While it may sound dull, trust me, it’s not. Concrete has had a long and lively history with an interesting set of characters, which I recently discovered while cataloging two new library books on the subject.
The technology of concrete manufacturing was lost and re-discovered several times. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it was lost for over a millennium. People like Herod the Great, Roman Emperor Hadrian, Thomas Edison, and Frank Lloyd Wright all played a part in its story. (Courland 22-23)
Today, modern concrete (which differs from the kind manufactured during the Roman Empire) is widely used for buildings and infrastructure, but it’s a major contributor to global warming.
And the books are…
Concrete: A Seven-Thousand-Year History / by Reese Palley (2010) – An illustrated history.
Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World’s Most Common Man-Made Material / by Robert Courland (2011)