The History of Concrete

As one of the foundations for our buildings and our culture, Concrete has a fascinating history. It emerged during ancient Egyptian times as a crude mix of crushed gypsum and limestone and has since become the sophisticated, polished concrete we know and depend on today!

 

3000 BC - Egyptian Pyramids

Over 5 thousand years ago Egyptians used concrete to build their world-famous structures such as the Pyramids. They combined mud and straw to form crude bricks and used gypsum and lime to make mortars.

 

300 BC - 476 AD - Roman Architecture

Much of Rome’s architectural marvels were created from a substance like concrete. The foundations of breathtaking structures, such as the Pantheon and the Colosseum, are concrete. This concrete was overlaid with marble, gilded bronze and terracotta tiles. While time has aged or disregarded many of these precious materials, the concrete foundation maintains its integrity.

1824 - Portland Cement Invented

Joseph Aspdin of England is generally credited with the invention of Portland Cement. This cement remains a core ingredient in today’s concrete. Portland cement combines with water to form a paste which coats the aggregate (rock and sand). The paste then hardens and binds the aggregates together, creating concrete!

 

1908 - Concrete Homes

At the dawn of the 20th century, Thomas Edison created the first concrete home in Union, New Jersey, a home which still stands today! Because of the durability and affordability of the concrete home, Edison predicted that the concrete house design would immediately take off. Yet, this vision took almost a century to come true as concrete homes are only just starting to gain popularity.

 

1936 - Hoover Dam

Completed in 1936, the Hoover Dam is located on the Colorado River and borders Arizona and Nevada. The dam was built to control floods, provide irrigation and produce hydroelectric power. It remains the largest-scale concrete project every completed!

 

The 1950s Onwards - Decorate Concrete

In the 1950s, Brad Bowman developed the Bomanite process. This process meant concrete could become colored, textured and imprinted. Since Bowman’s invention, concrete has become even more decorative.

In the 1990s, Darrel Adamson designed concrete engraving thereby adding texture and style.

In 1999, HTC introduced concrete polishing to the US. The first installation of concrete polishing was a 40,000 square-foot floor in the Bellagio Resort and Casino, one of Las Vegas’ most luxurious and world-renowned venues.

 

 


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