Historical Timeline of Concrete
 
12,000,000 BC
 
Reactions between limestone and oil shale during spontaneous combustion occurred in Israel to form a natural deposit of cement compounds.  
 
3000 BC
 
Egyptians used mud mixed with straw to bind dried bricks. Also furthered the discovery of lime and gypsum mortar as a binding agent for building the Pyramids 
 
3000 BC
Used cementitious materials to hold bamboo together in their boats and in the Great Wall. 
 
300 BC
Romans used slaked lime a volcanic ash called pozzuolana, found near Pozzouli by the bay of Naples. They used lime as a cementitious material. Pliny reported a mortar mixture of 1 part lime to 4 parts sand. Vitruvius reported a 2 parts pozzolana to 1 part lime. Animal fat, milk, and blood were used as admixtures  
  
193 BC
of PorticuHouse s Aemelia made of bound stones to form concrete 
 
200 AD
The Pantheon

 
 

After 400 AD
The art of Concrete was lost after the fall of the Roman Empire 
 
1678
Joseph Moxon wrote about a hidden fire in heated lime that  
appears upon the addition of water. 
 
1756
John Smeaton, British Engineer, rediscovered hydraulic cement through repeated testing of mortar in both fresh and salt water 
 
1779
Bry Higgins was issued a patent for hydraulic cement (stucco) for exterior plastering use. 
 
1796
 
James Parker from England patented a natural hydraulic cement by calcining nodules of impure limestone containing clay, called Parker’s Cement or Roman Cement. 
 
1812 -1813
Louis Vicat of France prepared artificial hydraulic lime by calcining synthetic mixtures of limestone and clay. 
 
1818
Maurice St. Leger was issued patents for hydraulic cement. 
1818
Canvass White, American Engineer, found rock deposits in Madison, County, New York, that made hydraulic cement with little processing 
 
1820-1821
John Tickell and Abraham Chambers were issued more hydraulic cement patents. 
 
1822
 
James Frost of England prepared artificial hydraulic lime like Vicat’s and called it British Cement. 
 
1824
Joseph Aspdin, bricklayer and mason in Leeds, England, patented what he called portland cement, since it resembled the stone quarried on the Isle of Portland off the British coast. 
 
1825
Erie Canal created the first great demand for cement in the US
 
1828
I. K. Brunel is credited with the first engineering application of portland cement, which was used to fill a breach in the Thames Tunnel. 
 
1850s
Jean-Louis Lambot was the first to use reinforcing in boats  
 
1854
William B. Wilkinson erected a reinforced concrete servants cottage 
 
1859-1867
Portland cement used in the construction of the London sewer system 
 
1867
Joseph Monier patented a design for reinforces garden tubs, beams and posts 
 
1868
The fist recorded shipment of portland cement to the US 
 
1850-1880
Francois Coignet, a builder in France, responsible for the first widespread use of concrete in buildings 
 
1871
David O. Saylor established the first portland-cement plant in the US in Coplay, PA 
 
1871-1875
William E. Ward builds the first landmark building in reinforced concrete in Port Chester, NY. Designed by Architect Robert Mook 

 
 

1883
Ward delivered a paper on the house to the Society of Mechanical Engineers. 
 
 
1884
Earnest L. Ransom patented a reinforcing system using twisted rods. 
 
1885
F. Ransome patented a slightly tilted horizontal kiln which could be rotated so the material moved gradually form one end to the other 
 
1887
 
Henri Le Chatelier of France established oxide ratios to prepare the proper amount of lime to produce portland cement. He named the components: Alite (tricalcium silicate), Belite (dicalcium silicate), and Celite (tetracalcium aluminoferrite). He proposed that hardening is caused by the formation of crystalline products of the reaction between cement and water. 
 
1889
The first concrete reinforced bridge is built.  
 
1891
 
George Bartholomew placed the first concrete street in the USA in Bellefontaine, OH. which still exists. 
 
1904
Ingalls bldg. using the Ransome system, was the first concrete skyscraper. 
1870s
Francois Hennebique patented the Hennebique system. He was responsible for the widespread acceptance of reinforced concrete. 
 
1902
Thomas Edison was a pioneer in the further development of the rotary kiln. 
 
1903
August Perre makes concrete an acceptable architectural material 
Perre builds 25 bis Rue Franklin and the Theatre Champs Elysee 
 
1904
Ingalls building, probably the beginning of high-rise concrete const. 
 
1916
Portland Cement Association founded 

 

1917
The US Bureau of Standards and the American Society for testing Materials established a standard formula for portland cement 
 
1919
Meis van der Rohe proposes concrete high-rises
 
1922
The tallest concrete building was built – 230 ft., the Medical Arts bldg., Dallas 
 
1922
Notre Dame du Raincy 
 
1927
Eugene Freyssinet develops successful pre-stressed concrete 
 
1930
Eduardo Torroja, designed the first thin shelled roof at Algeciras 
 
1935
Eduardo Torroja, designed the Madrid Hippodrome. 


 

1936
The first major concrete dams, Hoover Dam and Grand Coulee Dam, were built. 

 
1935
Pier Luigi Nervi built the hangers for the Italian Air Force using thin shell construction 
 
1931
Le Corbusier builds Villa Savoye 

 
1936
Frank Lloyd Wright was the one of the first to exploit the cantilever at Fallingwater.
 
1940s
Portland Cement Laboratories perfect air-entrained concrete 
 
1947
FLLW builds on Meis’ ideas at the Johnson wax tower 
 
1956
FLLW builds the Guggenheim made of reinforced concrete 
 
1957
Le Corbusier builds Ronchamp 
 
~1958
Felix Candela masters the concrete shell 
 
1958
Felix Candela builds the restaurant at Xochimilco 
 
1958
Executive House Hotel, Chicago, exceeds the Medical Arts record at 371 ft. 
 
1959
Le Corbusier builds La Tourette 
 
1960
Bank of Georgia Building in Atlanta beats Executive House at 391 ft. 
 
1961
Le Corbusier builds the government complex at Chandigara India 
 
1962
Bertrand Goldberg’s twin towers at Marina City marked the  
beginning of the use of reinforced concrete in modern skyscrapers and set the height record to 588 ft. 
 
1964
1000 Lake Shore Drive beats Marina City at 640 ft. 6000 psi concrete in the lower columns was used for the first time. 
 
1964
Place Victoria in Montreal, ht 624 ft. using 6000psi concrete columns 
 
1967
First concrete domed sport structure, the Assembly Hall, was constructed at The University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign. 
 
1968
Lake Point Towers, 70 stories, 645 ft. 7500 psi concrete 
 
1970
One Shell Plaza, Houston, ht 714 ft., using 6000 psi concrete 
 
1970s
Fiber reinforcement in concrete was introduced. 
 
1975
Water Tower Place, 859 ft., 9000psi conc. using superplasticizers 
 
1985
Peak shipment of portland cement to the US increased to nearly 3 million barrels 
 
1985
The "highest strength" concrete was used in building the Union Plaza constructed in Seattle, Washington. 
 
1989
Scotia Plaza Building, Toronto, 907 ft.  
 
1990
311S Wacker and Two Prudential Plaza in Chicago sets new height record at 920 ft. 
 
1996
Petronas Twin Towers, 1476 ft. 

References:
Reinforced Concrete, Preliminary design for Architects and Builders; R.E. Schaeffer, 1992 McGraw-Hill Inc.
Handout on Skyscrapers
World Book Encyclopedia
World Wide Web page: The Portland Cement Association Online, http://www.portcement.org