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Operating Engineers

History

Although it is not understood precisely how it was accomplished, the ancient Egyptians used some type of hoisting system to move the giant stone blocks of the pyramids into place. The Romans constructed roads, viaducts, and bridges of high quality, many of which are still in use today. The Great Wall of China, begun in the third century B.C., remains an amazing architectural feat and is one of the few man-made structures visible from space.

These ancient marvels are even more amazing when one considers that they were all built using only human muscle and simple machines such as levers and pulleys. It was not until the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the steam engine that complex machines were extensively used in construction. After the harnessing of steam power, Western Europe and America made rapid progress in constructing buildings, roads, and water and sewage systems.

Construction has always played an important role in history. Today, many people measure progress by the increase in new construction in a town or city. All sizes and shapes of construction machinery have been introduced in recent years, as taller and taller buildings are constructed around the world, and operating engineers work hard to stay current in their training and abilities.