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History of the Highrise and How Cranes Became So Important


December 27, 2022

It is impossible to think of a world without construction cranes. Where did they come from and how did they become so important? How did ancient civilizations build such enormous structures without the use of cranes. Actually, cranes were developed by the Greeks and perfected by the Romans as means to lift heavy objects with less manpower, in order to complete construction projects or load ships.

This was a necessary invention as ancient structures such as the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek in Lebanon, which contained individual stones weighing up to 100 tons. Roman builders even constructed a crane that hoisted the 53-ton capital block of Emperor Trajan’s column to a height of 43 meters. Over time cranes, like the rest of the world, have become modernized, they are now bigger and better than ever.

We can lift entire ships from the sea, build skyscrapers so high that they seem to never end, and build on top of land that was once marsh, all due to the crane and the innovations that came with it.

Things have changed since ancient times. Not just anyone can operate a crane. In the United States you must have training and certifications such as offered by NCCCO (The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators). Potential crane operators acquire these skills and certifications from crane training schools such as Crane Training Academy. These prerequisites are in place to make the workplace safer for everyone and without them there would likely be many more crane related accidents and fatalities. Crane jobs of the early
20th century were often far more dangerous than today leading to the implementation of safety certifications to protect all workers not just operators.

Cranes have become immensely important to our way of life, the way we build, and the way we live in the modern world. Building up has become a common requirement as real estate become scarcer, especially in densely populated cities such as New York and Los Angeles. When there is not enough room to build structures on the ground we build towards the sky. We see this in skyscrapers that are used for commercial and even residential purposes.

If we did not have cranes, we would likely not have the manpower to build these structures and America would not be the economic powerhouse we are blessed to live in today. Buildings like the World Trade Center, Willis Tower, Empire State Building and numerous shopping centers, condos, and other High- rises would never have been constructed without the use of cranes. The technology has changed over the course of time, but one thing is certain, cranes are here to stay and there will always be a need for certified operators.