgesand slings; with crews engaged in well digging, bridge building, and the transporting of obeliskshundreds of miles by water and over land. The buildings discussed range from the tents, tepees, andigloos of nomadic tribes to the monumental pyramids of Egypt, the temples of Greece, the aqueductsof Rome, and the cathedrals of medieval Europe.John Fitchen, a registered architect, is Professor ofFine Arts, Emeritus, at Colgate University and the author of The Construction of Gothic Cathedralsand The New World Dutch Barn.

 

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Contents

A comparison with the modern contractor
10
Physical and Cultural Forces Affecting Building
29
JerryBuilding and the Unending Quest
39
Adapting to specific conditions
55
Partial loads and kinetic stresses
70
Falsework and Lifting Devices
85
Gins cranes and other lifting devices
91
Shoring
97
Oversized Blocks and Projecting Stones as Aids
155
Corbels
161
11
168
Transport overland
175
Harbors and their facilities
181
12
188
The supply and circulation of fresh air
197
Ventilation problems in building the Great Pyramid
207

Form work
106
8
114
The versatility of ladders
120
Builtin ladders and ladders as scaffolding
127
Advantages of wood
134
Timber joints
141
The close cooperation between carpenter and mason
147
13
212
14
226
Removing all projections and finishing
240
Bibliography
297
General Index
317
Copyright

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Page 309 - PENROSE'S (REv. JOHN) Faith and Practice ; an Exposition of the Principles and Duties of Natural and Revealed Religion. Post Svo. Ss. 6d. (FC) Principles of Athenian Architecture, and the Optical Refinements exhibited in the Construction of the Ancient Buildings at Athens, from a Survey. With 40 Plates. Folio.
Page 311 - Practical Tunnelling. PRACTICAL TUNNELLING: Explaining in detail the Setting out of the Works, Shaft-sinking and Heading-Driving, Ranging the Lines and Levelling under Ground, Sub-Excavating, Timbering, and the Construction of the Brickwork of Tunnels with the amount of labour required for, and the Cost of, the various portions of the work. By FW SIMMS, M.
Page 307 - ROADMAKING, with observations, deduced from practice and experience, with a view to a revision of the Existing Laws, and the Introduction of Improvement in the method of Making, Repairing, and Preserving Roads, and defending the Road Funds from misapplication.

About the author (1989)

John Fitchen, a registered architect, is Professor of Fine Arts, Emeritus, at Colgate University and the author of The Construction of Gothic Cathedrals and The New World Dutch Barn.

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