Historical

Take a look back at history's greatest construction feats. From historic buildings and bridges, to antique equipment, to uncovered artifacts, the industry as it once was still makes an impact on construction today.


Prior to joining the Virginia Department of Transportation in March 2019, Chris Shephard, the agency's Richmond District archaeologist, made a "bewitching" discovery during the Interstate 64 widening project. Shephard was part of a team from the College of William & Mary conducting an archaeological excavation of a Civil War fortification near Williamsburg in 2016 when they uncovered a "witch bottle", the same one that has recently gone viral on the internet.

Atlanta-based Engineering Design Technologies (EDT) currently is hard at work renovating one of downtown Birmingham's oldest existing buildings. The three-story Taylor Building is located on the edge of the city's historic theater and retail district along 19th Street North.

When Tim Smith bought a run-down building on the Oxford city square, he planned to tear it down to make way for a new restaurant. The Courthouse Square Preservation Commission denied permission to demolish the nineteenth-century structure, however, forcing Smith to alter his plans.

In 1958, Louis Keller drove his truck into the barnyard of western Minnesota turkey farmer John Sonstegard. He entered the building where Sonstegard was working and told the farmer he had a machine outside that would efficiently clean his manure-laden barns.

JCB celebrated a unique milestone as its 750,000th backhoe loader rolled off the production line in Rocester, Staffordshire — the very location where the first JCB backhoe was manufactured almost 70 years ago. In 1953 company founder, the late Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE, conceived the idea of the JCB backhoe loader, which created, for the first time, a single machine combining a front shovel and rear excavator arm.

Luella Bates of Wisconsin played an influential role in the history of trucks during a time when those vehicles — still in an early stage of development and use in the United States — were widely seen as contraptions that should be operated only by men.

May 22, 1920 was the final day of the National Ship by Truck-Good Roads Week in the United States took place. The week had been coordinated by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company as part of its ongoing and ambitious efforts to promote the short-haul shipping benefits of trucks and — in a priority shared by such other organizations at the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) — emphasize the need for improved highways nationwide.

Take a look back at some of the original hydraulic excavators, which began as a variation on the steam shovel and progressed into the the excavators we know today.

When asked to provide a feature on cranes I decided early on this was a fairly illustrative photo shoot. That didn't stop me from perusing through the more than 200,000 images I have but, I kept returning to this scene. It is very standard, straight forward and even simplistic crane work.

The following article is reprinted with permission. There's a line attributed to EOD bomb technicians. Reportedly, when asked about whether or not they were stressed out when it came time to defusing a bomb, the answer was something to the effect of "I'm not.

Construction Equipment Guide takes a lookback at Cranes at work during the 1950's