Concrete foundation wall

Hello, can someone please help me describe why this concrete foundation wall in a 1950s house cellar looks like this?

A lot of stone in the concrete mix

Back in the 50’s, form work for a foundation was all built with boards which is noticeable by the whiteish lines and the concrete was mixed sometimes with a small mixer on site. Wheel burrowed in by hand most likely.
That picture shows real bad consolidation of the concrete and/or the wrong ratio of sand/stone mixture.
You have to realize that the only way to consolidate residential foundations back then for some, due to lack of vibrators, was using a 1x3 piece of furring fluted like a wedge and sliding it up and down the insides of the form work to push the stone away from the face of the form and get a smooth surface once you strip the formwork.
Looks like it is jus aesthetic at this point, but could be parged with a rich cement based product.


Back in those days concrete was quite often mixed on location and in small batches. Some times a little on the dry side and they didn’t vibrate it, hence the"popcorn" as it’s called appearance. 2x boards were stacked instead of using panel forms. That’s more than likely why the light colored lines are there. They also used to pour the concrete in “lifts” or layers.


HAHA, you beat me to it Marcel. I was actually pouring concrete into a little line pump for a foundation wall at a remodel job when I saw this topic. Kept getting concrete splatter on my phone. Made it hard to type.

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Awesome insight guys. Thank you very much.


Yep, had one of those too in the Company I worked for. We used it to grout masonry and pour hard to get small slabs with pea stone. Know what you mean about the splatter. LOL