Concrete Products originated in the 1940s as an occasional supplement to Chicago-based Rock Products magazine, becoming a monthly section at the dawn of the post-war boom. Along with some readers in ready mixed production, Concrete Products catered to concrete masonry and precast producers, especially those operating block and pipe machinery companies anchoring the advertiser base. The magazine’s editorial focus and audience development quickly evolved with the times: Record housing, commercial construction, and highway building activity quickly fueled demand for ready mixed concrete. With increasing truck sizes, ready mixed could be efficiently delivered to building and public works construction sites for cast-in-place concrete foundations, slabs (building, sidewalk, street, highway pavement) and vertical supports (building columns, bridge piers).
Concrete Products was launched as a separate monthly magazine in 1955, sharing Chicago office and staff with sister title Rock Products. Among editors with shared duties was William Avery, who eventually departed to run his start up magazine, Concrete Construction, and later launch the World of Concrete, an annual trade show for concrete and general contractors.
Concrete Products tracked the emergence of established and new producers targeting markets for ready mixed and manufactured concrete, which by the late 1950s had grown to include block, pipe and prestressed segments. The editorial mission aligned with a changing market, which from the 1960s forward witnessed waves of consolidation, where major producers acquired small and mid-sized operators—both in ready mixed and manufactured concrete.
The mission has been shaped around the themes of a) Operations, with coverage of plant and fleet equipment, automation and safety innovations; b) Market Development, tied to readers’ individual company growth and pursuit of new construction segments for cast-in-place or manufactured concrete; and, c) Practice, referring to building and construction methods, site activities, quality control and standards affecting readers and their customers.