About Vulcan

Company History

Over 100 Years of Dedication

The Vulcan story has always been one of hard work, fundamental strengths and bold vision in action.

1909

Birmingham Slag Company, a family-owned construction materials company, is founded.

1916

Charles Lincoln Ireland, a banker from Ohio, purchases Birmingham Slag and sends his sons, Glenn, Eugene and Barney to Birmingham to manage the new business.

1932

Birmingham Slag remains profitable under the Irelands' leadership until 1932, when the world economy is affected by the Great Depression. After the Depression, Birmingham Slag Company begins to grow in earnest.

1939

Birmingham Slag becomes a major supplier to Tennessee Valley Authority projects.

1942

Birmingham Slag begins a three-year contract providing construction materials for the war effort, including Oak Ridge, Redstone Arsenal and other major military projects.

1944

Birmingham Slag enters into a joint venture with Lambert Brothers, Inc., one of the South’s largest aggregates businesses located in Knoxville, Tennessee. The strategic joint venture provides significant and profitable growth for Birmingham Slag.

1950

Birmingham Slag has 600 employees, sales of more than $20 million, and net profits between $1.5 million and $2 million per year.

1951

Glenn Ireland’s son Charles is elected president of Birmingham Slag. Tremendous opportunities are envisioned under the Eisenhower administration’s Federal Highway Program. The company expands rapidly in order to become a major supplier of aggregates called for under the highway program.

1956

Bernard A. Monaghan, a prominent lawyer and a former Rhodes Scholar joins Birmingham Slag to help engineer a merger with the Vulcan Detinning Company of Sewaren, New Jersey. Birmingham Slag becomes a publicly traded company under Vulcan Detinning’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The new company is renamed Vulcan Materials Company and has access to the capital markets that will help it grow and prosper.

1957

Vulcan Materials Company asks stockholders to approve a merger with nine companies at the same time — Union Chemicals, Lambert Brothers and seven other aggregates or related corporations. Fortune magazine observes that the prospectus issued for the transaction is one of the most complex ever printed.

Culcan in the 1950's
1957

Vulcan’s Chemicals Division is formed as a result of the merger with Union Chemicals and Materials Corporation.

1958

Bernard Monaghan becomes executive vice president of Vulcan Materials Company, and is later elected president and CEO of the Company. A decentralized organizational structure is developed creating nine operating divisions and a corporate office.

1959

Vulcan purchases W.E. Graham & Sons, a North Carolina family-owned aggregates and general contracting firm.

1968

Vulcan builds a world-class chlorinated organic chemical plant on greenfield site in Geismar, Louisiana.

1975

Vulcan’s Chemicals Division moves its headquarters from Wichita, Kansas, to Birmingham, Alabama.

1976

Vulcan forms Saudi Arabian joint venture to supply aggregates, asphalt and ready-mix.

1980

Vulcan acquires the Port Edward, Wisconsin, chloralkali plant from BASF.

1981

Company-wide sales reach $783 million, ranking Vulcan Materials Company 367 in the Fortune 500.

1981

Vulcan’s Chemicals Division begins using the trade name Vulcan Chemicals.

1984

Vulcan constructs and operates the first commercial-size membrane cell chloralkali facility in the U.S. at its Wichita, Kansas, plant.

1987

Vulcan acquires White’s Mines, Inc. and affiliated companies, greatly expanding Texas operations.  Vulcan sells detinning and related metals businesses.

1987

Vulcan and its Mexican partner, Grupo ICA, form the Crescent Market Companies to produce high-quality limestone at a quarry on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico for shipment to various markets primarily along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The joint venture includes a shipping company and a U.S.-based sales distribution company.

1988

Vulcan Chemicals becomes a major supplier to silicones industry with purchase of Vista’s methyl chloride business.

1990

In its largest acquisition to date, Vulcan acquires the massive Reed Quarry, near Paducah, Kentucky. In addition to added capacity and reserves, the Reed acquisition gives Vulcan access to new stone markets via barge shipments along the Mississippi River and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

1992

Vulcan Chemicals achieves ISO 9002 registration at all chloralkali sites.

1992

Vulcan acquires Olin’s sodium chlorite business and constructs the largest U.S. sodium chlorite plant at the Wichita chloralkali facility.

1994

Vulcan acquires Callaway Chemical Company from Exxon and forms the Performance Systems Business Unit within the Chemicals Division.

1998

Vulcan enters into a joint venture with Mitsui and begins construction of a new membrane chloralkali facility and a facility expanding production of ethylene dichloride at the Geismar, Louisiana plant.

1999

Vulcan acquires CalMat, Inc., expanding the Company’s aggregates operations into California, Arizona and New Mexico and making Vulcan one of the nation’s leading producers of hot-mix asphalt and ready-mixed concrete.

2000

Existing businesses in Vulcan’s Performance Systems Business Unit are combined to create Vulcan Chemical Technologies. Vulcan’s Chloralkali Business Unit retains the Vulcan Chemicals trade name.

2000

Vulcan begins construction of new plant in Geismar, Louisiana, to produce 240fa, a feedstock for a new generation of ozone-friendly fluorocarbons used in insulation and construction foam products.

2000

Vulcan acquires Tarmac America’s aggregates operations, significantly extending the geographic scope of Vulcan’s operations in the eastern United States.

2001

Vulcan acquires its partner’s interests in the Crescent Market Companies, an international joint venture that produces aggregates in the Yucatán Peninsula and transports and sells them in various markets primarily along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

2003

Divests Performance Chemicals assets, except the sodium chlorite business, to ALTIVIA Corporation, Kemira Oy and Lynx Chemical Group.

2005

Vulcan divests Vulcan Chemicals to Occidental Chemical Corporation. The sale includes chloralkali plants in Wichita, Kansas, Geismar, Louisiana, and Port Edwards, Wisconsin.

2007

Vulcan celebrates its 50th anniversary as a publicly held company. In November, Vulcan acquires Florida Rock Industries, Inc. in the largest acquisition in Vulcan’s 50-year history.