Learn About the Rich History of Concrete
Humans began using homemade concrete for construction projects thousands of years ago. The ingredients and methods used to create the compound have changed since ancient times. Today, in addition to using the material for general construction, concrete has decorative applications too!
Ancient Concrete Formulas
Nabataean traders originating in Jordan and Syria were known to make concrete as far back as 6500 B.C. The compound was used for constructing houses and other structures along with serving as the basis for flooring and subterranean cisterns.
From approximately 3000 B.C., the Chinese and Egyptians handcrafted concrete by forming mixed mud and straw into bricks that dried in the sun. Ancient Egyptians also added gypsum and lime to the mix to create the massive blocks that eventually created the Great Pyramids. Concrete block-making remains a technique used today by a variety of manufacturers, including Casadio & Son Ready Mix Ltd of British Columbia, Canada.
Structures constructed with concrete by the Romans from 300 B.C. onward are still erect today. Ingredients in their durable and sustainable finished products included lime, volcanic ash, and seawater. The saltwater reacted with the other components to form a tight bond that hardened while encased in brick forms.
Middle Age Enlightenment
Stone and wood became more common construction materials during the dark ages. As such, creating concrete and mortar was somewhat of a lost art. Concrete creating processes were rediscovered during the early 15th century when ancient manuscripts were uncovered. John Smeaton, a British engineer, is credited with formulating modern concrete in 1756. His mixture included coarse pebbles and powdered brick to act as binding materials for the compound. Smeaton’s formula influenced a surge in using concrete for construction.
Industrial Age Innovations
English innovator Joseph Aspdin created the now famous Portland Cement in 1824. Aspdin’s formula involved burning clay and powdered limestone to cause a chemical change that made the final product stronger. Portland Cement remains a common material today.
Parisian gardener Joseph Monier often used concrete to create garden planters. However, in 1849, he developed the idea of reinforced concrete by embedding metal mesh into the uncured mixture, which became known as ferroconcrete. Monier patented his invention in 1867. The technique of using iron reinforcement was adopted to construct buildings, bridges, dams, arches, and other archaeological structures. In the mid-19th century, Frenchman Francois Coignet used concrete to build homes. He, too, added reinforcement in the form of steel rods to stabilize and strengthen exterior walls.
20th Century Progress
In Baltimore, Maryland in 1913, a construction company served customers by premixing concrete at their plant and delivering the product to the location via truck. The historic tradition continues thanks to Casadio & Son Ready Mix Ltd. Other advancements realized during the century include creating coloured concrete, concrete overlays, decorative concrete, and concrete countertops.
Since 1961, our team at Casadio & Son Ready Mix Ltd has been a part of many types of construction projects. We continue to offer concrete and concrete block services today. Contact us for your next building project!