Old Road Brick
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In the early 1900s, most of the streets in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan were paved with brick. Today, there are only about 20 blocks of brick paved streets remaining (totaling less than 0.5 percent of all the streets in the city limits).
Bricks are used for building and pavement. In the USA, brick pavement was found incapable of withstanding heavy traffic, but it is coming back into use as a method of traffic calming or as a decorative surface in pedestrian precincts.
Bricks are also used in the metallurgy and glass industries for lining furnaces. They have various uses, especially refractory bricks such as silica, magnesia, chamotte and neutral (chromomagnesite) refractory bricks. This type of brick must have good thermal shock resistance, refractoriness under load, high melting point, and satisfactory porosity. There is a large refractory brick industry, especially in the United Kingdom, Japan and the U.S.A..
In the United Kingdom, bricks have been used in construction for centuries. Until recently, many houses were built almost entirely from red bricks. This use is particularly common in areas of northern England and some outskirts of London, where rows of terraced houses were rapidly and cheaply built to house local workers. These houses have survived to the present day. Although many houses in the UK are now built using a mixture of concrete blocks and other materials, many houses are skinned with a layer of bricks on the outside for aesthetic appeal.
Brick, cobblestone and wood plank pavements were once common in urban areas throughout the world, but due to their high manual labor requirements they are in some countries typically only maintained for historical reasons, while in other countries they are still common in local streets. They make maintenance of cabling and pipelines under the pavement easier but are also harder to walk on.