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Wes Swanson joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss historic brick making, lime based mortar, and his journey to preservation through his love of history. We discussed a variety of topics related to historic masonry including:

  • The difference between modern and historic bricks, how they get their color, and what they are made of
  • His research of Lancaster City brickmaking 1700’s through the modern era (he has presented the History of Brickmaking and worked with Rockford Plantation to plan STEM lessons based on historic masonry and the masonry trade)
  • The Chicago fire and it’s effect on the Lancaster City building code (no more frame buildings)

Resources discussed:

Mortar analysis: LimeWorks or Lancaster Lime Works 

Tools to remove mortar: Trow & Holden

Bio:

Wes Swanson is an American History teacher at Hempfield school district and also a mason. He has been working in the masonry trade since he was 16. He is currently the owner of Wes Swanson Masonry. After earning a graduate degree in American studies from Penn State he began researching the history of brick making in Lancaster county and has given several lectures on the topic. He has also consulted with Rockford Plantation to plan STEM lessons involving historic brick making and the masonry trade. Syncing his passion for history and masonry he focuses a lot of his masonry work in the summer on brick and stone preservation.

Contact Info:

email: [email protected]

phone: 717-419-5706

Presentation: Brick Making in Lancaster County, July 15th, 7PM at the Mount Joy Historical Society 

 

About Danielle Keperling

Danielle Groshong-Keperling has worked full-time in the restoration industry since 2001, but her education in the traditional trades, construction industry, and historical preservation was built from an early age through her Father's work in the traditional trades and her Mother's love of historic architecture. Now, with Jonathan (an artisan craftsman in his own right), her partner in business and life, they work together to help historic building owners restore and preserve their piece of our built history.

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