What is the oldest building in the world still in use?

What is the oldest building in the world still in use?

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What's the oldest building in the world that is still in use (i.e. used for something other than a tourist spot).

Pantheon in Rome (126 AD).

Most of the older buildings in the Wiki list ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_oldest_buildings_in_the_world ) are either not in use, or used as tombs only, or were reconstructed significantly.

The Epidaurus Theatre (ca. 300-340 BC), the Delphi theatre (4th century BC) and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (161 AD) in the Acropolis of Athens (known locally as the the Herodeon), still fulfil their original purpose, all three are constantly used as venues for various festivals. The ancient theatre in Dion is also used occasionally.

The Colosseum (completed in 80 AD) could also qualify, while not in constant use as with the Pantheon that DVK already mentioned, it is used by the catholic church for the Via Crucis ceremony on Good Friday. Furthermore in July 2000 the National Theatre of Greece performed Oedipus Rex in the Colosseum.

Lastly, the remains of the Temple of Hera (590 BC, destroyed by an earthquake in the 4th century BC) in Ancient Olympia is the location where the torch of the Olympic flame for the Modern Olympics is lit. A continuous flame was maintained at the sanctuary of the temple during the Ancient Olympics, and the temple was also the location where the olive wreaths for the victors were displayed during the games.

The upper story of the Theater of Marcellus (ca 13 BC) in Rome is a block of apartments.

While not exactly a building, the Western Wall in Jerusalem ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall ) is a site in which daily praying takes place. It was constructed around around 19 BCE.

The Roman theatre in Caesarea.

I think is possible that only Roman buildings are still in use. In Spain we have the Theatre of Mérida, inaugurated 15 B.C and today it is used to play Roman tragedies, and Hercules' Tower, a Roman lighthouse in A Coruña, still in use.

Stonehenge and other megalithic sites in Britain are still, or pehaps more accurately, once again used for religious purposes.

Adaptation of old buildings for new purposes does that count? The oldest building still in use for it's intended purpose… The church Santa Sabina in Rome, built in 422 AD, hasn't been changed since it was built, and is still in use by the Catholic Church.

Most of the thousand-year-old temples in Angkor, Cambodia, still serve religious function among the locals.

The Tower of Hercules is an ancient Roman lighthouse near A Coruña, Galicia, in north-western Spain. The structure is almost 1,900 years old and still in use today.

15 Ancient Roman Buildings That Are Still Standing

The Romans were a mighty civilization and gifted the world with many a fabulous things of which Roman buildings and monuments form an integral part. Romans built such buildings that are considered marvels of architecture as these are still standing tall, courtesy, the exemplary work of the ancient Roman architects that thought of new ideas and introduced us to features like arches. The Romans also introduced the use of concrete and cement in constructing buildings. Such durable were the foundations of the buildings that some of these are still present for the modern day human beings to cherish them.

Today, we are bringing a cool post that’s listing the top 15 Roman buildings that are still standing today with pride and are a cynosure of all eyes. So, get set to enjoy reading this post!

20 Buildings and Structures That Took the Longest Time to Build

There are some buildings around the world that are simply spectacular. In some, the architecture is eye catching and tells the story of a civilization. Others are geometrical marvels. The accuracy of design and construction are the most attractive features of these buildings. There are some others that are standing works of art. They have amazing sculpture on the outside and colorful murals on the inside. We visit them to behold their magnificence. One thing that most of these buildings and structures have in common is that they were built over a very long period of time. Here are 20 buildings and structures that took the longest time to build.

The Coliseum in Rome

This is a very famous Roman structure. It is well known to be the location where the legendary gladiators would fight. The coliseum took 10 years to finish. Construction began in AD 70 and ended in AD 80. Its original purpose was to be a venue for celebrating military victories. According to experts, the venue could hold a crowd of between 50,000 and 80,000. It stood more than 620 feet long and 157 feet high. It also had tunnels under the arena, arches, elevators and hydraulic systems. It was an engineering feat of excellence.

The Parthenon

Few other temples are as famous as this Grecian one. Construction of this temple began in 5 BC and ended at around 12 AD. It took 17 years for it to be completed. It was constructed to honor the goddess Athena. Moreover, all its proportions were measured according to the Golden Ratio. This was so that the Parthenon would be a perfect, beautiful building. It is built upon the Acropolis hill above the city of Athens.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

This is one of the most beautiful yet curious structures today. Located in Pisa, the leaning tower took 199 years to be completed. It was designed by Bonnano Pisano and he wanted it to be straight. However, today it leans 3.99 degrees. It has a collection of 297 steps that lead from the bottom to the top.

St. Peter's Basilica

Located in Vatican City, Rome, this is one of the most impressive church buildings in the world. It took a total of 144 years to build. In the 4th century, Emperor Constantine commissioned its construction. Within its walls, you can find the murals painted in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo as well as 100 tombs under the basilica.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Located in the Egyptian desert, this is the greatest pyramid in the country and one of the most impressive buildings in the world. Construction of this mammoth building began in 2,580 BC and ended in 2,560 BC. For 20 years, slave laborers and the most intelligent engineers of the time labored to build this pyramid for pharaoh Khufu. Not only is it one of the tallest structures in the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza and the two neighboring pyramids match a star formation right above them. The accuracy is within millimeters.


Located in Cuzco, Peru, this is a building constructed by the ancient Incan Empire. It took them a total of 63 years to complete it. Their architecture is marvelous. They did not use any mortar to join up the building blocks. Instead, they carved the blocks such that they interlocked very tight. Considering the technology of the time, Sacsayhuaman is an engineering marvel.

St. Basil's Cathedral

Moscow is the capital city of Russia. It is also the home of this colorful cathedral. Its construction began in the year 1555 and the cathedral took 123 years to complete. It was ordered to be built by Ivan the Terrible. Many know St. Basil's Cathedral for its colorful minarets all over the cathedral complex. It was designed by architects known as Barma and Postnik.

The Taj Mahal

Men do many things for the women they love. Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor decided to go above and beyond for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. He decided to build her a palace that celebrated her beauty. This palace was the Taj Mahal. Construction began in 1632 and the palace took 21 years to construct. 20,000 workers accomplished this labor of love for the Shah and his wife.

The York Minster Cathedral

Built in medieval times, this is the one of the biggest cathedrals of the era. It took 252 years to complete. Construction began in 1220 and ended in 1472. The cathedral proudly displays the largest stained glass in one structure. It is 520 feet long. There are three towers in the York Minster Cathedral. Each is 200 feet long. The cathedral displays the best of medieval architecture.

Chichen Itza

This is an ancient Mayan building complex. Located in South America, Chichen Itza took 400 years to construct. The first block was laid in AD 600 and the last one was laid in AD 1,000. The Mayans had a vibrant culture and impressive architecture. Chichen Itza indicates both of these qualities. The building complex has a tall pyramid in its center. This one was designed such that it amplified the sound of a speaker located in its middle. Moreover, during a vernal equinox, a shadow of a slithering serpent was cast upon the steps of the pyramid. Chichen Itza is a mysterious yet fascinating building.

St. Paul's Cathedral

Construction of this building began in 1675. Located in London, England, it is a majestic building showcasing classical architecture. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and it has a unique feature known as the whispering gallery. It is said that if you whisper on one side of the wall in this gallery, your words will be heard on the other side yet the wall is 112 feet thick. Curious don't you think?

Buckingham Palace

This is the home of the British royal family. Buckingham palace was originally called Buckingham House when construction began in 1702. 23 years later, it was completed. It was designed by John Nash. Sir Aston Webb designed the facade of the building in 1913. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live in Buckingham Palace. Today it is the official home of Queen Elizabeth II.

Angkor Wat

This is one of the wonders of the world. The temple of Angkor Wat was constructed between AD 802 and AD 1220. Therefore, it took 400 years to be built. The temple is made up of many buildings constructed in one place and interconnected by paths and gardens. It also has a wall that is 2.2 miles in length which marks the border of an area that is 203 acres in size. For many years, the temple had been overgrown by jungle. Today, it has been carefully cleared for the world to admire the Khmer architecture that is to be found in this temple.


Found in the blistering heat of the Jordan desert, Petra is a citadel that is unique for one reason. It was not constructed with rocks, it was carved right into the rocks. The Nabataeans carved this citadel into the rock in 600 BC. The process ended after 850 years. Once it was complete, Petra could hold up to 20, 000 people inside. They did not have the tools required to carve out rock with accuracy and strength. Yet the citadel of Petra stands and exists today.

The White House

Located in Washington DC, U.S.A., this is the official seat of power and the residence of the US president. It was designed by James Hoban and construction began in 1792. 13 years later, it was completed. Despite the British destroying much of this impressive structure in the Burning of Washington, it was reconstructed to its former glory.

The Sagrada Familia

This is one of the most impressive churches in the world and still under construction. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi, a famous architect in 19th century Spain. Construction began in 1882 and is still going on according to Gaudi's plan. When he died in 1926, the Sagrada Familia was only quarterway done. It is expected to be completed in 2026.


Resting in the countryside of England is Stonehenge. Nobody really knows why this collection of rocks was built. However, it is an engineering puzzle. Construction of Stonehenge took over 1,600 years. Different generations of people who settled in the area cooperated to construct the structure. The remarkable thing is that these generations may not have had direct contact yet Stonehenge is built with accuracy and precision. Every rock in the complex is aligned expertly with solar and lunar elements. Moreover, the rocks weigh an average of 4 tons each. Why they built it, we may never know. However, we will always be amazed by the structure.

The Great Wall of China

This is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. It is also one of the ones that took longest to build. This Great Wall took over 2,000 years to complete. It was started in 400 BC and completed in AD 1600. Many dynasties of Chinese people performed the construction. Once it was finished, the Great Wall of China covered 4,160 miles and hosted an armed guard of more than 1 million soldiers. It was a formidable defense against the Northern raiders and also showed Chinese Imperial might.

Mount Rushmore

This is quite an impressive sight to behold. It comprises the heads of four presidents of the United States of America. They are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Together, these faces on the side of the mountain represent the first 130 years of American history.. A marvelous sculpture, Mount Rushmore was built by Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln. Sculpting began in 1927 and the structure took 14 years to be completed.

The Statue of Christ the Redeemer

With his outstretched arms over Rio de Janeiro, Christ the Redeemer is a mammoth statue located on the top of Corcovado mountain. It was carved by Heitor Da Silva alongside Paul Landowski. They began the labor in 1922 and completed it 9 years later. Christ the Redeemer weighs a total of 635 tonnes.

The Important Take Away

Buildings and structures of immense size normally take a long time to complete. The labor is always worth it. This is because these structures serve the purpose of shelter and are also ceremonial, political or even spiritual. They are symbols of the power of human creativity and engineering effort. Find some time to visit some of the ones in this list and prepare to be amazed.

Damascus, Syria

Dawood Pierre / EyeEm / Getty Images

Damascus is widely believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with evidence of habitation dating back to around 10,000 to 8,000 BCE. Its location and persistence have made the city a nexus for civilizations come and gone. In 2018, its metropolitan area was home to about 2.3 million people, and in 2008 UNESCO named the city the Arab Capital of Culture.

Stele of Hammurabi Rediscovered

In 1901 Jacques de Morgan, a French mining engineer, led an archaeological expedition to Persia to excavate the Elamite capital of Susa, more than 250 miles from the center of Hammurabi’s kingdom.

There they uncovered the stele of Hammurabi𠅋roken into three pieces—that had been brought to Susa as spoils of war, likely by the Elamite king Shutruk-Nahhunte in the mid-12th century B.C.

The stele was packed up and shipped to the Louvre in Paris, and within a year it had been translated and widely publicized as the earliest example of a written legal code—one that predated but bore striking parallels to the laws outlined in the Hebrew Old Testament.

The U.S. Supreme Court building features Hammurabi on the marble carvings of historic lawgivers that lines the south wall of the courtroom.

Although other subsequently-discovered written Mesopotamian laws, including the Sumerian “Lipit-Ishtar” and “Ur-Nammu,” predate Hammurabi’s by hundreds of years, Hammurabi’s reputation remains as a pioneering lawgiver who worked—in the words of his monument—”to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak and to see that justice is done to widows and orphans.”

Secrets: Great Pyramid

Working on the royal boats, it seems, was a source of prestige. According to the papyri found at Wadi al-Jarf, the laborers ate well, and were provisioned with meat, poultry, fish and beer. And among the inscriptions that Tallet and his team have found at the Wadi al-Jarf gallery complex is one, on a large jar fashioned there, hinting at ties to the pharaoh it mentions “Those Who Are Known of Two Falcons of Gold,” a reference to Khufu. “You have all sorts of private inscriptions, of officials who were involved in these mining expeditions to the Sinai,” Tallet says. “I think it was a way to associate themselves to something that was very important to the king and this was a reason to be preserved for eternity for the individuals.” Clearly these workers were valued servants of the state.

The discovery of the papyri at such a distant location is significant, Tallet says: “It is not very logical that [the writings] should have ended up at Wadi al-Jarf. Of course [the managers] would have always traveled with their archives because they were expected always to account for their time. I think the reason we found [the papyri] there is that this was the last mission of the team, I imagine because of the death of the king. I think they just stopped everything and closed up the galleries and then as they were leaving buried the archives in the area between the two large stones used to seal the complex. The date on the papyri seems to be the last date we have for the reign of Khufu, the 27th year of his reign.”

The work that Tallet and his colleagues have done along the Red Sea connects with Lehner’s work at Giza. In the late 1980s, Lehner began a full-scale excavation of what has turned out to be a residential area a few hundred yards from the pyramids and the Sphinx. For centuries, travelers had contemplated these amazing monuments in splendid isolation—man-made mountains and one of the world’s great sculptures sitting seemingly alone in the desert. The paucity of evidence of the substantial number of people needed to undertake this massive project gave rise to many bizarre alternative theories about the pyramids (they were built by space aliens, by the people from Atlantis and so forth). But in 1999, Lehner began uncovering apartment blocks that might have housed as many as 20,000 people.

And many of the Giza residents, like the boatmen at the Red Sea, appear to have been well-fed. Judging by remains at the site, they were eating a great deal of beef, some of it choice cuts. Beef cattle were mostly raised in rural estates and then perhaps taken by boat to the royal settlements at Memphis and Giza, where they were slaughtered. Pigs, by contrast, tended to be eaten by the people who produced the food. Archaeologists study the “cattle to pig” ratio as an indication of the extent to which workers were supplied by the central authority or by their own devices—and the higher the ratio, the more elite the occupants. At Lehner’s “Lost City of the Pyramids” (as he sometimes calls it), “the ratio of cattle to pig for the entire site stands at 6:1, and for certain areas 16:1,” he writes of those well-stocked areas. Other, rather exotic items such as leopard’s teeth (perhaps from a priest’s robe), hippopotamus bones (carved by craftsmen) and olive branches (evidence of trade with the Levant) have also turned up in some of the same places, suggesting that the people who populated Lehner’s working village were prized specialists.

Sailors may have figured among the visitors to the pyramid town, according to Merer’s papyrus journal. It mentions carrying stone both up to the lake or basin of Khufu and to the “horizon of Khufu,” generally understood to refer to the Great Pyramid. How did Merer get his boat close enough to the pyramids to unload his cargo of stone? Currently, the Nile is several miles from Giza. But the papyri offer important support for a hypothesis that Lehner had been developing for several years—that the ancient Egyptians, masters of canal building, irrigation and otherwise redirecting the Nile to suit their needs, built a major harbor or port near the pyramid complex at Giza. Accordingly, Merer transported the limestone from Tura all the way to Giza by boat. “I think the Egyptians intervened in the flood plain as dramatically as they did on the Giza Plateau,” Lehner says, adding: “The Wadi al-Jarf papyri are a major piece in the overall puzzle of the Great Pyramid.”

Tallet, characteristically, is more cautious. “I really don’t want to be involved in any polemics on the building of the pyramids at Giza—it’s not my job,” he says. “Of course it’s interesting to have this kind of information, it will deserve a lot of study.”

Tallet believes that the Lake of Khufu, to which Merer refers, was more likely located at Abusir, another important royal site about ten miles south of Giza. “If it is too close to Giza,” Tallet says, “one does not understand why it takes Merer a full day to sail from this site to the pyramid.” But Tallet has been persuaded by Lehner’s evidence of a major port at Giza. It makes perfect sense, he says, that the Egyptians would have found a way to transport construction materials and food by boat rather than dragging them across the desert. “I am not sure it would have been possible at all times of the year,” he said. “They had to wait for the flooding, and could have existed for perhaps six months a year.” By his estimate the ports along the Red Sea were only working for a few months a year—as it happens, roughly when Nile floods would have filled the harbor at Giza. “It all fits very nicely.”

About Alexander Stille

Alexander Stille is a professor at the Columbia School of Journalism and the author of five books including Benevolence and Betrayal, The Future of the Past and his latest, The Force of Things. Stille has worked as a contributor for The New Yorker magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic and the Boston Globe.

Our History

For 120 years, Hobart has supported the food equipment and service needs for the foodservice and food retail industries.

Getting started

March 19, 1891: The first computing scale measuring not only weight but also price and value is introduced by the Dayton Scale Company.

July 20, 1897: The Hobart Electric Manufacturing Company is founded.

1900 - 1924

1903: Hobart motors are sold to merchants who, with the help of Hobart representatives, belt them to the large flywheels of hand-operated coffee mills, producing the world's first self-contained, powered coffee mills.

1904: Hobart establishes a nationawide sales and service organization.

1905: Hobart expands its product offering with the introduction of electric meat choppers.

June 30, 1906: Model 212 Peanut Butter Machine enters the market the Food & Drug Act is signed into law.

1906: W.K. Kellogg and Charles D. Brolin open the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company.

1909: The Model 232 Chopper is introduced to large-volume retail operations.

1910: Hobart holds its first sales convention in Troy, OH. Hobart also opens its first Canadian office in Toronto and first overseas office in London.

1913: The company reoganizes as the Hobart Manufacturing Company. Sales for the year surpass $1 million.

1914: The introduction of the Model A-80 ushers in Hobart's dominance of commercial mixers.

1915: Hobart continues its growth into the world market, opening sales offices in Australia, South Africa and South America.

1916: The opening of the self-service store, Piggly Wiggly, in Memphis, TN, heralds the beginning of the surpermarket chain concept.

1918: Coffee retailing takes a step forward with the introduction of the Model 28 Coffee Mill.

1919: The mixer that will win "Oldest Running Hobart Mixer Contest" in 1990 is built and sold to Von Hatten's Bakery in Fort Smith, AR.

1921: The world's first hamburger franchise, White Castle, opens its doors.

1922: The Model 13230 Combination Meat Chopper and Mixer, the precursor to mixer/grinders, debuts.

1925 - 1949

1925: Hobart's workhorse, the Model M-80 Mixer, is added to its product offering.

1926: Hobart purchases The Crescent Washing Machine Company, and enters the commercial warewashing market.

1926: J. Frank Grimes forms the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) with 60 New York stores.

1927: Clarence Birdsey perfects the flash-freezing process.

1927: Hobart acquires Paul Navarre et Fils, Europe's leading commercial warewashing manufacturer.

1928: The Hobart Model 6030, the first commercially successful potato peeler design on the market, is introduced.

1929: The American Culinary Federation is founded.

1930: Hobart debuts its first electric slicer, the Model IIA.

1933: The first Model A-200, the world's largest selling mixer, is introduced.

1933: Hobart beats the competition to the market with the introduction of an air whip for preparing whipped or creamed toppings for baked goods.

1933: The National Association of Food Chains is founded.

1934: Hobart acquires the Dayton Scale Division of International Business Machines (IBM).

1935: The Model 97 "Low Boy" scale enters the market.

1935: Hobart builds a new plant in New Southgate, London, England.

1936: Professor Albert Raimon, the inventor of Chiffon fabrics and a pioneer in cosmetics mixes his first batches of makeup in a Hobart M-80 Mixer.

1936: The Model 4212 "Black Beauty" meat chopper is introduced.

1936: J.A. Stoker wins "Old Hobart Chopper Contest" with 1905 model chopper.

1938: The Model 970 Scale is introduced.

1938: The Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act is passed, prohibiting the traffic of dangerous retail products.

1939: The Federal Food Stamp Program is initiated.

1940: The S.S. America, the largest, speediest and safest vessel ever built in an American shipyard, is outfitted with 21 Hobart food machines.

1942: Hobart supplies the war effort with high-precision instruments and ordnance items such as telescope mounts and fire control generators. For its manufacturing achievements, Hobart receives five Army-Navy E Awards for Excellence in Production.

1944: The National Sanitation Foundation is created.

1946: The new Model 5013 Meat Saw offers "easy clean" design.

1946: The new 600 Series "Moneyline" Scales offer readability from any angle.

1946: American School Food Service Association is founded.

1947: Hobart introduces the N-50 Mixers.

1947: Hobart adds the 1512 Angle-Feed Slicer to its produce offering.

1948: Hobart acquires Federal Engineering, adding its "Steakmaster" tenerizer line.

1948: Hobart builds new Canadian plant in Toronto.

1948: Hobart purchases the Frandor Engineering Company in Barnstaple, England.

1950 - 1974

1950: Hobart introduces FT Series Automatic Conveyor Dishwashers.

1953: High-volume retail operations receive help with the introduction of the H-600 Mixer and the Model 4052 Chopper.

1955: The M-802 Heavy Duty Bakery Mixer takes its place in Hobart's famous mixer line.

1956: The Model 2000 Prepack system ushers in automatic weighing and labeling systems.

1957: The International Society of Food Service Consultants is founded.

1958: Pizza Hut opens its first unit.

1958: Hobart introduces SaniQuick Cold Water Glasswasher.

1959: The introduction of the 1612 and 1712 Automatic Slicers brings "hands-free" convenience to retail stores.

1959: U.S.S. Nautilus celebrates transpolar Arctic expedition by mixing a North Pole cake with a Hobart 20-quart mixer.

1960: The International Franchise Association is founded.

1960: Ronalt Adams, described as "the greatest wedding cake artist in the world," uses Hobart mixers to prepare the wedding cake for Princess Margaret's wedding.

1961: Hobart conducts its first Sales Training School

1964: Hobart purchases Corley-Miller, adding wrapping systems to their offering.

1964: Hobart is first listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

1964: The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association is founded.

1965: High-volume meat processing improves with the addition of the Model 3000 Automatic Weighing and Wrapping System and Hobart’s first Mixer/Grinder, the Model 4356.

1966: The company introduces Hobart disposers.

1967: The Model 7000 Industrial Scale Line is introduced.

1968: Red Lobster opens its first unit.

1969: The Troy, OH, world headquarters building is dedicated. Hobart now has 20 major commercial product lines, 32 manufacturing operations, and customers in more than 100 countries.

1969: Hobart acquires Koch Refrigeration of Kansas City, MO.

1969: Hobart acquires steam cooker manufacturer, Vischer Products of Chicago, IL.

1970: Hobart adds digital displays to its scale line.

1970: The company acquires microwave oven producer, Thermo-Kinetics of New Liberia, LA.

1972: Hobart debuts the 512 Slicers.

1972: Hobart acquires Wascon Systems of Hatboro, PA, a waste equipment manufacturer.

1972: The Automatic Patty Machine is introduced to the trade.

1973: Hobart pioneers the use of universal product symbols that would later become the current UPC system.

1973: The North American Association of Equipment Manufacturers is formed.

1973: Hobart establishes its Dealer Sales Development Program.

1974: Hobart Manufacturing Company becomes Hobart.

June 1974: The first electronic scanner checkout system is used at Marsh Supermarket in Troy, OH.

1975 - 1999

1976: the first “wholesale” clubs appear in the U.S.

1977: The Food Marketing Institute is formed from the merger of the Super Market Institute and the National Association of Chain Stores.

1978: Generic, private-label products begin appearing on store shelves.

1980: The company purchases the Commercial Cooking Equipment Division of General Electric in Chicago, IL. Convection ovens and other cooking equipment are now available under the Hobart label.

1981: Hobart becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Dart & Kraft, Inc.

1982: Hobart debuts the Model 5000 Weighing and Labeling System, the first scale to allow interface with store computer systems.

1982: The Film Mizer Electric Stretch Wrapper is introduced to complement Hobart’s weighing and labeling systems.

1982: Several deaths are reported when customers ingest Tylenol tainted with cyanide, bringing about sweeping changes in tamper-proof packaging.

1983: Hobart introduces Q-Series refrigeration.

1983: AM-14 and FT-800 Series warewashers are introduced.

1984: Hobart President’s Dealer Council is formed.

1984: Premier of ScaleMaster technology gives retailers centralized control of scale files.

1985: The Model 1870 Scale is introduced.

1986: Vulcan-Hart is purchased.

1986: The FDA bans all use of saccharin in food, cosmetics and over-the-counter drugs.

1986: The introduction of the HiLite Labeler helps retailers merchandise product.

1989: Adamatic, a manufacturer of turnkey bakery packages, is acquired.

1989: Environmental concerns from consumers cause manufacturers to rush to market with a number of “green” products.

November 17, 1989: Wal-Mart opens the first Super Center, offering a number of grocery and household products.

1989: Hobart food processors are introduced.

1990: “Oldest Running Hobart Mixer” contest is launched. Over 6,000 entries are submitted.

1991: A 1919 C-210 Mixer, belonging to Andre Soucy of Von Hatten’s Bakery in Fort Smith, AR, wins “Oldest Running Hobart Mixer” contest.

1992: Chicken-To-Go launches Hobart into deli-prepared food systems.

1992: Q-Series refrigeration is CFC-free.

1993: Street Tough LX Undercounter Warewasher is introduced.

1995: In-store foodservice programs receive a boost with the premier of the Hobart Combination Oven/Steamer.

1995: Quantum Service Scale/Printer, designed with retailer input, debuts.

1995: Hobart introduces FTX Automated Warewashing technology into the U.S. market.

1996: Hobart reorganizes along market segment lines, forming Food Retail Division.

1997: Hobart introduces TCP/IP and Ethernet 10baseT compatibility, making its scale networking products compatible with retailers’ existing computer systems.

1997: Debut of the TurboWash System, the Flashbake Oven, the HSRO Single Rack Oven and the MG-1532 Mixer/Grinder give retailers a full offering of cost and labor-saving products.

July 20, 1997: Marks Hobart’s 100th Anniversary.

1998: Premark International (PMI) acquires Traulsen & Co., manufacturer of a premier line of commercial refrigeration equipment.

May 16, 1998: Hobart introduces the 2000 Series Slicers.

October 1, 1999: The Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) awarded Hobart its coveted 1999 Award for Distinguished Development.

1999: Hobart 410 “Streamliner” meat slicer, first produced in 1944, joins world tour as part of an exhibition on the American Century in art and culture. The Hobart 410’s shiny, curvy shape provided a metaphor for speed, control and progress.

1999: Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) acquires Premark International, bringing Hobart and Traulsen brands together in the ITW Food Equipment Group of companies.

2000 - current

November 11, 2000: When the “West Wing” TV drama series was ready to construct a cafeteria for the White House, they wanted the highest quality equipment from a respected and recognized company. Hobart stood out as the right choice.

2001: Hobart becomes the first food equipment manufacturer to include built-in antimicrobial product protection in food equipment in an agreement with Microban Products Company. The protection is built in to the 2000 Series Slicer, continually inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and fungi.

February 17, 2001: Hobart’s technology turns ordinary scales into “smart” equipment, bringing advantages and solutions never before possible to fresh foods departments.

May 19, 2001: Hobart announced an agreement with Microban Products Company that would make Hobart the first manufacturer to include built-in antimicrobial product protection in food equipment for the foodservice industry.

September 7, 2001: Hobart launches innovative “Here, There and Everywhere” contest, encouraging customers to tell their favorite Hobart story. Contest generates hundreds of entries.

October 10, 2001: Hobart’s Owen Sound facility, a 145,000-square-foot plant located in Ontario, Canada, celebrates 50 years of operation. Hobart’s C-line warewashers are manufactured at this plant.

January 3, 2002: Hobart sells Adamatic to AGA Foodservice Group.

January 19, 2002: Hobart receives the Award of Excellence from the American Culinary Institute for its dough mixer.

February 25, 2002: Hobart and Traulsen announce the consolidation of their product lines, bringing the foodservice industry’s preferred brands together—Hobart warewashing, food machines, cooking and weighing and wrapping equipment as well as Traulsen refrigeration. Both Hobart and Traulsen are now supported by the most comprehensive sales and support organizations in the food equipment industry.

March 1, 2002: Hobart partners with American Express Business Financing and announces the industry’s first zero percent financing promotion designed to assist the foodservice industry during the most challenging economic climate in more than a decade.

June 24, 2002: Hobart sponsors the “Commercial Baking” contest as part of the annual Skills USA-VICA national championship.

July 5, 2002: Hobart is the official mixer provider and sponsor of the U.S. Team in the World Pastry Team Championship. The U.S. Team wins the competition over the best pastry chefs from 11 other countries around the world.

2002: Hobart Service begins offering online Technical Support Tools including parts catalog, operator guides, instruction manuals, troubleshooting guides and the Hobart online CAD library.

2002: Web Marketing Association recognizes Hobart’s Website with its “Standard of Excellence” for the fourth straight year.

2003: Hobart introduces the Legacy™ Mixer, the most significant new mixer design in 50 years, which earns the company an honorable mention as Manufacturer of the Year by the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI).

2003: Hobart and Traulsen are the first manufacturers to register as NAFEM Data Protocol compliant-ready with the Hobart LXi warewasher and the Traulsen R- and A-Series and full-size undercounter refrigerators and freezers.

2003: Hobart Service introduces Water Treatment Solutions to protect food and beverage equipment from the damaging effects of water impurities.

2003: Hobart introduces the CleanCut™ slicer blade with a high-tech alloy that keeps the blade sharper, more durable and easier to use.

2004: Hobart revolutionizes foodservice equipment dealer programs with a new package of functional incentives called Performance Plus-Dealer Advantage Program. The program rewards dealers for specifying and stocking, and for focusing their selling efforts on Hobart and Traulsen products.

2004: Hobart introduces the revolutionary Opti-Rinse™ System spray nozzles on its conveyor and flight-type dish machines. The system reduces water and energy consumption by more than 50 percent, compared to previous machines.

2004: Hobart’s new dish machine, the AM Select, becomes the first door-type washer to achieve NSF certification for heavily soiled pots and pans.

2005: Hobart redesigns its multiple-award-winning Hobart Website with fresh content and new navigation targeted to specific segments within the food industry, to include both foodservice and food retail.

2005: Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) honors Hobart with the Manufacturer of the Year Award.

2005: National Restaurant Association panel of judges selects the Legacy Mixer and the Opti-Rinse System as winners of the Kitchen Innovations Award.

2005: Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) selects the Hobart Opti-Rinse System one of the Top 10 Innovative Products of 2005.

2006: Hobart extends the breadth of the Legacy Mixer line to include 80- and 140-quart models to complement its 60- and 12/20-quart models.

2006: Hobart and Traulsen launch an HACCP Compliance Center Website to support K-12 Schools foodservice directors with recent food safety regulations.

2006: Hobart holds its 200th Dealer Sales Development Program. Approximately 6,000 dealer salespeople have completed the course.

2006: A national search discovers the oldest Hobart mixer still in service: a 1913 model still used every day at Winan’s Chocolates & Coffees, a fourth-generation-owned company in Piqua, OH.

2006: Hobart earns overall “Best-in-Class” for the sixth straight (and every) year in an independent survey of consultants, dealers and broadliners sponsored by Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine.

2006: Hobart becomes a member of the U.S. Green Building Council supporting leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) and endorsing the research and development of sustainable foodservice equipment.

Don't worry. Great things didn't stop happening after 2006. We're just working to determine which exciting stories and innovations to share. If you have any questions or are interested in learning more, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you.


From the world’s tallest skyscraper to the largest ever LEGO tower. Scale the heights of engineering with this selection of record-breaking buildings and structures.

Longest fort walls

The longest walls around a fort or castle are the 22.4-mile walls at Kumbhalgarh Fort, a Mewar&hellip

View this record Longest fort walls

Highest concrete dam

Grande Dixence, on the river Dixence in Switzerland, is the highest concrete dam. It was built&hellip

View this record Highest concrete dam

Tallest building unoccupied

The tallest building that is completely unoccupied is the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea.&hellip

View this record Tallest building unoccupied

Fastest double-deck lift (elevator)

View this record Fastest double-deck lift (elevator)

Largest vertical maze (permanent)

The largest vertical maze is situated on the front facade of Al Rostamani Maze Tower and has a&hellip

View this record Largest vertical maze (permanent)

Tallest residential building

Opened in 2015, the 426-m (1.397-ft), 432 Park Avenue in New York City, New York, USA, is the&hellip

View this record Tallest residential building

Longest ancient Roman wall

The longest wall from the ancient Roman world that survives today is the 118-km (73-mile) Hadrian’s&hellip

View this record Longest ancient Roman wall

Largest structure demolished (by volume, controlled demolition)

The largest structure (by volume) to be demolished by explosives was the 19.821 million cu. m. (70&hellip

View this record Largest structure demolished (by volume, controlled demolition)

Oldest hedge maze

The oldest surviving hedge maze is located at Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, UK and was built for&hellip

View this record Oldest hedge maze

Tallest man-made structure on land

The tallest man-made structure on land is the Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower) which measures 828 m&hellip

View this record Tallest man-made structure on land

Largest playing card structure

The largest playing card structure was a replica of The Venetian® Macao, The Plaza® Macao and Sands&hellip

View this record Largest playing card structure

Largest 3D mandala

The largest 3D Mandala is 7.371 m (24.18 feet) high with a diameter of 14.23 m (46.69 feet) and was&hellip

View this record Largest 3D mandala

Tallest wooden pagoda

The Sakyamuni Pagoda in the Yingxian County of China's central Shanxi Province stands 67.31 m (220&hellip

View this record Tallest wooden pagoda

Longest floating walkway

The longest floating walkway measures 5.13 km (3.19 miles) and was achieved by Chengdu VENI Tourism&hellip

View this record Longest floating walkway

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The world's first skyscraper: a history of cities in 50 buildings, day 9

It won’t surprise anybody to learn that the very first skyscraper went up in the United States, but it will surprise some to learn that it went up in Chicago. While it didn’t take Manhattan long to claim the steel-framed high-rise as its own, the skyscraper boom began in the capital of the American Midwest in 1885 with William Le Baron Jenney’s Home Insurance Building, which rose to its then-impressive height of 10 storeys (and, after an 1890 addition, 12) by means of metal, rather than just masonry.

Legend has it that Jenney, an engineer by training and an École Centrale Paris classmate of Gustave Eiffel (designer of the eponymous tower), first suspected that an iron skeleton could hold up a building when he saw his wife place a heavy book atop a small birdcage, which easily supported its weight. This opened a new chapter in the history of towers, helped by the Great Chicago Fire (in which more than three square miles of the mostly wooden central city burned to the ground in 1871), and by Chicago’s surging 1880s economy.

The Home Insurance Building weighed only a third as much as it would have in stone. Photograph: Corbis

For obvious reasons, when the New York Home Insurance Company wanted a new Chicago headquarters in the city’s cleared-out downtown, they wanted it fireproofed – but they also wanted it tall, accommodating “a maximum number of small offices above the bank floor”. Jenney’s metal-framed design won their open contest, not only thanks to the relative fire-resistance of its materials, but to the additional protection offered by its outer iron columns, covered in stone.

Unlike its predecessors – the generations of large buildings supported by nothing but their own masonry walls – the Home Insurance Building wouldn’t have to get thicker, darker, stuffier and heavier to get taller. It weighed only a third as much in iron and steel as it would have in stone.

Terra cotta spandrel on the Home Insurance Building, 1931. Photograph: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago/Getty

Not everybody immediately accepted the soundness of Jenney’s design. “Where is there such a building?” the committee asked when presented with the plan. “Your building at Chicago will be the first,” Jenney replied.

After construction got underway, the Home Insurance Company and the City of Chicago temporarily halted the project in order to investigate further whether the building could really stand up on its own. Soon after, Jenney got the idea to switch from an iron frame to an exotic new material, steel, using a supply offered to him by the Carnegie-Phipps Steel Company of Pittsburgh. This aroused yet more skepticism. A 1962 Life magazine retrospective on the origins of skyscraper recalls how “an aroused critic terrified his fellows at a protest meeting by impersonating the writhings of a steel beam exposed to a sudden change of temperature”.

But in the event, not only did the Home Insurance Building stand up, it came to stand for an entire architectural movement, loosely termed the Chicago School, which gave built form to the proud, square-shouldered, technologically forward American ambition that drove the country forward in the late 19th and early 20th century.

American architect Andrew Nicholas Rebori and colleagues examine the structure of the Home Insurance Building on its demolition in 1931. Photograph: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago/Getty

Though aesthetically unified only by what some historians term the “commercial style”, the architects of the Chicago School shared an interest in creating innovative tall buildings, an effort supported not just by steel but by the electricity needed to keep the lights on and the elevators running. The group included architects Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, whose firm would give Frank Lloyd Wright his start, and Daniel Burnham, who in 1902 would design New York City’s still-standing and still-striking early skyscraper, the Flatiron Building.

By developing and refining the concept of the skyscraper, the Chicago School’s influence not only changed the way we built cities in the 20th century, ushering in previously unthinkable densities, but remains visible in the newest additions to major skylines today. Jenney’s design gave Chicago’s modestly sized central business district – now known as the Loop – a way to expand upward, rather than outward. It was a concept whose limits New York, and later other world capitals, would keep pushing over the following century.

An artist’s impression of LaSalle Street, Chicago in 1890, five years into the Home Insurance Building’s life. Photograph: Glasshouse Images/Rex

The 1940s saw the emergence of a “second Chicago School”, which took the pioneering work in new directions – upward, for the most part. This movement gained momentum during German modernist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s time at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology, innovating with 3D “tube” structures, just as the first Chicago school innovated with steel beams. Bangladeshi engineer Fazlur Khan made the boldest initial steps with tube structures, using them to design the city’s John Hancock and Sears (now Willis) Tower.

These tube structures have continued to make possible the kind of skyscrapers that set world records and shape their cities’ identities – buildings like New York’s World Trade Center, Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers and even Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower, which upon completion will, at 167 storeys, be the world’s tallest building. Even though the skyscraper itself counts as a quintessentially American invention, the most daring examples now appear mainly outside the US.

Jenney believed in designing buildings for the long term, so future generations could “read the feelings and aspirations of those who erected them”. Alas, his masterpiece fell to the wrecking ball in 1931 to make way for another skyscraper, the Field Building (now the LaSalle Bank Building). But its legacy lives on in every major city, places we simply cannot imagine without the far taller, sleeker skyscrapers built over the past 130 years, each and every one of which owes something to the Home Insurance Building.

The ATM is Dead. Long Live the ATM!

Automated teller machines, better known as ATMs, have been a part of the American landscape since the 1970s—beacons of self-service and convenience, they revolutionized banking in ways we take for granted today. They live to serve we only really notice them when we can’t seem to locate one.

But in recent years, the ATM no longer does something that no other machine or outlet can do and its days, some say, are numbered. Or is it? Because it looks like at the very moment ATM usage in on the decline, some American banks are doubling-down on their ATM investment.

The “world’s first” ATM landed on a high street in Enfield, a suburb of London, at a branch of Barclays bank there’s even a blue plaque on the outside of the building, still a Barclays, to memorialize the cash dispenser’s June 27, 1967, debut. The story goes that John Shepherd-Barron, an engineer at printing company De La Rue, came up with what was essentially a cash vending machine one Saturday afternoon after he missed his bank’s open hours. He was, notably, in the bath. Shepherd-Barron he approached Barclays with the idea, a contract was hurriedly drawn up (over a “pink gin”) and soon after, the new cash dispenser – with a 㾶 maximum withdrawal – sprouted up next to the bank. The machine transformed banking and Shepherd-Barron’s name went down in history: In 2005, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to banking and the obituaries after his death in 2010 all called him the “inventor of the ATM”.

It’s a good story, although it’s almost certainly not true – “absolutely rubbish,” laughed professor Bernardo Batiz-Lazo, professor of business history and bank management at Bangor University, Wales, and the co-author of a book on the history of the ATM.

Shepherd-Barron was indeed part of the Barclays machine group, though, Batiz-Lazo says, there were several teams working independently to come up with a solution to the same problem: How can you get cash out of your bank after hours without resorting to robbery? It also wasn’t an idea that came from nowhere, eureka moment in the bath aside. Banks had been actively looking for a way to automate the teller process – Batiz-Lazo says that the individual engineers might not have known that anyone else was working on the same ideas, but the banks certainly knew. Moreover, ATM innovation had a number of clear predecessors. Batiz-Lazo pointed to American Luther George Simjian’s invention of the Bankograph in 1960, machine that would allow bank customers to deposit checks and cash into a machine and that spent a short time in the lobby of a New York bank (it didn’t catch on: “The only people using the machines were prostitutes and gamblers who didn’t want to deal with tellers face to face,” Simjian supposedly said). Other progenitors include the application of the magnetic stripe card in things like electronic ticket gates and innovations in self-service gas stations and vending machines.

There were at least two other groups working at the same time as Shepherd-Barron, although there’s some evidence that a cash-dispensing device popped up in Japan briefly even before the Barclays device made its appearance. Just a week after the Barclays cash dispenser was installed, a Swedish cash machine appeared a month later, Britain’s Westminster Bank rolled out its cash dispenser. Over the next two years, more groups began working on their own machines. 1969 was a big year for ATMs: another British bank, Midland, partnered with tech company Speytech to roll out their machines Japan’s Omron Tateishi company installed one outside the Sumitomo Bank and the Chemical Bank in Rockville Centre, New York installed its ATM with the prescient advertising slogan, “On September 2, our banks will open at 9 am and never close again.”

These first devices were not just geographically dispersed, they were technologically all over the place, too. The hurdles in creating an automated cash-dispensing device were pretty substantial, and each machine handled them in different ways. Some machines dispensed cash in plastic cartridges, rather than as individual notes some had customers use a metal or plastic token that was inserted into the machine and kept, to be mailed back to the customer later others issued customers stacks of paper, like a check, that were used in the same way.

Omron Tateishi’s machine used a magnetic-stripe card Barclays machine had customers enter a PIN to identify themselves, and checked that number against what was basically a check inserted into the machine. But security was always an issue – there was no way to really ensure that the user of the token was actually the holder of the account, a fact that proto-hackers in Sweden exploited to great advantage in 1968 when they used a stolen ATM token to withdraw huge amounts of money from different machines. Then there was the fact that ATM electronics were being forced to work in all-weather conditions, resulting in frequent breakdowns. These early ATMs were big, clunky, unreliable, and not incredibly popular.

So why did banks persist in installing them?

The short answer is that despite their limitations, ATMs were at the vanguard of technology and therefore desirable. ATMs emerged in the 1960s and 󈨊s, out of a brave new world where “self-service” and “automation” were big buzzwords that appealed to a wide swath of people. The longer answer is that each country that worked on developing ATMs had their own reasons and particular social milieu that pushed the dispenser’s innovation. In the U.K., where three of first working ATM prototypes were born, banks were facing unprecedented pressure from banking unions to close on Saturdays. This was around a great period of unionizing in Britain, when workers’ unions had increasing power at the same time, business leaders were being sold the idea that automation would save labor costs and reduce the influence of the unions. Automating the teller process seemed like a very good idea, one that would satisfy the customers and the banking unions, and even give banks themselves a measure of control.

A woman makes use of an early model automated teller machine belonging to Surety National Bank in 1970. (© Bettmann/CORBIS)

In the U.S., there was certainly a need for more flexible banking – banks had horrible hours for working people. But at the same time, as much as 30 percent of the American population didn’t bother with banks and why would they? Many American workers received their pay packets at the end of each week in a big wad of cash and after bills were paid, there was either not enough left over to deposit into a bank account or simply no reason to do so. If you were paid in checks, department stores like Sears or J.C. Penney’s would happily cash your check for you – especially if they thought you might spend a bit of it on the way out. However, banks, now increasingly moving into the retail sector, were waking up to the fact that they were losing out on a lot of business. Their interest in rolling out ATMs came from wanting to attract more customers with shiny new gadgetry and then, once they had those customers, up-sell them on things like loans and credit cards. There were also other, bigger reasons banks pushed forward with ATMs, including not having to lengthen banking hours, reducing congestion in bank branches, postponing or even eliminating the need to open new branches while still maintaining a physical presence, and, of course, cutting labor costs. So some banks, like Citibank, pushed ATMs hard.

Ultimately, the ATM was part of a revolution in how banking was seen and saw itself. This shift had to do with what kind of business bankers thought they were in – turns out, it was information processing, not money moving. It also, Batiz-Lazo says, facilitated a shift in the balance of power of banks: People began to identify themselves with the bank’s brand, rather than the individual branch this was a fundamental change in the role of banks in society. ATMs showed that banking needn’t be tied to a branch or even a human being, prefiguring a world where banking is done 24 hours a day, seven days a week on mobiles and laptops, and definitely not in a branch (more on this later).


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