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thousands of projects globally using the dry-mix the Cement Gun Co., the industry—despite con- process. (Wet-mix had not yet been invented.) The tinuing growth trends—began losing its credibility company kept tight control by selling the equip- and faced a lingering decline before coming to the ment and simultaneously granting permission to present-day revival brought about by increased use the application technology. Essentially, gunite interest and investment in knowledge, best prac- was open for franchising. tices, and standards for shotcrete applications. In a savvy blend of due diligence and good mar- keting, the Cement Gun Co. relentlessly tested the References gunite method and mixture designs, reporting their Cement Gun Co., “Gunite” Contractors – Manufacturers findings in technical papers and bulletins. One of of the “Cement Gun,” Bulletin 2300, 1945. the more fascinating examples here is a discussion Akeley, Samuel W. Taylor, and the Development of the CementRodriquez, L., “From Elephants to Swimming Pools: Carl of the installation of the swimming pool at the Gun,” Canal History and Technology Press, Easton, PA, 2006, Lehigh Country Club in 1936. One of the first rec- 150 pp. ognizable gunite pools, the structure was shot using Tiechert, P., “Carl Akeley—A Tribute to the Founder of a rock wall as the support substrate—the first “form” Shotcrete,” Shotcrete, V. 4, No. 3, Summer 2002, pp. 10-12. used in swimming pool construction. V. 2, No. 4, Fall 2000, pp. 28-29. Shotcrete,Yoggy, G.D., “The History of Shotcrete, Part I” This document is fascinating from a historical Yoggy, G.D., “The History of Shotcrete, Part II” Shotcrete, perspective, with a construction plan that was a V. 3, No. 2, Spring 2001, pp. 22-23. model of careful engineering. But such publica- Yoggy, G.D., “The History of Shotcrete, Part III” tions were a method of control as well: They Shotcrete, V. 4, No. 1, Winter 2002, pp. 20-23. enabled the Cement Gun Co. to set the standard, defining what gunite was (and was not); regulating and setting patterns for use of the new technology; Lily Samuels is Vice President and popularizing both the product and the craft. of Drakeley Industries, a Traylor also took pains to see that the engineering design and structural shotcrete community was engaged. The Cement Gun Co. consulting firm for swimming published articles in magazines including Concrete, pools, water tanks, tunneling, Engineering News, and Structural Engineer. In mining, and other infrastruc- addition, testing was conducted at Lehigh University tural shotcrete applications; in Pennsylvania and later at the University of Cali- and Vice President of Drakeley fornia to compare the gunite and cast-in-place Pool Company, a specialty watershape design, methods—and thereby prove gunite’s superiority. construction, and service firm—both located in The wealth of data in circulation served to legitimize Bethlehem, CT. She has partnered with William the method and consolidate the company’s control Drakeley to develop educational materials on the over the young industry. history and science of the shotcrete process since Domination from Smith College, Northampton, MA, and her2009. Samuels received her bachelor’s degree These efforts paid off. The Cement Gun Co. master’s degree from Columbia University, New was a force to be reckoned with through the 1920s York, NY. and 1930s, with the technology spreading to all 50 states and more than 120 countries around the Bill Drakeley is Principal and world and finding uses in myriad structural, Owner of Drakeley Industries industrial, and geological applications. and Drakeley Pool Company. But, as historians point out, while the Cement Drakeley holds the distinction Gun Co. did much to popularize the method and of being the first and only promote best practices, its aggressive legal team member of American Concrete and the tight grip it held on the trademark and the Institute (ACI) Committee 506, technology severely limited the development of Shotcrete, from the pool equipment in response to the real-world needs of industry. He is also an approved Examiner for designers, engineers, and applicators. ACI Certified Nozzlemen on behalf of the Amer- This control had begun to diminish somewhat ican Shotcrete Association (ASA), Vice President by the late 1930s, but real change came in the of the ASA, an ASA Technical Adviser, a Genesis aftermath of World War II, when the hyperactive 3 Platinum member, and a member of the Society American industrial sector grabbed hold of gunite of Watershape Designers as well as Chairman of technology and forced both the company and the its Advisory Board. Drakeley teaches courses on technology to diversify. shotcrete applications at the Genesis 3 Construc- This diversification did not come without trad- tion School, World of Concrete, and numerous eoffs. Once gunite (and what would be known as other trade shows. He is a contributor to Shotcrete shotcrete) was released from the powerful grasp of magazine and other industry publications. 24 Shotcrete • Summer 2015


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