Few knew Thomas Edison was the inventor of the once-prefabricated concrete construction process - Photo 1.

Few knew Thomas Edison was the inventor of a once-prefabricated concrete building process


By the end of the nineteenth century, Edison was like many businessmen and builders at that time highly appreciated the features of cement. Edison believed that cement or precast concrete could be the answer to all housing problems. So he decided to improve and turn cement into a better material.

Thomas Edison demonstrated the concrete house model

The fact that Edison came to cement business was an accident. For 10 years, Edison had crushed iron ore unsuccessfully and he sold out the waste from grinding iron ore to cement factories. At that time, Edison tried to maintain the plant's business using shares from General Electric.

This method is quite successful but cannot last long. Edison realized that he was wasting effort in vain. Edison eventually decided to switch to cement production instead of selling iron ore waste to competitors.

In 1899, Edison founded Edison Portland Cement Company and built a large-scale factory in western New Jersey, including a giant rotary kiln and the largest in the world at the time. Within 10 years, Edison and his company became the 5th largest cement producer in the world. Edion's research team constantly improved the cement production process better and Edison held patents for those innovations. So far, Edison has held 49 patents related to cement production.

His dream is to be able to mass produce cheap concrete houses one day. He patented a process of building a house with prefabricated concrete blocks once instead of pouring one floor at a time. Accordingly concrete will be poured into large wooden molds to form. Even outside the walls and floor, he wanted every structure and interior of the house such as bathroom, toilet, sink, cabinet, bed and even refrigerator and piano to be made of concrete.

Edison's patent has a record: "The goal in my patent is how to build a mixed cement building with only a single concrete casting operation. All of its components include the facade, roof, partitions, bathtubs, floors, … can be made from an inseparable concrete block.

This invention can be applied to any type of building, but I plan to use it for housing construction, including stairs, decorative ceilings, furniture, etc. All are pictured. made of a precast concrete block and attached to the main house. Such a house is definitely hard to destroy. "

Although Edison's ambition is considered by many to be crazy. However, in order to prove to the world that the ambition was completely feasible, he tried dumping two experimental buildings at a gardener's and a garage's home in Glenmont mansion in New Jersey in 1910.

Few knew Thomas Edison was the inventor of the once-prefabricated concrete construction process - Photo 2.

The house is being built with precast concrete blocks

He even stated that he would give all of this patent information to architects and builders without sacrificing profits.

Edison's statement then attracted the attention of philanthropist Henry Phipps. He also suggested using concrete houses to solve housing problems in the city. New York. Phipps even stated that he would build a city for working-class families using Edison's concrete casting technique. However, when construction was underway, Edison was unable to provide enough volume as planned.

That was when Edison realized the impracticality in his dream. One of the main technical problems of once-over houses is the complexity of the molds. Each house needs more than two thousand prefabricated concrete molds and they must be placed correctly and carefully disassembled to build the next house.

This process is actually quite cumbersome and complicated. Another problem is how to pour concrete smoothly. The challenge for engineers is to create a mixture that is liquid enough to flow into every corner of the mold. But it also needs to be thick enough to condense aggregates in cement mixtures and not let them settle to the bottom due to gravity.

Despite numerous problems, Edison tried to build a few houses in Union and Montclair, New Jersey and they still exist today.

Few knew Thomas Edison was the inventor of the once-prefabricated concrete building process - Photo 3.

The house is made of prefabricated concrete blocks in Gary, Indiana state, USA

Few knew Thomas Edison was the inventor of a once-prefabricated concrete building process - Photo 4.
Few knew Thomas Edison was the inventor of the once-prefabricated concrete building process - Photo 5.

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