About the collection

About the collection

Mobile access towers have been around since just after the Second World War, meaning the industry now has a good few decades of innovation and change behind it.

One thing we’ll all agree on is that we’ve come a long way since Wally Johnson first produced his prototype tower to use at home in the USA in 1946. For one thing, there have been seismic shifts in health and safety awareness, regulation and culture. The market has kept pace with trends for different types of towers, fluctuating demand, mergers and acquisitions, and the enduring need for ‘specials’.

Since 1974, PASMA has represented the interests of our members in the tower industry and dedicated itself to advancing safety for users of towers. In other words, scaffold towers are our specialist subject. We’ve seen many industry names and faces come and go, and we know how many stories they have to tell – sometimes funny, sometimes fascinating and sometimes downright scary! – and how many developments they’ve seen in their time. We also know that many of them, and the companies they work for, have tower memorabilia stashed away in boxes or in cupboards.

These stories and memorabilia deserve a wider audience. The tower community is relatively small but, in our experience, it’s passionate and committed. We’ve long been told that people are interested in the history of the industry and we’re often approached for information regarding the origins and evolution of towers. We also believe it’s important to preserve historical materials and make them available to future generations.

So, we’ve set out to document the lively history of scaffold towers! We’re doing it by collecting stories, photos, comments, advertising, manuals, articles, drawings, guides, training materials, documentation and memories from those individuals and organisations involved.

At this point, we must offer our sincere thanks to Paul Pritchard, a now-retired PASMA auditor whose experience with towers stretches back to the 60s. Paul started the PASMA Archive and has contributed so much of his own time, research and memorabilia. We’re excited to continue the work that he started and hope you will help us.

We’ve started collecting documents and anecdotes relating to the tower industry and are ready to share what we’ve got so far with our members. However, it’s a work in progress and to really make it work, it needs to be a collaborative effort.

We’re asking for your support. There are many ways that you can contribute to the PASMA Archive and help it grow.  We hope that you can help us build PASMA’s history by contributing to the archive as well as using it to take a walk through it’s history.  Please click here to upload your own content.

Take a walk through PASMA’s History