One of the World’s Oldest Professions
While it may not seem like it at first glance the paving industry is in fact one of the oldest professions in the world, dating back as much as 5000 years. Although it certainly is likely to extend back even further, the earliest known record is from about 2600 BC in Egypt.
Although paved roads have been around for 5000 years it wasn’t until 500 BC when the Roman Republic began cutting 6 sided hexagon pavers for roads. Until this time paver shapes were random and natural. The Roman engineers would dig a deep bed and fill it with crushed stone and sand, and lastly place the pavers. This technique and the hexagonal paver then continued on unchanged for 2000 years.
The most remarkable aspect of this is after thousands of years of weather, wars, and other elements these roads of pavers are still there, intact (albeit a little worn down) and fully functional. Which leaves one begging the question: “how long do paver roads last?” We have yet had enough history to hazard a guess.
It wasn’t until after the Second World War did we see a significant change in the paver world. With the introduction of concrete pre-cast pavers companies were able to drastically reduced costs in the application of pavers, a barrier which had limited the use of paver roads since the beginning (however mass production had not yet begun).
Concrete pre-cast pavers also insured that all pavers would have a completely clean and smooth surface, making vehicle and foot traffic much more agreeable.
In addition to the control of their size and shape, an aesthetic factor entered the picture, with a choice of various colors for the concrete pavers. From red and green to dark blue and light brown.
The last development came from Germany in the 1960s, with the mass production of concrete interlocking pavers which then markedly increased its accessibility and affordability as a driveway/road application.