Concrete has been used throughout history as an essential building material, with its first recorded use in its nascent form dating back to the Roman Empire. Reinforced concrete, however, is a relatively modern invention that can trace its inception to the late 1800’s. One of the first inventors to patent the use of reinforced concrete, Joseph Monier used a grid of steel rods in concrete columns and girders in 1877. Less than 40 years later, a massive earthquake struck San Francisco, leading to thousands of casualties and the destruction of much of the city. In the wake of this disaster the construction industry in the United States began to promote the use of reinforced concrete as it was able to better withstand seismic events compared to other building materials in use at the time. Today, reinforced concrete is a widely used building material and mainstay for commercial concrete contractors in Portland and other cities prone to earthquakes.