We’ve been celebrating FRED’s first 25 years on earth with some milestones and fun facts. Here’s one: This graph shows brick production in England and Wales, which is FRED’s oldest series, harkening back to 1785.
The time span of this series includes the British industrial revolution, when workers migrated from rural areas to urban centers to work in factories. Obviously, they needed housing. Better transportation infrastructure also allowed brickmakers to send their product over longer distances at lower cost, so bricks became common building material.
But what about all the spikes in production? It’s hard to know the precise causes, but consider this: By the early 19th century, London had become the largest city in the world; by the middle of the century, it had about 3 million residents. Other industrial cities boomed at different times, as well, including Leeds, Liverpool, and Manchester.
Suggested by George Fortier.