Sunday, May 09, 2010

Amazing "Old World" Construction Techniques

Barefoot brick mover loading 22 bricks on his head (what would OSHA say?), throwing pails of cement up to a platform (notice the one-hand catch), and moving sand from the ground up to a roof with shovels in several stages (click on the arrows below to start the videos).

HT: Ed Joss

Reminds me of the story about Milton Friedman (from Steve Moore) traveling to Asia in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. Friedman was shocked to see that instead of modern tractors and earth-mover equipment the workers instead were using small shovels. Milton asked a government bureaucrat why there were so few machines, and the bureaucrat replied: 'You don't understand. This is a jobs program.' To which Milton Friedman replied: 'Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it's jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.'"


At 5/09/2010 8:54 AM, Blogger Colin said...

This is great. If we adapted such techniques think how many jobs could be created!

At 5/09/2010 8:56 AM, Blogger Ed Joss said...

The recent GDP 1st quarter advance estimate made me think of these videos. As we know, advancement in production techniques can effect the GDP output. I think it is safe to say that the U.S. has been able to increase its productivity more rapidly than some other countries.


At 5/09/2010 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget job creation -- this could solve the national obesity issue.

At 5/09/2010 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a builder here in Mexico. I use helpers that do these kinds of things (however, that brick carrier is a REAL acrobat!).
The fact is, ready-mixed concrete here costs alot. It is feasible to mix all our concrete by hand with shovels....I do it by myself sometimes and I am 70 years old.

At 5/09/2010 9:33 PM, Blogger moneybagzz said...

I must admit I am impressed @ the balance of that guy w/ the 2 dozen bricks.

OTOH, I will bet that productivity could likely be increased dramatically if he and another person were to use a simple stretcher to move, say, 45+ bricks in the same amount of time...and with less stress and exertion.

As far as the shovel/spoon comment by Milton Friedman, I often joke w/ co-workers that when either email or internet connections are down, we could always rely on smoke signals and carrier pigeons.

At 5/10/2010 9:17 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, and tourists wonder why there isn't flush toilets in these paradises...


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