Sloss Ready-Mix Concrete Plant
The Sloss Ready-Mix Concrete Plant was an early example of a central plant to manufacture precise concrete mixes for delivery by mixer truck. Built in 1924 on the north side of the 1st Avenue North Viaduct near 32nd Street North, just east of Sloss Furnaces, it has been described as the, "first strictly commercial central concrete mixing plant in the world."
Sloss's ready-mix plant was designed by Sloss Furnace Company's engineers as a way to commercialize the nearby furnaces' output of slag, which was used as aggregate in the plant's mixes. A specially-designed slag crusher was built alongside the plant as part of the operation. Railcars brought crushed slag aggregate up from the crusher to a series of concrete storage bins which were connected to the mixing plant by a conveyor hoist.
The furnaces and associated plants were acquired by U.S. Pipe in 1952. The crusher and ready-mix plant have since been demolished, but the slag storage bins remain. Painted advertisements for Sloss products have been reconstructed on the side of the bins facing the underside of the viaduct.
- "The Site of Sloss Quarters, 1930" (October 2017) Birmingham Historical Society Newsletter, p. 5