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3000 BC - Egyptian Pyramids

The Egyptians were using early forms of concrete over 5000 years ago to build pyramids. They mixed mud
and straw to form bricks and used gypsum and lime to make mortars.

300 BC - 476 AD-Roman Architecture

The ancient Romans used a material that is remarkably close to modern cement to build many of their
architectural marvels, such as the Colosseum, and the Pantheon. The Romans also used animal products in
their cement as an early form of admixtures. Admixtures, additions to the mix used to achieve certain goals,
are still used today

1824-Portland Cement Invented

Joseph Aspdin of England is credited with the invention of modern Portland cement. He named his cement
Portland, after a rock quary that produced very strong stone.

1836-Strength Testing

In 1836, the first test of tensile and compressive strength took place in Germany. Tensile strength refers to
concrete's ability to resist tension, or pulling apart forces. Compressive strength refers to concrete's ability to
resist compression, or pushing together forces. Both tensile and compressive strength are expressed in
pounds per square inch (psi).

1889- Alvord Lake Bridge


Alvord Lake Bridge was built in 1889 in San Francisco, CA. This bridge was the first reinforced concrete
bridge, and it still exists today, over one hundred years after it was built!

1891- Concrete Street

In 1891, the first concrete street in American was built in Bellefontaine, Ohio. This is a modern photo of the
historic street. Today, pervious concrete is being advocated as the best, and most environmentally friendly,
surface for streets.

1903-The Ingalls Building

The first concrete high rise was built in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1903. The Ingalls Building, as it is called, has
sixteen stories, making it one of the great engineering feats of its time.

1908-Concrete Homes

In 1908, Thomas Edison designed and built the first concrete homes in Union, New Jersey. These homes still
exist today. Edison envisioned that his design would meet great success, and that before no time everyone in
America would be living in a concrete home. However, his vision did not become a reality as soon as he
expected; in fact, concrete homes are just starting to gain popularity now, one hundred years later.

1913-Ready Mix
The first load of ready mix was delivered in Baltimore, Maryland in 1913. The idea that concrete could be
mixed at a central plant, then delivered by truck to the job site for placement, revolutionized the concrete

1915-Colored Concrete


Lynn Mason Scofield founded L.M. Scofield, the first company to produce color for concrete. Their products
included color hardeners, colorwax, integral color, sealers, and chemical stains. Colored concrete has done
nothing but grow in popularity since.

1930-Air Entraining Agents

In 1930, air entraining agents were used for the first time in concrete to resist against damage from freezing
and thawing. Find out more about air entrainment in Protect Against Freeze Thaw Cycles - Improve

1936-Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam, completed in 1936, is located on the Colorado River, bordering Arizona and Nevada. Up
to this time, the dam was the largest scale concrete project ever completed.

1938-Concrete Overlay

John Crossfield was the first to receive a patent for a concrete overlay. He adds latex to portland cement,
aggregate, and other materials to make a covering for ship decks. Today, overlays are made by blending
polymer resins with cement, and widely used for their decorative appeal. Photo on right of modern concrete
overlay, courtesy of Milagro Custom Flooring Solutions, LLC.

1950's-Decorative Concrete Developed

Brad Bowman developed the Bomanite process, the original cast-in-place, colored, textured and imprinted
architectural concrete paving, in the middle 1950's in Monterey, California. The fifty years since Bowman's
development have seen huge growths in the popularity of decorative concrete, changing it from plain and
boring to a beautiful decorative element that can enhance the decor of any home or office.


1963-Concrete Sports Dome
The first concrete domed sports arena, known as the Assembly Hall, was built at the University of Illinois in

1970's-Fiber Reinforcement
Fiber reinforcement was introduced as a way to strengthen concrete.

1990-Concrete Engraving
Darrel Adamson designed the Engrave-A-Crete System in 1990.

1992-Tallest Concrete Building

The tallest reinforced concrete building was built in Chicago, Illinois. The 65-story building is known only
by its street address, 311 South Wacker Drive.

1999-Polished Concrete
HTC, originally a Swedish company, introduced concrete polishing to the United States. The first installation
in the US was a 40,000-square-foot warehouse floor for the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The popularity of polished
concrete has soared in just the few short years it has been around, it is now being used in retail locations and
even residential homes.