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According to the Guidelines of
The National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association (NTMA)

Beginnings & History of Terrazzo

Terrazzo, from the Italian word for terraces, was created several hundred years ago in Europe when Venetian workers discovered a new use for discarded remnants of marble. Since that time it has become a fantastic, even a practical solution for contemporary design and construction. The beauty and versatility of terrazzo offers today's architects/designers a contemporary flooring and wall material for interior and exterior design use.

Fifteenth century Venetian marble workers began to use odd-size marble pieces, remaining from the custom made marble slabs, to surface the terraces around their living quarters.

The uneven, rough surfaces created when the spells were set in clay to anchor them, convinced the workers that flattening the surface would produce a smoother surface more comfortable for walking. And so they began to rub the surfaces with hand stones achieving a smoother, flat surface.

The workers soon advanced their technique for rubbing the surfaces by designing a long handle with a weighted end to which they could fasten their rubbing stones. Now they were able to rub the terraces in a more comfortable stand-up position, using their body weight to provide the pressure to abrade the surface faster. This tool was named the "Galera". With this crude equipment and back-breaking labor they achieved a smoother, flat surface but still lacking the true marble color that only resulted when the surface was wet.

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