Knut Stegmann, Das Bauunternehmen Dyckerhoff & Widmann: zu den Anfängen des Betonbaus in Deutschland 1865-1918. Wasmuth, 2014.


Concrete based on Portland cement is one of the most important innovations in the field of building construction  in  the  19th  century.  The  “triumph”  of  the  material  is  inextricably  linked  with  the upcoming concrete industry. The book deals with the Dyckerhoff & Widmann Company as one of the most  important  protagonists  in  that  field  in  Germany.  The  company’s  systematic  experiments  laid down  the  foundations  for  the  expansion  of  concrete  constructions.  Organizational  developments, partly  based  on  study  trips  to  the  US,  improved  the  productivity  on  the  construction  sites  by mechanizing  and  optimizing  the  building  processes.  Marketing  strategies,  largely  unknown  in  the building industry, contributed to the distribution of the technical innovation. In this way the company gradually succeeded in opening  up new markets for concrete: from precast concrete components to products  of  civil  engineering  and  eventually  to  (famous)  architecture  like  the  Centennial  Hall  in Wroclaw.