Concrete Timeline

Timeline of Concrete & Cement History

From Egyptians to Engravers

This is an interactive timeline covering the history of cement and concrete. It spans over 5,000 years, from the time of the Egyptian Pyramids to present day decorative concrete developments. Concrete has been used for many amazing things throughout history, including architecture, infrastructure and more. Complete with photos and descriptions, this timeline is an informative and fun tool.

Click on an icon below to see the corresponding photograph and description:

Site Timeline of Concrete History

Timeline of Concrete History

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.

Timeline of Concrete History

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, read more about them here.

Was Concrete Stronger and Greener 2,000 Years Ago?

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. Read more in Portland Cement–What Is It.

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).

Was Concrete Stronger and Greener 2,000 Years Ago?

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. Read about the benefits of concrete homes in Building a Home with Concrete.

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 industry.

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. Read more about modern colored concrete in Coloring Concrete.

Timeline of Concrete History

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 Durability.

Timeline of Concrete History

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.

Timeline of Concrete History

1938-Concrete Overlay

John Crossfield was the first to receive a patent for a concrete overlay. He add latex to portland cement, aggregate, and other materials to make a covering for ship decks. Today, concrete 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 1963.

1970’s-Fiber Reinforcement

Fiber reinforcement was introduced as a way to strengthen concrete.

1980’s-Concrete Countertops

Buddy Rhodes, the father of the concrete countertop, cast his first countertop in the mid ’80s. Around the same time, Fu-Tung Cheng also cast his first concrete countertop. In the twenty years since, concrete countertops have become incredibly popular due to their durability, beauty and range of customization.

1990-Concrete Engraving

Darrel Adamson designed the Engrave-A-Crete ® System in 1990. Learn more in, What is Concrete Engraving?. Or watch a video of Darrel Adamson talking about his business and how he came up with the idea of concrete engraving.

Timeline of Concrete History

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.

Store, Polish, Polished
HTC Professional Floor Systems
Knoxville, TN

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. Find out why it is so popular in our Concrete Polishing section.


Pumpcrete 36Z, 40Z, 47Z 2 Pumpcrete 36Z, 40Z, 47Z 1 Pumpcrete 36Z, 40Z, 47Z 4Like any other service-related industry, the construction industry is always developing new tools, concepts and innovations to make the process more efficient and effective. As long as the end result is a safe and solid structure, new ways to perform the tasks to get there are always welcomed. One of the techniques that have helped the construction industry tremendously is called concrete pumping. All structures from the tallest skyscraper to the smallest convenience store require concrete, and concrete pumping is a great way to get it where it needs to go. What Is Concrete Pumping? Concrete pumping is a more efficient way of pouring concrete, using a machine to transfer liquid concrete. There are two basic types of pumps that are used, one is known as a ‘boom pump’ and the other is commonly called a ‘line pump’. The boom pump uses a remote controlled robotic arm to place concrete where it needs to go, and they are often used in large construction projects. Boom pumps are able to pump concrete at high volumes and are extremely accurate, which is why they are used for larger projects. The line pump uses flexible or steel hoses attached to the outlet of the pump and linked together to wherever the concrete needs to go. This type of pump is usually used for smaller jobs like swimming pools, ground slabs and sidewalks. Faster concrete placement speed of the pour is always an important factor when it comes to any-sized construction project. One of the benefits of concrete pumping is that it is a faster way to place concrete over more traditional methods. Faster placement gives the ability to stay within any deadlines and use just one piece of equipment to complete one pour. When concrete pumping is not used, smaller equipment may have to be moved around to different spots to finish off a pour. Anyone who has been involved in any sort of construction job knows that labor is a big part of the total expense of the project. Obviously, the labor force is integral, but if it can be reduced without affecting quality and safety, it will help boost the bottom line. Concrete pumping generally requires less in the way of labor than other methods of concrete pouring. The site will seem less congested, and you can also use key personnel for other important tasks when the concrete is placed directly. There is also improved concrete quality with concrete pumping and less water is needed than with other methods. This means that when the concrete is placed it’s less likely to shrink and crack and it will maintain its strength. It kind of goes without saying how important it is for concrete to be strong and secure over time.
Concrete pumping results in a more stable end product, which means the safety level of your project is higher and the durability is also higher. For the customer, a more durable concrete product means not paying for maintenance or a brand new pour for a longer period of time, which saves money. Concrete pouring accuracy in using a boom or a line pump for pumping concrete is going to improve. For complex locations, high-rise buildings or insulated concrete form walls, accuracy is of the utmost importance. Accurate pumping means fewer stoppages, fewer delays and a more professional-looking end result. Any company that pours concrete as it’s main business knows how important it is to present a professional result to clients and the public. Many people barely notice when a job is done well, but will certainly notice when there are drips and spills and messy pours.
Convenience overall, using either type of concrete pumping system is just more convenient than the old mix and pour methods. Boom arms can actually reach over tops of houses or other structures to place the concrete in locations where other types of machinery cannot reach.
The convenience factor means that jobs that were previously ‘undoable’ can now be completed, and with a high degree of accuracy and precision. The convenience factor makes it easier on workers, enables a company to take on new projects and can ultimately increase sales. At the end of the day, increasing sales is really what every business is all about. With 30 years combined experience, our operators are the best in the business and no job is too big or small for us! Call us at 804-443-8218! Pumpcrete, “Have Pump Will Travel”