Romans were the first to have widespread use of concrete. Roman concrete was made by mixing volcanic ash, lime, and seawater, packing it into brick molds, and waiting for it to harden.
During the Middle Ages, concrete technology crept backward. After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD, the technique for making cement was lost until the discovery of manuscripts describing it was found in 1414.
In 1759, engineer and mason John Smeaton was constructing a lighthouse off the coast of Cornwall discovered that if you took limestone containing clay, fired it until it turned into clinker, ground it into powder, and mixed it with water, it would make mortar. This would be the weaker predecessor to Portland Cement.
In 1848, Isaac Johnson produced the first Portland Cement by mixing clay and chalk then baking it at 1400–1450 °C.He named it after the high-quality building stones quarried in Portland, England.
In the 19th Century concrete was used mainly for industrial buildings such as factories and mills. The first widespread use of Portland cement in home construction was in England and France between 1850 and 1880 by Francois Coignet, who added steel rods to prevent exterior walls from spreading.
The base ingredients of cement are the same ones that Johnson used, but the industry's some important developments since then, like the rotary kiln, the ball mill, and the addition of gypsum.