A Human History of Building: From Early Homes to Magnificent Structures
Mankind has always strived to build. Construction flows in our blood and aches in our bones. There is something inside of us that propels us to construct new structures, to manipulate the lands around us, to reach towards the sky (as the very story of Babel illustrates), and to make our homes better, bigger, our buildings beautiful, intricate, more functional. The very creation story of our company starts with a young mind that believed that building was a way to improve the world.
The Early Structures
Shelter is a human necessity. It is a natural impulse to construct a place where we can be shielded from the elements. It is this very necessity—coupled with man’s natural impulse to create wonder and beauty— that led civilizations to grow and prosper as our shelters grew with the inventions of certain technologies. Ancient civilizations built shelters from animal skins, bones, stone, etc. The tools available at the time included animal bones, copper plates, and axes. The history of human engineering when it comes to homes, buildings, cathedrals, mosques, castles, and more is too vast to cover here, but let’s look at a brief (if incomplete) timeline of some of the major events in building history.
Ancient Civilizations Set the Bar High
The ancient Egyptians set the bar high when it came to large-scale permanent structures, hauling large stones over long distances using early engineering concepts and ingenuity. A recent study discovered the ancient civilization must have wet the sand before pulling these large stones as a way to reduce friction. With the use of preliminary pulley systems, cranes, and ramps they carried, moved, and lifted bricks sometimes weighing more than fifty tons. The ancient Greeks, for example, lived in well-made stone houses with slanted roofs that allowed snow and rain to drip down.
Many centuries before modern times, in AD 72, the Romans commissioned a grand Colosseum that would hold 50,00-80,000 spectators. The Colosseum is still one of the biggest ones ever built. Even early civilizations were enticed by the idea of spectacular structures. Today, this testament to human ingenuity and engineering receives about 2 million visitors annually from all over the world.
Early Europe to Modern Times
All of these early techniques and building materials carried on and went on to influence and inform further architecture from medieval times to Enlightenment Europe and beyond. Breathtaking construction projects from the medieval period include castles in Windsor, England, the Alhambra in Spain, and the Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, to name a few. Each castle has its own set of architectural feats, design patterns, and aesthetics. The Alhambra in Spain, for example, is a vast set of castles, gardens, hallways, all meant to be “paradise on earth.” During the Gothic period, the Gothic style arose throughout Europe and developed important building concepts. Architects of this era learned to disperse the weight of the stone through support structures called flying buttresses.
Modern Architecture and Building
Of course, America has done its fair share of innovation and advancement in the areas of construction, engineering, and architecture. During the Industrial Revolution in America, great advancements in the production of steel and other construction materials sped up the progression of railroad track, skyscrapers, and bridges. We have had several important structures including the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center towers, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, etc.
Where Do We Come In?
Constructors, Inc has been involved in the construction industry since a young George Shoup Sr. was a boy and cultivated a passion for building roads, pathways, and structures. Since then we have been involved in a myriad of projects. From small projects to big, from driveways to school buildings and government installations. Our creation story begins—like many incredible inventions and innovation—with the imagination and a love of the craft. From there, it has grown, expanded, and improved through decades and generations to where we are today. A tight family owned business that operates under the principles of honesty, respect, and a strong work ethic.