ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.
Issue link: http://www.aspiremagazinebyengineers.com/i/697527
The 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Portland Cement Association (PCA) provides a unique opportunity that many of us can only experience once in our lifetime. The anniversary marks an occasion to not only celebrate the association, but where the industry has come and where it is heading into the next century. This is not just a testament to the resiliency of concrete, but also its role as a building block of society. Without concrete our homes, roads, schools, and cities would not exist as they are today. T h r o u g h a l l o f t h e c h a n g e s i n technology and society over the last 100 years, PCA's original charter still stands—like many of the concrete roads, buildings, and other structures that were built over the past century and are still in active use. One of our original ad slogans was "Concrete for Permanence." We have modified that in this new century to discuss the importance of resiliency. Similarly to our charter, the message that we use still is just as critical as it was a century ago. Concrete has evolved into a complex, h i g h - t e c h m a t e r i a l . H o w e v e r, i t s fundamental benefits—particularly strength, durability, and resilience— are valued today more than ever. In 1872, David O. Saylor built the first portland cement plant in the U n i t e d S t a t e s , n e a r A l l e n t o w n i n Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. Others soon followed, and by the turn of the twentieth century, cement was emerging as a construction staple. This increasing popularity brought about a serious problem. At that time cement was sold in cloth sacks. Buyers paid a deposit on each sack, which was refunded upon return of the sack to the plant for re-use. But return of sacks for refilling was slow and erratic, and they were often in poor condition. Sacks were often stolen from construction sites and cashed in for deposits. Railroads complained of poor packaging and labeling. B.F. Stradley of Vulcanite Portland Cement Company wrote to cement company executives calling for a meeting to discuss "the present methods of handling sacks, which are almost universally unsatisfactory" and proposed that an industry group be formed to facilitate the collection, repair, and recycling of cement sacks. Accordingly, in 1902 cement makers formed the Association of American Portland Cement Manufacturers (AAPCM). As the industry continued to expand, there were needs for reliable technical information, research, and uniform test methods and standards. In 1916, the AAPCM was reorganized as the P o r t l a n d C e m e n t A s s o c i a t i o n t o address these needs. PCA began operations with 53 cement company members, a headquarters o ff i c e i n C h i c a g o , e i g h t d i s t r i c t offices, and a total of 121 employees. Promotion and gover nment affairs were priorities right from the start. T h e y e a r o f P C A's f o u n d i n g w a s also the year that the U.S. Congress passed the first federal-aid highway act, setting into motion a network of national highways. P C A m a r k e t e d c o n c r e t e r o a d s a g g re s s i v e l y w i t h a n a d v e r t i s i n g campaign in 10 national weeklies, 23 trade magazines, and 59 farm jour nals. These early ads stressed the value of paved roads for the d i s t r i b u t i o n o f f o o d a n d o t h e r products, including the idea that Construction at the Portland Cement Association's campus in Skokie, Ill. in the 1950s. All Photos: Portland Cement Association Archives. C o n s t r u c t i o n a t t h e P o r t l a n d C e m e n t A s s o c i a t i o n ' s c a m p u s i n S k o k i e , I l l . i n by Alpa Swinger, Portland Cement Association PCA Centennial A century of influencing infrastructure in the United States 22 | ASPIRE Summer 2016 P R O J E C T