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Now Incorporating Aggregates Manager



This 120-year retrospective of Rock Products’ coverage and the history of the aggregate and cement industries is combined with important national and international events.

By Mark S. Kuhar & Josephine Smith


  • Cement & Engineering News founded by William Seafert.
  • Passage of the Dingley Act discourages foreign manufacturers of portland cement, resulting in the need for a greater editorial focus by Cement & Engineering News on how to make better portland cement in the U.S.
  • Utah becomes the 45th state.
  • More than 1 million bbls of portland cement are produced in Lehigh County, Pa., and Phillipsburg, N.J. Cement production throughout the rest of the country reaches about 543,000 bbls.
  • Industry manufacturers such as McLanahan Corp., Deister, Atlas-Copco and Hewitt-Robins are already in business.


  • William McKinley is inaugurated as the 25th U.S. president.
  • In Boston, America’s first subway system opens.
  • Lehigh Cement Co. is founded.


  • Britain obtains a 99-year lease for Hong Kong from the Chinese.
  • The Spanish-American War begins.
  • Construction begins on Chicago’s “first absolute fire-proof building,” the John Druenker Warehouses.
  • Puerto Rico is taken by the U.S., and Spain agrees to cede the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam, while also approving independence from Cuba.


  • Alma Portland Cement Co. of Wellston, Ohio, is the first cement plant to employ electric motor drives.


  • The U.S. Census puts U.S. population at 76 million.
  • The gold standard is confirmed.
  • John T. Porter, his son Warren, and A. R. Wilson partner to buy the Logan Quarry and form the Granite Rock Co., in Watsonville, Calif.


  • O&K develops the first bucket dredger, made out of wood.
  • The American League of baseball is formed in competition to the National League.
  • Cement imports drop from an average 2 million bbls per year (1897-1900) to 940,000 bbls in 1901, indicating the quick growth of the U.S. cement industry.
  • President McKinley is assassinated. Theodore Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 26th president.


  • Total crushed stone production for the year is valued at about $61 million.
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Rock Products is established in Louisville, Ky., by E.H. Defebaugh.
  • There are about 18 cement mills in operation in the Louisville, Ky. area.
  • The May issue of Rock Products focuses on the “association idea,” which is needed to “engender a brotherly spirit.”
  • The Ingalls Building, the world’s first reinforced concrete skyscraper, towers at 16 stories.
  • The American Roadbuilders Association is formed.


  • Rock Products becomes the official organ of the National Lime Manufacturers’ Association and the Inter-State Builders Supply Association.
  • Orville Wright makes the first successful flight in a self-propelled airplane.
  • A great seawall is begun in Galveston, and is predicted to use 5,200 railroad cars of concrete, 100,000 tons of rock, and 120 tons of reinforcement rods.
  • The National Quarry Owners’ Association is formed to fight unions and wage hike demands and to maintain some autonomy from the railroads.
  • National Lime and Stone is formed.
  • One of the world’s largest compressed air plants is installed at the Cleveland Stone Co., marking a distinct step in quarrying on a large scale.
  • The first World Series baseball game is played.


  • O&K develops the first all-iron bucket dredger.
  • The Department of Commerce and Labor, National Bureau of Standards is formed to create standard units for all measurements.
  • An open-door rotary fine crusher is introduced, providing easy access to clean and install parts.


  • The first national convention of cement users is held.
  • American labor leader Eugene V. Debs founds the industrial Workers of the World.
  • The discovery of a large formation of oolitic limestone in Indiana leads to huge industry growth there. The Bedford quarry is the first to try hydraulic stripping and scabbling machines.
  • German physicist Albert Einstein proposes his Special Theory of Relativity.
  • A machine is invented for building concrete walls without height limits or the use of lumber for centering.
  • The largest brick machine ever is shipped; it measures 66-ft. long x 6-ft., 6-in. diameter.


  • A San Francisco earthquake kills 503 people; damages reach $350 million. The tragedy leads to the formation of a set of construction standards and regulations for the city.
  • A new bagging machine eliminates the need for an operator by automatically filling, weighing and tying bags at a rate of 100 tph.
  • The longest spans of concrete to date are in a Los Angeles warehouse and are 102-ft. long.
  • Plans to build the largest rock crushing plant in the world include a 200,000-lb. crusher with capacity of 700 tph.
  • Universal Engineering Corp. introduces one of the first overhead eccentric jaw crushers.
  • Cemex is founded in 1906 with the opening of the Cementos Hidalgo plant in northern Mexico.


  • Oklahoma is made the 46th state.
  • The Panic of 1907 begins with the collapse of the U.S. stock market.
  • On May 1, Rock Products relocates to offices in Chicago.
  • The Bates Valve Bag, made of paper, is perfected.
  • Mississippi Lime is founded by Harry B. Mathews Jr.


  • A 60-mile stretch of road, the longest ever at the time, is contracted on Long Island; it is predicted that 2,000 men will be employed on the job for an entire summer.
  • Rogers Group is founded by Ralph Rogers who first began crushing rock on the side of the road in then-rural Bloomington, Ind.
  • Ford Motor Co. produces the first Model T, priced at $850.
  • William Wise Boxley and J.C. Carpenter start their first quarry 58 miles west of Roanoke, Va., known as Sinking Creek Limestone Quarry.
  • Birmingham Slag Co., a family-owned construction materials company, is founded. It will eventually become Vulcan Materials.
  • Average price of a barrel of cement is $0.85.
  • William Howard Taft is inaugurated as the 27th U.S. president.
  • The amount of crushed rock used for building and engineering in the past two years has doubled.


  • While five years previously most cement mixing was done by hand, at this year’s national convention a number of mixing machines are on display.
  • John Laughlin of Bedford Linton Crushed Stone Co. is credited with the invention of the dust collector, which places dust in a big bin. He sells the dust as fertilizer.


  • As a result of the Good Roads movement, a bill is passed to construct seven national highways, which will radiate outward from Washington, D.C. Estimated cost: $148 million.
  • National Sand and Gravel Producers Association is formed.
  • The most major advance in 10 years of crushing is growth in the receiving size of openings of crushers.


  • General Cement Products Co. and New York Cement Gun Co. are granted exclusive rights by the Supreme Court to use the phrase “cement gun.” The tool had been introduced at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
  • A scrubber for washing gravel is introduced by Raymond W. Duli and Co.
  • Engineers in Texas experiment with the use of molasses inroad surfacing.
  • New Mexico is made the 47th state; Arizona, the 48th.
  • On her maiden voyage, the Titanic sinks after colliding with an iceberg.
  • Deister Machine Co. established in Fort Wayne, Ind.


  • Federal Income Tax is introduced.
  • A bill that called for dustproof cement packaging is defeated, because no proof of injury from dust could be proven.
  • The “Rock Products Reciprocity Club” is formed with the idea that every member of every association would join.
  • American Society of Testing Materials begins to set standards for materials of interest in road and paving work.
  • In a major reform of the U.S. banking and finance system, the Federal Reserve System is established.
  • Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated as the 28th president of the United States.


  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo, precipitating World War I.
  • Armstrong Manufacturing Co., develops special blast hole cable drill.
  • Rock Products and Dealers Building Material Record join together as one publication, beginning a short period of twice-monthly publication with an increased emphasis on the economics of the industry.
  • In York, Pa. a 75-year-old lime kiln is still in operation this year.
  • The American Road Congress resolves to develop standardized road legislation via state highway commissions.
  • A sack baler is invented by Alva B. Wright that can bind together 50 sacks of cement.
  • France, Russia, and Britain (the Allies) are at war with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
  • Panama Canal is completed, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.


  • The largest pair of screens this year handle about 500 tph. The screens weigh 110,000 lb.
  • Albert Einstein formulates his General Theory of Relativity.
  • Italy joins the allies and invades Austrian territory.
  • The rising cost of draft horses makes motor trucks more economical for hauling.
  • The first telephone conversation, between Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson, takes place.


  • The revolving cylindrical screen, made of different sizes of perforated sections, is introduced.
  • A giant pair of screens is built, weighing 270,000 lb.
  • Rock Products, bowing to labor and supply shortages, raised its subscription rate from $1 to $2.
  • Britain forces assault the German line at the Somme; tanks are used for the first time.
  • The Portland Cement Association is formed, with offices in Chicago and eight district offices to serve the 100 plants in operation in the U.S.
  • Passing of the Bankhead bill leads to the designation of $85 million by the government, and $75 million more by various states, for road building.
  • The Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association is created to honor Dr. Joseph A. Holmes and his lifelong work advocating mine safety and health.


  • The National Sand and Gravel Association is formed.
  • The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, seize power in Russia in the October Revolution.
  • A special quarrymen’s regiment is organized, and Rock Products devotes a large part of its December issue to a call for loyalty on the part of the quarrymen.
  • U.S. troops begin to invade Europe; U.S. declares war on Germany.
  • Russian Revolution begins; Emperor Nicholas II abdicates.
  • Henry Schmidgall moves to Hancock, Minn., and purchases a concrete factory. His grandson Neil would found Superior Industries in 1972.


  • Influenza pandemic begins and kills 21 million to 22 million in two years; 548,000 deaths are in the U.S.
  • Weimar Republic negotiates an armistice for Germany, ending World War I.
  • Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia become republics in the aftermath of World War I.
  • German air ace Manfred von Richtofen (The Red Baron) is shot down and killed.
  • National Crushed Stone Association is formed.


  • The Wisconsin Mineral Aggregate Association is formed; this is the first such partnership between gravel and stone producers.
  • Symons develops a vertical disc crusher for an intermediate grinder.
  • Joy Machine Co. founded in Evansville, Ind.
  • Chicago White Sox conspire to fix the World Series.
  • The largest crusher to date is introduced, with two receiving openings of 60 in. x 18 ft., and a capacity of 2,500 tph.
  • The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Institutes prohibition of alcohol throughout the U.S.


  • Mahatma Gandhi begins a noncooperation campaign against British rule in India.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) is formed.
  • The 19th Amendment gives women the right to vote.


  • The Reparations Commission fixes Germany’s liability at 1.32 billion gold marks.
  • Warren Harding is inaugurated as the 29th president and his polices stress a return to “normalcy.”
  • The Federal Road Act dictates that states lay out a system of roads properly connected on the state lines.


  • The National Association of Sand and Gravel Producers, the National Slag Association, the Portland Cement Association, and other independent producers sue the Pennsylvania Railroad and other carriers, arguing against rate hikes. Other decisions by the Supreme Court mean more railroad rate hikes in the Midwest.
  • The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • Granite Construction is formed.


  • Under the Federal-Aid System of Highways, 34 states are designated to have roads in the system, connecting every city with a population greater than 5,000.
  • The effects of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act are felt throughout the construction materials industry; associations fight government definition of their activities.
  • 100,000 people are killed by an earthquake that destroys Tokyo and Yokohama.
  • Minnesota Fence Works Co. in St. Paul, Minn., adds sand and gravel screening products to its line and the company is placed on-course to become Unified Screening & Crushing.
  • President Harding becomes ill and dies; Calvin Coolidge is inaugurated as the 30th president of the United States.
  • Luck Stone Co. is formed in Richmond, Va.


  • Rock Products and Cement Engineering News merge into one publication. A banner headline proclaims: “The Consolidation of Two Leading Journals In This Industry.”
  • Adolph Hitler publishes the first part of his Nazi political tract Mein Kampf.
  • Edgar Harvey Defebaugh, founder of Rock Products, dies.
  • J. Edgar Hoover is appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation (later renamed FBI).
  • The first patent on portland cement, given in 1824, is 100 years old.
  • A world’s record quarry blast at Blue Diamond Co. in Los Angeles uses 120 tons of explosives, is viewed by more than 40,000 spectators, and rattles windows within a 15-mile radius.


  • Automaker Walter P. Chrysler founds Chrysler Corp.
  • The first machine for manufacturing gypsum wallboard is introduced.
  • Rock dusting of coal mines heralded as a way to avoid explosions.


  • The U.S. Army Air Corps is established.
  • The General Strike breaks out in Britain, including 3 million workers.


  • Baseball player Babe Ruth hits a record 60 home runs for the New York Yankees.
  • Ten cement mills worked throughout 1927 without a lost time accident, a record for the industry.
  • H.B. Mellott begins selling lumber and coal, a venture that will eventually become Mellott Co.
  • Holland Tunnel is opened, linking New York to New Jersey underwater.
  • This year is a $6 billion building year, sandwiched between two other top building years in a heretofore unprecedented construction boom.


  • The John T. Dyer Quarry Co. is one of the first reported to be using motor trucks for all hauling.
  • The first portland cement mill in the world designed to include slurry filters is built at Federal Portland Cement Co.’s Buffalo, N.Y. works.
  • Diesel drivers pump dredges begin to gain attention in the industry, slowly replacing steam-powered machines.
  • A 400-mesh wire cloth is introduced to the market.
  • Fred Weber Co. formed.


  • Building construction for the year is estimated at $7.3 billion.
  • A new type of dredge, built by Dravo Contracting Co. and introduced at the Ohio Sand Co.’s works, is the only one in the world to use vibrating screens mounted on deck.
  • The Wall Street crash leads to a world-wide depression; stock losses for 1929-1931 are later estimated at $50 billion.
  • Herbert Hoover is inaugurated as the 31st president of the United States.
  • The National Crushed Stone Association begins to take organized action against the Sherman Anti-Trust Law; the goal of the action is to legalize pools, division of territory, and price agreement, “in such a way as to place the public welfare uppermost in consideration.”
  • More than 21,000 miles of road is built, with $7.4 million allocated for maintenance and construction.


  • Hoists mounted on tractors are introduced and quickly gain popularity.
  • A new conveyor belt with magnetic “feelers” to pick up tramp iron from a belt below is introduced.
  • Some 1,300 banks have closed since the stock market crash; unemployment hits 4.5 million.
  • The first convention of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association is held.
  • Empire State Building becomes the tallest building in the world.
  • The rotary kiln is at the center of cement machinery research.


  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, pledging the country a New Deal, defeats Hoover in the presidential election.
  • U.S. unemployment reaches 5.6 million.
  • In Europe, cement manufacturers experiment with a method of burning cement by combining a traveling grate with a rotary kiln.


  • A track-type tractor with 12-in. wide track shoes is introduced by Allis-Chalmers in Milwaukee, Wis.
  • The 21st Amendment ends the prohibition era.
  • National Recovery Administration (NRA) is launched by President Roosevelt; Congress passes the New Deal social and economic measures.
  • Public Works Administration (PWA) is formed to fund public construction projects.
  • The gold standard is dropped.
  • Franklin Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. He is the first president to use the radio for “fireside chats.”
  • Plants begin to take precautions against silicosis.


  • National Industrial Recovery Act brings with it the allotment of millions of dollars in construction, bringing a boost to the sagging industry.
  • A dust-control combined blower and dust precipitator is introduced to the market.
  • The National Labor Relations Board is established.


  • The Works Progress Administration (WPA) creates jobs for unemployed Americans’ the Social Security Act is signed into law.
  • Industry leaders debate who is responsible, the employer or insurer, for silicosis compensation.
  • The Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) is formed.
  • The world’s largest conveyor to date is recorded at 904 ft.


  • The Boulder Dam is completed in Arizona (and is renamed the Hoover Dam in 1947).
  • Construction of the Grand Coulee Dam begins; the project is expected to consume 11 million cu. yd. of aggregate.


  • The growing use of diesel engines brings with it a drop in transportation costs for the industry.
  • The German airship Hindenburg is destroyed by fire at Lakehurst, N.J.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge opens in San Francisco.


  • It is an industry-wide belief that the WPA is a detriment, not a help, to the industry; many articles in Rock Products denounce the legislation and its effects.
  • The world’s longest conveyor belt at this point is 9,700-ft. long.
  • A national minimum wage is enacted of 25 cents per hour, with work weeks not longer than 44 hours; child labor is prohibited.
  • Rubber tracks developed by B.F. Goodrich Co. are said to make the handling of bigger loads possible.
  • Germany invades Poland, beginning WWII. Britain and France declare war on Germany. President Roosevelt declares U.S neutrality but also orders an effort to build an atomic bomb.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Mines reports that 46 percent of concrete and road aggregates are produced by noncommercial operators, primarily government agencies.
  • An order for 5.8 million bbls of cement for the federal Shasta dam project goes to the Permanente Corp. in San Francisco, even though the company has yet to construct their plant; the government says the bid avoids price collusion.
  • Diesel-powered trucks gain popularity once they are found to be more economical than gasoline-powered vehicles.
  • The non-metallic mining and quarry industry uses 80,398 kegs of granular black powder, 15,694 cases of pellet black powder, 53,732,399 lb. of high explosives, and 387,250 lb. of permissible explosives.
  • Aggregates company Superior Stone is founded in Raleigh, N.C. It will eventually merge with American-Marietta Corp. and become Martin Marietta Corp.


  • German forces reach Paris and also invade Denmark and Norway. Italy declares war on the Allies and invades southern France and Egypt. Japan joins the Axis alliance.
  • Work is completed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
  • A California sand and gravel producer installs a 28-x36-in. jaw crusher on a railcar in its pit, which is fed by a shovel. Material is then conveyed to a new Allis-Chalmers reduction crusher operating on the gyratory principle but at higher speed. It uses a 25-hp motor to crush 40 tph of 2 ½ in. feed to minus ¾ in.
  • Paul Muller, a Swiss chemist, discovers the insecticide DDT.
  • Germany invades Yugoslavia, Greece and the Soviet Union, and under Erwin Rommel begins an offensive in North Africa. The German Blitz – nighttime bombing of London – is at its height but Germany loses the battleship Bismarck to a British attack.
  • Defense-related construction accounts for 44 percent of all building in the United States. A government order bars non-essential construction because of shortages of metals, such as steel, lead and copper.
  • Japanese forces bomb Pearl Harbor and the United States enters WWII.


  • U.S. forces defeat the Japanese at the Battle of Midway and, under General Eisenhower, invade Morocco and Algeria.
  • Manhattan Project scientists under Enrico Fermi produce the first controlled chain reaction.
  • Buckner Hinkle founds Hinkle Contracting Corp., and eventually gets into the quarry business.


  • German forces are turned back in North Africa and Stalingrad. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin meet at the Tehran Conference.
  • The National Crushed Stone Association cancels its annual convention to conserve transportation resources, as called for by the director of the Office of Defense Transportation.
  • Call-ups for military duty raise employee turnover in the aggregate and cement industries to as high as 300 percent.
  • The Los Alamos Laboratory is established to build the atomic bomb.


  • Allied forces conduct the D-Day invasion of Normandy, leading to the liberation of Paris. Later in the year, Germany launces the Battle of the Bulge, its last counteroffensive.
  • The Dorr Co. introduces a hydraulic classifier for minus-4-mesh particles with compartments and bottom valves to discharge different size particles.
  • Franklin Roosevelt is re-elected to a fourth term. Late in the year he signs a post-war highway bill authorizing $1.6 billion as part of a $3.2 billion program requiring 50 percent state matching funds.
  • Pete Lien & Sons begins as a small rock quarry operation, located on the foothills of the Black Hills, near Rapid City S.D. 
  • The Office of Defense Transportation strictly controls professional and industry conventions involving more than 50 people, requiring applications for permission to hold the meetings. The National Sand and Gravel Association and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association cancel their annual conventions.
  • Allied forces cross the Rhine and begin the final assault on Germany. On May 8, Germany officially surrenders. On Aug. 6 and 9, the United States drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, leading to Japan’s surrender on Sept. 2.
  • President Roosevelt dies; Harry Truman becomes the 33rd president.
Mason Rose 1945a


  • ENIAC, the first successful electronic digital computer, becomes operational.
  • Returning soldiers relieve labor shortages in the rock products industries, but unionization begins leading to “crazy wage scales.”
  • The Mulzer brothers open the Mulzer Quarry just north of Eckerty, Ind., entering the aggregates business after starting out in construction and coal mining.
  • C.C. “Skunk” Irving begins selling ready mix concrete and stone in Greenfield, Ind., a venture that will eventually become Irving Materials.


  • Advertisements appear for Frank G Hough’s Payloader wheel loader. Bucket capacities are as great as 1 cu. yd.
  • The National Crushed Stone Association moves to a new Washington, D.C. location: 1415 Elliot Place. Complete cost of the building, remodeling and installation of lab equipment is $57,207.76.
  • Du Pont advertises an electric blasting timer for delay intervals of 0.01 to 0.04 seconds.
  • Allis-Chalmers introduces automatic reset on some of its crushers to move the crushing head back into position after passing tramp-iron or other unbreakable material.
  • Midwest Minerals is formed in Pittsburg, Kan.
  • Bridges in the Ohio highway system are failing at a rate of almost two each month, due to fire, washouts, structural failure, truck overloads, or vehicle accidents.
  • The Portland Cement Association announces construction plans for a 98,000-sq.-ft. laboratory in Skokie, Ill.
  • Ingersoll-Rand advertises its new Quarrymaster self-contained drill with compressor, air-powered drill, and propulsion equipment on one chassis. The piston-type drill operates at 200 bpm with automatic bit notation. Crawlers are powered by air motors.
  • Meine Hendricus Van Der Graaf, opens a small shop in Vollenhoven, Netherlands, a venture that will eventually become Van Der Graff Inc.
  • “Asbestos is coming into its own in the kitchen as an aid to housewives in their dishwashing job,” Rock Products reports. “A new 20 percent asbestos fiber, 80 percent cotton towel will wipe dishes faster and dryer.”
  • Graymont is founded.


  • Rep. Staggers (W. Va.) introduces a bill to start federal construction of a $12 million superhighway network comprising a two-lane highway on a 450-ft. right-of-way from San Francisco to Boston, New York to Florida, the Great Lakes to Florida, and Laredo, Texas, to Canada.
  • International tensions increase as the Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forms to deter Soviet aggression, and East and West Germany are established.
  • A communist government is set up in Beijing under Mao Tse Tung.
  • George Orwell publishes the futuristic novel 1984.

1950 May1950

  • North Korean forces invade South Korea.
  • President Truman orders the development of the hydrogen bomb.
  • The National Sand and Gravel Association and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association move their joint laboratory to the University of Maryland campus.
  • A 26-ton truck scale, complete with a structural steel weighbridge, costs $565.
  • The Indiana State Highway Commission announces it wants the public to decide the relative merits of concrete and asphalt paving. Test sections using both pavements will allow motorists to decide on the basis of service which material they consider best for the roads.
  • The U.S. Bureau of the Census accepts UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer.


  • The Penn-Dixie Cement Corp. replaces six dry-process cement kilns at its Kingsport, Tenn., operation with a single, 500-ft. long wet process kiln. The new kiln increases production 10 percent and decreases energy consumption by 400,000 Btu per bbl.
  • The Fort Meade, Fla., Chamber of Commerce announces plans to convert a 200-ft. high, 3 million-ton waste sand pile into a sand skiing attraction. The sand pile accumulated at a phosphate plant over a period of four years.
  • Glenn O. Hawbaker and his wife Thelma found a small excavation company with the goal to build, serve and advance local communities.


  • The Korean War ends.
  • A Texas sand and gravel producer estimates that each ton of aggregate shipped from his plant contains 50¢ worth of gold. Cost of recovering the gold exceeds the value of the sand and gravel. He estimates there is $22,000 worth of gold in 44 miles of paving for which he supplied the gravel.
  • Dwight Eisenhower becomes the 34th president of the United States.
  • Joseph Stalin dies.


  • Allentown Portland Cement Co installs a multi-stage suspension preheater, the first in the United States, at its Evansville, Pa. plant.
  • President Eisenhower proposes spending $50 billion on highway construction over a 10-year period.
  • The Ontario Highway Department builds a two-mile pavement test strip north of Toronto using natural rubber additive in the asphalt mix. Meanwhile, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. develops a free-flowing powder, consisting of unvulcanized synthetic rubber and barite, for use in asphalt paving.

1955 Dec1955

  • Huron Portland Cement undertakes the second major expansion at its Alpena, Mich., facility – the world’s largest cement plant. Plant capacity is increased from 7 million to 9 million tpd, using 24 rotary kilns and 1,000 employees.
  • A presentation at an American Mining Congress meeting describes a do-it-yourself explosive called Akremite – 94 percent fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate and 6 percent carbon black. Within a year, blasters modified the explosive into an ammonium nitrate/fuel oil mix.
  • A polio vaccine, developed by Jonas Salk, is used widely.
  • Congress provides funding to build a 41,000-mile national interstate highway system.
  • The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) begins building a $12 million road-test project near Ottawa, Ill. to determine the effect of vehicle weight on roadways and bridges.
  • Esso Standard Oil uses an abandoned quarry in Pennsylvania to store 1 million bbls of fuel oil. It is connected to a Linden, N.J., refinery with a 65-mile pipeline. The remote quarry storage, expected to resist any type of atomic attack except a direct hit or near miss, protects fuel oil supplies.
  • Paris-based Ciments Lafarge enters the North American cement market by building a cement plant in Richmond, British Columbia, near Vancouver and forming Lafarge Cement North America .


  • Interstate construction gets off to a slow start due to lack of states’ matching funds, a lack of trained highway engineers, and slow acquisition of highway right-of-way.
  • Building a 13-mile-long causeway across Great Salt Lake to replace a wooden railroad trestle is considered the “largest rock and gravel-handling job that the world probably has ever seen.” The project requires about 32 million cu. yd. of fill. A two-mile conveying system moves 83,000 tpd.
  • The USSR launches Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite.


  • The operations of Union Chemical & Material Corp. and Lambert Bros. are merged into Vulcan Materials. The company then acquires seven other construction materials producers.
  • Construction begins on the first specifically designed jet age airport: Washington International (Dulles).
  • Advertisements first appear for Koehring’s Skooper, the first hydraulic shovel. Ads claim it can load 400 tph with a 2 -1/2 -cu.-yd. bucket.
  • Holderbank establishes a new firm, Dundee Cement Co., in Dundee, Mich., to operate a planned 4.5 million-bbls-per-year cement plant. Holderbank’s two plants in Canada will supply cement for construction at Dundee.
  • The American Society of Planning Officials reports that 200,000 private swimming pools are in use, 50 times more than in 1957.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is founded.


  • The AASHO road test in Ottawa, Ill., is in full operation, with 60 test vehicles with differing axle loads running on the loops of pavement 18 hours per day, six days per week over a two-year period. A nearby Army transportation unit supplies drivers.
  • American Marietta enters the aggregates business by purchasing Superior Stone and Concrete Materials & Construction Co.
  • Material Service, one of the nation’s largest aggregate and concrete products producers, merges with defense contractor General Dynamics.
  • Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba.
  • Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states, respectively.
  • NASA selects it first seven astronauts.


  • Lightweight aggregate, a relatively new product, is used in increasing amounts in precast structural concrete.
  • Following the lead of many other construction equipment manufacturers, including Hough, Clark (Michigan), Letourneau, Case, and Allis-Chalmers, among others, Caterpillar introduces its first rigid-frame wheel loader – the 2-cu.-yd. 944.
  • The world’s largest concrete mixer – 10 cu. yd. – is used in construction of Dulles Airport.
  • Alan Shepard makes the first U.S.-manned suborbital space flight.
  • The U.S.S.R. shoots down and captures U.S pilot Francis Gary Powers.

1961 Sept1961

  • John F. Kennedy becomes the 35th president of the United States and begins to increase the U.S. military presence in Vietnam.
  • The Colorado State Highway Department tests asbestos fiber in asphalt paving to upgrade poor quality aggregate in the eastern part of the state. Asbestos is thought to increase stability at high temperatures and to increase resistance to impact and abrasion at low temperatures.
  • The Berlin Wall is constructed, dividing East and West Berlin.
  • Cuban exiles in the United States land in the Bay of Pigs, Cuba, to attempt an overthrow of Castro.
  • John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth.
  • Euclid, a division of General Motors, introduces an articulated wheel loader.
  • Eagle Iron Works introduces its Autospec computer-controlled sand classifying system.
  • Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, Soviet missiles are withdrawn from Cuba.
  • Crusher Service Co. is purchased by Mason Hise, a company that eventually becomes CEMCO.


  • In a speech in Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaims, “I have a dream.”
  • Congress approves spending $5 million a year on a four-year air pollution research program.
  • President Kennedy is assassinated; Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson becomes the 36th president.


  • The National Sand and Gravel Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, and National Crushed Stone Association held their first combined equipment exhibition at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
  • Residential development moves west as 36 percent of the homes built in the United States are in 13 western states. California leads the nation in home-building.
  • Halfway to the 1972 goal of completing the 41,000-mile interstate highway system, more money is finally being spent on actual construction than on engineering and right of way construction.
  • North Vietnam allegedly attacks U.S. vessels at the Gulf of Tonkin, leading to greater U.S. involvement in the conflict.
  • The 66-mile beltway around Washington, D.C. opens to traffic.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson wins re-election.
  • Congress passes the Civil Rights Act.


  • The Federal Trade Commission begins a probe of the cement and concrete industries relative to the probable effect of acquisitions on competition.
  • Edward White is the first American astronaut to walk in space.
  • The Interstate Commerce Commission suggests forming a cabinet level Department of Transportation.
  • Rock Products reports that nuclear explosives are “the newest way to an instant quarry, have come out of the experimental stage and promise to be the safest, cheapest, most, versatile of all blasting methods.”
  • Further escalation of the Vietnam War leads to U.S. bombing of North Vietnam and 3,500 marines landing in South Vietnam.
  • Winston Churchill dies at age 90.
  • Rock Products sponsors its first Cement Industry Operations Seminar.


  • Congress passes the Federal Metal and Nonmetallic Mines Safety Act.
  • About 20,000 miles (49 percent) of the 41,000-mile interstate highway system is open to traffic.
  • An unmanned spacecraft, Surveyor I, makes the first soft landing on the moon.
  • The Bureau of Public Roads recommends increased use of nuclear gauges to measure soil and asphalt pavement compaction.
  • A German cement quarry is using a 225-ton mobile crusher. Throughout is 400 tph.

1967 Oct1967

  • The National Crushed Stone Association conducts its first Supervisory Training program.
  • Astronauts White, Grissom and Chaffee are killed in a fire during a launch test of an Apollo spacecraft.
  • The Federal Trade Commission concludes that vertical integration in the cement, aggregate and concrete industries can have substantial adverse effects on competition.
  • Shovel and wheel loader manufacturers argue over the best machine for quarries. A 6-cu.-yd. shovel costs $230,000 and has an estimated working life of 16 years. A 12-cu.-yd. wheel loader costs about $148,000 and has an estimated working life of five years.
  • Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon.
  • Federal health and safety standards developed by an advisory committee established by the Federal Metal and Nonmetallic Mines Safety Act of 1966 are published in the Federal Register. They include 155 mandatory and 155 advisory standards for the crushed stone and sand and gravel industries.
  • The Portland Cement Association moves its headquarters to a newly completed general office building in Skokie, Ill., consolidating all research, development, engineering services and administration at one site.
  • John Haines and Jack Kibblehouse, together with Harry Budenz and Lee Detwiler, create Haines & Kibblehouse Inc.

1969 April1969

  • Richard Nixon becomes the 37th president.
  • Shovel and wheel loader manufacturers argue over the best machine for quarries.
  • Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon.
  • The Metal and Nonmetallic Mines Safety Act is published in the federal register, paving the way for MSHA.
  • President Nixon’s Advisory Council on Executive reorganization recommends forming an independent agency – the Environmental Protection Administration – to incorporate the Federal Water Quality Administration from the Interior Department and the National Air Pollution Control Administration from the Health, Education and Welfare Department.
  • Apollo 13 astronauts narrowly escape death after an explosion on board their spacecraft on the way to the moon.
  • Wake Stone Corp. is founded by John Bratton.


  • Marine geologists map for the first time the continental shifts beginning 225 million years ago, when all the continents were joined in one land mass.
  • A law is passed stating that any manufacturer, importer or dealer of explosives must be licensed by the Internal Revenue Service Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division.
  • Computer Sciences Corp. introduces a package of application programs for the construction industry through its nationwide time-sharing service called INFONET. Subscribers to the service communicate with the nearest application facility via telephone circuits from remote devices installed in their own offices.
  • The 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18 in all elections is approved.
  • The New York Times publishes classified pentagon papers on U.S. involvement in Vietnam.


  • National Crushed Stone Institute is formed, comprising seven representatives from the National Crushed Stone Association and the National Lime Institute.
  • A summary of environment impact statements reviewed by the EPA is published in the Federal Register.
  • Federal Water Pollution Control Act amendments pass Congress.
  • President Nixon signs the Noise Control Act giving the EPA the authority to assign limits on noise levels from construction equipment, motors and engines, and electrical equipment.
  • Kansas City International Airport, one of the largest public works projects to date, is dedicated.
  • Last combat troops leave North Vietnam
  • Apollo 17 makes the last manned moon landing.
  • President Nixon authorizes the Space Shuttle Program.
  • President Nixon arrives in Beijing, China, for an eight-day visit; a few months later Nixon becomes the first U.S. president to visit Moscow for a week of summit talks.
  • Five men are arrested for breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C.

1973 Jan1973

  • The Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration is created.
  • Government agencies begin experiments using scrap tires as an alternative fossil fuel source.
  • The first major investigation of potential uses of waste materials as aggregates for highway construction is announced. The project will inventory mining materials such as fly ash, slag, waste lime, slurries, tailings, and incinerator residue.
  • End of military draft.
  • Congress passes the Endangered Species Act.
  • Arab oil-producing nations begin a total oil embargo against Europe, Japan, and the United States.
  • The world Trade Center in New York City becomes the tallest building in the world.
  • Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns and pleads no contest to charges of tax-evasion. Gerald Ford becomes vice president.
  • As the energy crisis begins its toll-taking swing, a 100-member task force is formed to find ways the cement industry can save energy; President Nixon signs into law the Federal Energy Administration, which will develop and implement energy-saving policies and programs.
  • The Sears Tower in Chicago becomes the tallest building in the world.
  • Impeachment hearings are opened against President Nixon by the House Judiciary Committee in early May. Nixon resigns Aug. 9. Gerald Ford is sworn in as president.

1975 Sept1975

  • EPA announces guidelines to protect wetlands, marshes, and other water from harm or destruction due to filling or disposal of dredged material.
  • A federal district court finds four gypsum companies guilty of price fixing since 1960 to the tune of about $4.8 billion.
  • U.S. civilians are evacuated from Saigon as communist forces complete a takeover of South Vietnam.
  • Congress passes highway legislation to preserve interstate funding. The funding will restore, rehabilitate, and resurface the nation’s quickly crumbling highways and bridges.
  • The U.S. Portland Cement Industry Museum opens in Coplay, Pa.
  • State of Arizona files an antitrust suit against five cement manufacturers, 15 ready-mix operators, and the Portland Cement Association, charging conspiracy and price fixing.
  • An earthquake in China kills more than 600,000 people.
  • The U.S. celebrates the 200th Anniversary of its independence.
  • Jimmy Carter is elected president.


  • State of Colorado files a class action suit against 43 cement firms and the PCA, charging price fixing and allocation of customers within territories and categories.
  • Canadian Portland Cement Association establishes itself as an independent organization after having been operated as an arm of the PCA.
  • U.S. Supreme Court agrees to rule on the constitutionally of OSHA’s unannounced warrantless work-site inspections.
  • President Carter signs an act creating the Cabinet-level Energy Department.

1978 Nov1978

  • The all-inclusive federal Mine Safety and Health Act goes into effect.
  • U.S. Supreme Court decides OSHA must present a warrant to enter job premises if refused by normal entry, but does not have to prove suspicion of violation to get a warrant.
  • The first-ever meeting of representatives of the National Crushed Stone Association, National Sand and Gravel Association, and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association takes place to coordinate lobbying efforts and other governmental activity.
  • U.S. Bureau of Mines publishes its first source book of computer programs gleaned from mining companies, suppliers, consultants, research organizations, government agencies, etc.
  • U.S. Geological Survey celebrates 100th anniversary.
  • U.S. Justice Department begins preliminary investigation into what may be “the largest antitrust action in U.S. history” against cement producers. In addition to price fixing, producers are accused of creating artificial shortages.
  • An agreement is signed clarifying authority and reducing conflict between OSHA and MSHA.
  • A major accident occurs at a nuclear reactor on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.
  • Ninety people are taken hostage at the American embassy in Tehran, Iran.


  • The idea of using liming as a solution to acid rain is discussed for the first time in detail at the Air Pollution Control Association.
  • Lech Walesa heads Solidarity, the first union in a communist country.
  • Love Canal, a chemically contaminated area in New York, is declared a disaster area.
  • Mount St. Helen’s in Washington erupts.
  • Ronald Reagan is elected the 40th president of the United States.


  • EPA researchers first mention the possibility of destroying hazardous wastes in cement kilns.
  • The EPA call on the FBI to look into possible criminal violations in the handling of hazardous waste. The EPA plans to review 30 cases of illegally discharging toxic wastes into streams, rivers and lakes. One month after this announcement, the EPA deputy director says these initial reports were incorrect and that rivers said to be polluted were not in as bad a shape as thought.
  • After 444 days in captivity, the hostages in Iran are released.
  • President Reagan and Pope John Paul II are both shot.
  • The world’s first reusable spacecraft, the space shuttle Columbia, is sent into space.
  • Federal air traffic controllers begin an illegal nationwide strike. Most of the 13,000 striking controllers defy a back-to-work order and are dismissed by President Reagan.

1982 April1982

  • After extensive research studies, the U.S. Bureau of Mines reports that cement kiln dust is not a hazardous waste.
  • Rock products industry is put back under OSHA’s jurisdiction, but a few months later the industry is returned is MSHA’s jurisdiction.
  • Laser technology begins being used to check kiln refractory alignment.
  • Basic Materials Corp. is founded as a joint venture between Cedar Valley Corp. and Manatt’s Inc. with the purchase of Waterloo South, Fertile, Yokom, Morgan, Frederika, and Garner Quarries in addition to the Waterloo and Fertile sand operations.
  • The highest unemployment rate since 1940, 10.4 percent, is reported, eventually reaching 10.8 percent by November with more than 11 million unemployed.
  • International Trade Commission’s report on its investigation of alleged dumping of cement in California is made available. It finds a “reasonable indication” that companies in Australia and Japan have sold cement at less than fair value. Later in the year, the commission decides that although the nations are dumping cement, the product is not causing any injury to the domestic cement industry.
  • Secretary of the Interior James Watt quits after being accused by industry of playing favorites to environmentalists to the detriment of big business.
  • President Reagan signs a compromise bill designed to rescue the Social Security System from bankruptcy.
  • An EPA report projects the irreversible onset of the greenhouse effect.


  • The National Lime Institute and the National Crushed Stone Association members vote to consolidate. The name of the new merger is National Stone Association.
  • MSHA issues penalties to an aggregate producer and its blasting contractor after the death of a quarry worker killed by fly rock during a blast. MSHA states that it must “hold the independent contractor responsible as well as the producer.”
  • Ronald Reagan is re-elected as president, carrying 49 states against Walter Mondale.


  • A study is released showing that America’s highways have almost 56 million potholes, requiring $224 million tons of material to fill.
  • The co-presidents of the newly created National Stone Association both resign, apparently because of personality differences.
  • Mexico City is heavily damaged by an earthquake.
  • Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev becomes the general secretary of the Communist Party and initiates glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring).
First Trade Show 1985


  • A hole in the ozone layer is detected over Antarctica.
  • Moments after liftoff, the space shuttle Challenger explodes, killing six astronauts and a New Hampshire school teacher.
  • U.S. warplanes strike targets in Libya in retaliation against the Libyan bombing of a West Berlin disco.
  • The most scandalous year in Wall Street history ends with Ivan Boesky agreeing to plead guilty to an unspecified criminal count, paying a $100 million fine, returning profits, and spending three years in a light-security prison; he also was barred for life from trading securities.


  • The International Trade Commission determines that there is no indication that the U.S. cement industry is injured by imports of portland cement from Columbia, France, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Korea, Spain or Venezuela.
  • The board of directors of the National Sand and Gravel Association votes to allow all aggregate producers into its membership and to change the name of the organization to National Aggregates Association.
  • The Federal Trade Commission subpoenas most members of the American Cement Trade Alliance as a continuation of the investigation of claims by domestic cement producers that importers were dumping product and counterclaims by importers of collusion by domestic companies to frustrate importation.
  • The EPA begins hearings on what should be done about burning hazardous waste in industrial boilers and furnaces, including cement kilns.
  • President Reagan produces the nation’s first trillion-dollar budget.
  • The Tower Commission Report finds President Reagan “confused and uninformed” in Iran-contra dealings. The public hearings by the Senate and House fill most of the summer months in Congress.
  • A European cement producer begins using the waste heat from its kiln shell to warm adjacent offices.
  • Wall Street crashes in mid-October, the Dow plummeting a record 508 points (22.6 percent) after a record high. The crisis spreads to Tokyo and London shortly thereafter.


  • MSHA orders a study of waste products used as fuel in rotary kilns.
  • The first rumblings are heard concerning a merger of NSA and NAA. Both groups appoint committees.
  • The national trade association for Mexico’s cement industry becomes part of PCA.
  • George H.W. Bush is elected 41st president.

1989 Sept1989

  • MSHA establishes a program to combat illegal mining.
  • California manufacturer creates a portable crusher that successfully crushes concrete embedded with rebar using a high-powered electromagnetic separator.
  • U.S. Bureau of Mines begins policy of reporting statistics on the production of crushed stone and sand and gravel on a quarterly basis.
  • Based on new evidence, the International Trade Commission determines that the U.S. cement industry has been materially injured by imports of cement and clinker from Mexico.
  • The 100th anniversary of the first commercial use of the rotary kiln process in making portland cement is celebrated.
  • The largest oil spill in U.S. history occurs after the Exxon Valdez strikes a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
  • The Berlin Wall is demolished.
  • San Francisco’s Marina district is damaged by a severe earthquake, causing about 60 deaths.
  • The head of Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that $2 billion was lost due to fraud and mismanagement during the tenure of Samuel Pierce.
  • EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agree on an aggressive “no net loss” policy on wetlands.
  • National Stone Association’s The Aggregate Handbook is released, with each chapter written by an expert in the field with working knowledge of the subject.
  • U.S. Department of Commerce rules that the Mexican cement industry is selling cement in the United States at less than fair value. The department also agrees to investigate new charges of dumping leveled against Japan by California cement producers.
  • Vulcan Materials Co.’s Sanders Quarry in Virginia is the first site in the nation to be certified by the Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Council as a sanctioned enhanced habitat for indigenous wildlife.
  • Iran invades Kuwait, thus beginning the Persian Gulf War. U.S.-led coalition forces begin Operation Desert Shield to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraq.
  • President Bush signs the 1990 Clean Air Act; a comprehensive updating of the original Clean Air Act of 1970.


  • Three Florida-based cement producers file anti-dumping petitions against imports of cement from Venezuela.
  • Operation Desert Storm begins with U.S. bombing of Baghdad.
  • The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 is signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
  • Bill Clinton is elected 42nd president.


  • Based on the controls used in video games, joystick controls are introduced on wheel loaders.
  • NSA/NAA agree to enter the second stage of merger talks. The NRMCA endorses the merger idea and expresses an interest in being incorporated into the action. Later in the year, NAA imposes severe restrictions on merger talks by insisting that the NRMCA be part of the merger package.
  • The Center for Aggregates Research opens at the University of Texas at Austin, in cooperation with Texas A&M.
  • PCA approves dramatic restructuring that includes merging with American Cement Alliance and American Concrete Paving Association, developing an aggressive lobbying effort, and expanding its research and technical services.
  • Venezuelan cement producers sign an agreement with U.S. Department of Commerce and agree to strip dumping portland cement into Florida and the rest of the country.
  • Hurricane Andrew strikes Florida; Hurricane Iriki strikes Hawaii.
  • United States, Canada and Mexico sign the North American Free Trade Agreement.

1993 Aug1993

  • EPA Administrator Carol Browner imposes a freeze on permitting waste-burning incinerators and industrial furnaces, including cement kilns.
  • The premiere issues of Rock Products Cement Edition and C&D Debris Recycling are published.
  • Terrorists explode a bomb at New York’s World Trade Center.
  • ConExpo organizers decide to move from a six-year schedule to a three-year plan.
  • A British group announces plans to convert 2 million tons of surplus Russian ammunition into commercial explosives for the mining and civil construction industries.
  • It is announced that ConExpo and Con/Agg will be combined for the first time in 1996 in Las Vegas.
  • Talks resume between NAA and NSA about a possible merger, and shortly thereafter are suspended.
  • A New Orleans jury rules that a rotary kiln used by Marine Shale Processors is an “aggregate kiln” and not a hazardous waste incinerator, as alleged by EPA.
  • U.S. Department of Justice requests information about the cement industry, causing speculation that it is “fishing” for evidence of price fixing and/or market allocation.
  • North American Free Trade Agreement goes into effect.
  • An earthquake hits the Los Angeles area, killing about 60 people.


  • The House approves an appropriation bill that would kill the U.S. Bureau of Mines, but the Senate approves a bill that would save it. However, over protests by the mining industry and the Clinton administration, the Bureau is abolished. Some of its functions are kept alive and scattered to other cabinet headings, while other are eliminated entirely.
  • EPA decides to use hazardous waste management authorities to regulate cement kiln dust.
  • Terrorists blow up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 167 people.
  • All non-essential government offices are closed due to a battle between President Clinton and the Republican-led Congress over a 1996 budget. The budget is finally issued in early 1996.


  • $5.3 billion in National Highway System funds are distributed by the Department of Transportation for repairs and improvements to 160,000 miles on the country’s most heavily used roads and bridges.
  • The Interstate Commerce Commission is eliminated with some of its functions transferred to the Department of Transportation.
  • Rock Products celebrates its 100th anniversary.
  • An EPA regional office in Texas concludes that emissions from three cement kilns in that state do not pose an unacceptable risk to people living nearby.
  • First ConExpo/Con/Agg is held in Las Vegas.


  • President Clinton begins his second term.
  • The Hale-Bopp comet reaches its closet trajectory to earth.
  • National Stone Association President Robert Bartlett retires, and is succeeded by Jennifer Joy Wilson.
  • The National Stone Association and National Aggregates Association hold a joint convention.
  • Martin Marietta buys American Aggregates.


  • The House of Representatives prepares articles of impeachment against President Clinton.
  • The Good Friday Accord is reached in Northern Ireland.
  • The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) signed into law by President Clinton.
  • Martin Marietta acquires Redland Stone.


  • NATO launches airstrikes on Serbia.
  • World population reaches 6 billion.
  • Cornerstone changes name to Hanson.
  • MSHA’s Part 46 Training plan hits producers.
  • ConExpo/Con/Agg is held in Las Vegas.

2000 Jan2000

  • The Y2K bug turns out to be a non-event, as technological problems are few and far between as the 1900s give way to the 2000s.
  • George W. Bush wins electoral college after a contentious recount in Florida to become president of the United States.
  • Graniterock celebrates its 100-year anniversary.
  • National Aggregates Association (NAA) and National Stone Association (NSA) announce a merger, creating “a single association that represents an overwhelming proportion of the industry and speaks with a single voice” – the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA).
  • Hijackers ram jetliners into the twin towers of New York City’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked plane crashes 80 miles outside of Pittsburgh. Death toll is more than 3,000. 
  • Oldcastle sends $800,000 for Sept. 11 disaster relief.
  • David Lauriski takes over as head of MSHA.

2002 March2002

  • UN Security Council passes unanimous resolution calling on Iraq to disarm or else face “serious consequences.”
  • ConExpo-Con/Agg attendance falls as post 9/11, people decline to travel.
  • Rinker Materials acquires Kiewit Materials.
  • Legislators begin process of regulating how explosives are acquired and stored at aggregates operations.
  • The United States and Britain launch war against Iraq; Baghdad falls to U.S. troops. 
  • Saddam Hussein is captured by American troops.
  • MSHA and the NSSGA sign a pact to work together to prevent illness and injury.
  • Tilcon New York opens a safety training site.
  • The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. 
  • Restoration of relations with Cuba.


  • George W. Bush reelected president.
  • Enormous tsunami devastates Asia; at least 225,000 killed.
  • Oglebay Norton seeks Chapter 11 protection.
  • Rogers Group buys four quarries.
  • MINExpo held in Las Vegas.
  • Cemex acquires RMC for $5.8 billion.


  • Pope John Paul II dies.
  • Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who served on the U.S. Supreme Court for 33 years, dies.
  • The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) signed into law by President George W. Bush.
  • ConExpo-Con/Agg is held in Las Vegas.
  • Martin Marietta Materials creates joint venture with Hunt Midwest Enterprises.
  • Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

2006 June2006

  • The U.S. population officially reaches 300 million.
  • At the Sago Mine in West Virgina, 12 coal miners die.
  • The aggregates industry reaches record high production of $3.2 billion tpy.
  • MSHA issues Diesel Particulate Rule.
  • Polaris breaks ground on its Orca Quarry in Vancouver, Canada.
  • Oldcastle buys APAC.
  • Holcim breaks ground on its St. Genevieve cement plant.
  • U.S. Supreme Court rules, 5-4, that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate automobile emissions of heat-trapping gases.
  • The sub-prime loan crisis hits, the opening salvo of the Great Recession.
  • Vulcan Materials Co. buys Florida Rock Industries Inc. in a cash and stock deal worth around $4.6 billion.
  • The Army Corp. of Engineers revised its nationwide permits for regulating work in wetlands and other waters of the United States.
  • Heidelberg announced a proposed $16 billion takeover of Hanson.


  • President Bush Proposes $145 Billion Stimulus Package in response to a major crisis in the housing market and rising oil prices.
  • Barack Obama Is elected president
  • As a result of the global recession, aggregates production plummets.
  • NSSGA decries the S-MINER Act.
  • ConExpo-Con/Agg and MINExpo held in Las Vegas.
  • Martin Marietta buys six Vulcan quarries.


  • The Senate approves, 68 to 31, the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Halquist Stone celebrates 80 years in business.
  • First AGG1 show held in Orlando.
  • Hillhead postpones its show in Buxton, England, due to global economic conditions.
  • Joe Main tapped to head MSHA.

2010 Nov2010

  • An explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico sends millions of gallons of oil into the sea.
  • Cemex sells 12 quarries to SPO Partners.
  • AGG1 is held in snowy conditions in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • An explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine kills 20 coal miners, prompting MSHA to crack down on all mining.
  • Congress passes the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
  • Mining Media International acquires Rock Products and Cement Americas.
  • Congress makes an 11th-hour deal to prevent a national default.
  • Martin Marietta Materials attempts a hostile takeover bid for Vulcan Materials.
  • ConExpo-Con/Agg is held in Las Vegas,
  • Three people were killed and six wounded in a shooting at a California cement plant and quarry.
  • Caterpillar and Bucyrus celebrate their merger with a press event in Milwaukee.


  • President Obama is re-elected.
  • The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) bill signed by President Barack Obama.
  • Gus Edwards takes over as interim head of NSSGA following the resignation of Jennifer Joy Pinniger.
  • Adam Lanza forces his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., and kills 26 people.
  • Caterpillar opens a $52 million visitors center in Peoria, Ill.
  • MINExpo held in Las Vegas.
  • Deister Machine Co. celebrates 100th anniversary.


  • Multiple bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
  • Congress fails to agree on a budget and pass a spending bill, causing the government to shut down.
  • Rock Products hosts the first Frac Sand Insider conference.
  • McLanahan Corp. acquires Eagle Iron Works, which started in business in 1872.
  • Charlotte, N.C.-Mayor Anthony Foxx becomes Transportation Secretary.
  • Michael Johnson becomes president and CEO of NSSGA.

2014 Feb2014

  • New building, 1 World Trade Center opens in New York City
  • Vulcan Materials Non-Executive Chairman Don James steps aside, Tom Hill is appointed chairman and CEO.
  • 60 Minutes reports on the sorry state of U.S. infrastructure.
  • Martin Marietta Materials acquires Texas Industries.
  • In national elections, Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate.
  • ConExpo-Con/Agg draws a record 129,364 people to Las Vegas.
  • President Obama signs the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.
  • Restoration of relations with Cuba.
  • ConExpo Latin America has strong debut in Chile.
  • U.S. Open played on a reclaimed quarry.


  • Rock Products Celebrates its 120th anniversary.
  • AGG1 breaks records in Nashville.
  • Vulcan, Martin Marietta report record quarterly results.


Thanks to all who contributed to this timeline from past Rock Products staffs, including Bob Drake, Steve Prokopy, Jennifer Grover Prokopy, Cathy Marrone and others.


Mellott Company:Tragedy and Perseverance

The Emergence of Portable Crushing Plants

Product and Service Expansion