When it comes to construction, concrete is one of the most widely used materials in the building process. A common form is Portland cement, which is a fluid, limestone-based material that contains aggregates of rock, sand or gravel, and water. The material is applied as a wet slurry and dries to create a hard, durable construction material used to build homes, sidewalks, bridges and other structures. Below is a short history of concrete and some of the great creations accomplished with the material.
A Guide to Concrete History
What Were the First Uses for Concrete?
The first use of concrete-like material dates back over 5,000 years when the Egyptians began using early forms of concrete to build pyramids. They ingeniously worked with mud and straw to shape bricks and created mortars with limestone and gypsum to build structures that are still standing today. Around 300 B.C., the ancient Romans picked up where Egyptians left off to produce a concrete material that is very similar to modern cement. Wonders such as the Colosseum, Pantheon, and other Roman architectural feats were built with concrete. In the Americas around 300 B.C., the Mayans of central Mexico were also producing a limestone-based cement and building amazing structures.
In 1824, Portland cement was invented by Joseph Aspdin of England. He named the material after a rock quarry that was famed for its superior stone. Aspdin was a stone mason and created Portland cement in his kitchen. He mixed limestone power, clay, and water to produce a product that was harder than most building materials of that era. In 1824, Portland cement was first used to build a tunnel under the Thames River.
What Started Modern-Day Concrete Use?
Portland cement was first shipped to the United States in 1868, according to records. It wasn’t long after in 1871 that an industrial plant in Coplay, PA, began manufacturing the cement. Many great structures were built, including the Alvord Lake Bridge in 1889 and the first concrete street in 1891. Many concrete buildings and landmarks were created throughout the 1900s, with the tallest reinforced concrete building being built in 1992 in Chicago, IL.
When you need concrete products for your projects contact the experts at Builder's Concrete East in Windham, CT. They are your one-stop shop for ready-mix concrete, cement blocks, colored concrete and everything you need to complete your designs. Visit them online for more information, or call (860) 456-4111 to speak with an expert.