Most homeowners have concrete driveways installed in their home and drive along streets paved in concrete on a regular basis. We don’t really notice the driveway of the home unless it is in need of repair work. But how did the first concrete driveway come about? Who discovered concrete and thought it would be a good material to use for streets and driveways? The history of concrete is quite interesting and helps us to better understand why this material is used for our roadways and driveways.

In the Beginning

Concrete dates back many, many years, with the Egyptian Pyramids being constructed of concrete more than 5,000 years ago. Mud and straw were mixed to create the early form of concrete style bricks and then gypsum and lime mixed to create the mortar. Fast forward to Roman times around 300 B.C. and you find that the Romans utilized a substance that is similar to modern cement today to build their architectural wonders including the Pantheon and the Colosseum.

Fast forward again much further to 1824 and we see Joseph Aspdin of England create a new form of cement known as Portland cement. The concrete mix was known as Portland due to the rock quarry where he found the strong stone used to create the mix. With Portland cement, the cement and water come together to create a paste that will coat the aggregate and sand as it is mixed together. This hardens and binds the two materials together.

We start to see the modernization of concrete in 1889 when the Alvord Lake Bridge was built in San Francisco, California. The bridge was the first to use reinforced concrete within its construction and is still in existence today. Just two years later, the first concrete street would be constructed in America. Bellefontaine, Ohio would be the place where the historic street was created.

There is seemingly no real record as to when the first concrete driveway was created but one could surmise that it was created after the first streets began to be installed across America. As far as other countries are concerned, it is anyone’s guess. In America, individuals would see how the concrete roadways created easier travel and would eventually use the same material to create the driveways that we have become accustomed to today.

So consider this history every time you use your driveway or you drive down the street. Concrete has come a long way in the past few centuries with today’s concrete having expanded further than the standard asphalt or concrete mixture. Today, homeowners have many options, from material types to coloring and texture. You can easily make the entrance of your home convenient as well as decorative with the new methods of concrete used today.

When installing a concrete driveway, it is important to work with an experienced contractor. A knowledgeable company specializing in concrete will be able to ensure a new driveway is installed correctly as well as looks great and stands the test of time for years to come.

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Meet Lance Davis


Lance Davis is a third generation Concrete Contractor with over 10+ years experience in concrete repair and slabjacking. His company Davis & Sons Concrete has proudly served all of North Central Illinois, Rockford and the outer suburbs - and he would love to hear from you!

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