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History of Helical Piles and Tension Anchors

The helical pile was reportedly invented in the 1700's. Exactly how it was used back then is unknown to this author. In the early 1800's a constructor in England by the name of Alexander Mitchell used hand-installed helical screw piles in the design of foun-dations for lighthouses. This technology was brought to the U.S. where lighthouses wewe constructed on helical piles along the East Coast, some of which reportedly can still be visited today. Installation was by hand using brute human force work animals.
Some time after the introduction of helical piles to the foundation industry, methods of drilling piers and driving piles improved to the point that hand-installed helical screw piles were not as cost-effective so they fell out of use. It was not until the mid-1900's that installation equipment was developed that brought helical piles back into demand. Today, high capacity and rapid installation equipment now routinely install helical piles and tension anchors in projects ranging from heavily loaded commercial and industrial structures to the lightly loaded residential structures. Please see the application list belw.
This article is taken from John's. Pack, P.E., compiled books

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