Stephen Stepanian

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Stephen Stepanian

Stephen Stepanian (February 28, 1882 – October 1964) (Armenian: Ստիվեն Ստեփանեան) was an Armenian American inventor and owner of numerous patents including the Elevator and Conveyor, Compound Tool, and the Wrench. He is also accredited as the inventor of a self-discharging motorized transit mixer that was the predecessor of the concrete mixer truck.[1][2][3] Stepanian is often called the "father of the ready-mix concrete industry."[4]


Of Armenian descent, Stepanian moved to Grandview Heights, Ohio, in 1906.[5] He is credited with rescuing 13 people from a tree using a makeshift raft during the 1913 flood in Columbus, Ohio. They had been in the tree some 48 hours when Stepanian used a raft he made from floating timbers and a pole to navigate them, 2-3 at a time, to safety.[6] He resided on Glenn Avenue near Bluff. Stepanian became president of Marble Cliff Quarries and the Central Ohio Concrete Company. Eventually, Stepanian founded the Arrow Concrete Company, a company that is still in service today.[7] He was elected as an honorary member of the board of directors for the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.[8]

Stepanian was honored by the 1954 National Ready Mixed Concrete Association annual convention which named him an honorary lifetime member.[7] In 2004, Stepanian was selected as one of the Top 100 Transportation Private Sector Professionals by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.[7]

Inventor of concrete mixing truck[edit]

Stephen invented a self-discharging motorized transit mixer that was the predecessor of the concrete mixer truck and applied for a patent in 1916.[2] However, the patent was rejected in April 1917 by the patent office because it was believed that a truck could not support the weight of a concrete mixer on top of it.[5] The patent office also noted that there was no previous patenting information that proves integration was possible with both the mixer and the design of the truck.[7] Other sources suggest that the patent was rejected because Stepanian was not an American citizen.[2] However, on December 21, 1928, Stepanian reapplied for the patent and received approval on November 21, 1933.[9]

Notable patents[edit]

  • Wrench United States Patent No. 1,321,776, filing date: May 29, 1918, issue date: Nov. 11, 1919.[10]
  • Concrete Mixing and Transporting Vehicle United States Patent No. 1,935,922, filing date: Dec. 21, 1928, issue date: Nov. 21, 1933.[9]
  • Sample Display Holder United States Patent No. 1,730,439, filing date Apr. 24, 1926, issue date: Oct. 8, 1929.[11]
  • Compound Tool United States Patent No. 1,321,777, filing date: Feb. 24, 1919, issue date: Nov. 11, 1919.[12]
  • Elevator and Conveyor United States Patent No. 859,588, filing date: Sep. 9, 1904, issue date: Jul. 9, 1907.[13]
  • Building Apparatus United State Patent No. 2,440,920, filing date: Aug. 15, 1941, issue date: May 4, 1948.[14]
  • Garment United States Patent No. 1,997,703, filing date: April 7, 1933, issue date: April 16, 1935.[15]


  1. ^ "READY MIXED CONCRETE: the first fifty years" (PDF). Concrete Construction. 1962. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c D Q Campbell, Paul. "Who invented the portable mixer anyway?" (PDF). Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ready-Mixed Concrete". Retrieved 27 February 2013. In 1916, Stephen Stepanian of Columbus, Ohio, developed a self-discharging motorized transit mixer that is considered the predecessor of the modern ready-mixed concrete truck. 
  4. ^ Whipple, Harvey, ed. (1954). "Stephen Stepanian". Concrete. Concrete-Cement Age Publishing Company. 62: 89. When one starts to chronicle the story of ready-mixed concrete in the light of the development of the ready-mix trucks themselves, one must inevitably start with Stephen Stepanian, often called the father of the ready-mix industry. 
  5. ^ a b Partamian, Stepan (2009). Yes, we have: contributions of American-Armenians to the United States of America (illustrated ed.). Armenian Arts Fund. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 01, 1913, Image 23". 1913-04-01. ISSN 2163-7121. Retrieved 2016-03-21. 
  7. ^ a b c d Marsh, Don (1 May 2004). "Mixer Inventor Early Poster Child For Intellectual Property Laws". Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Journal of the American Concrete Institute. American Concrete Institute. 25: 15. 1954.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ a b "Concrete Mixing and Transporting Vehicle" (PDF). FreePatentsOnline. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Wrench" (PDF). Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Sample Display Holder" (PDF). FreePatentsOnline. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "Compound Tool" (PDF). Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Elevator and Conveyor" (PDF). Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Building Apparatus" (PDF). FreePatentsOnline. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Garment" (PDF). FreePatentsOnline. Retrieved 27 February 2013.