Preferred Shares
Preferred Shares Podcast
The Rocks That Connect America

The Rocks That Connect America


Welcome to Episode 11 of the Preferred Shares Podcast.

In this episode—the second part in our series on the beneficiaries of the spending on the interstate highway system of the United States—Preferred Shares explores the aggregates industry. In particular, we go over the early history of Birmingham Slag, the family-owned business that evolved into Vulcan Materials Company (VMC).

In this episode

  • Interstate Highway System background refresher

  • The unique qualities of the aggregates industry

  • Early Vulcan Materials history

  • Role of inheritance tax in driving industry consolidation

  • State of the industry today: does a focus on aggregates drive premium valuations?

  • Henry Crown, founder of Material Service Corp.

  • How two large aggregates businesses were acquired by two defense contractors

  • Devin’s case study on FRP Holdings

  • Wrapping up on key takeaways

Solon Jacobs, founder of Birmingham Slag in 1909
Charles W. Ireland, grandson of the original Ireland who bought Birmingham Slag, on the cover of Business Week
Vulcan Materials ad in 1959 Alabama State Fair brochure
Vulcan Materials full page ad in Business Week, Jan. 31, 1959.

Episode Resources

Additional Reading

Curious to see what else we’ve been working on? Below are some pieces we’ve written independently that we think you’d like:

Rock Pile Riches, Lawrence Hamtil, 2/02/2024

The Pits, Devin LaSarre, 1/8/2023

Enjoy this episode? Share it with someone who loves business history as much as you do!

You can also follow Preferred Shares, Devin, Doug, and Lawrence on Twitter.



All opinions expressed by Preferred Shares hosts and guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinions of their respective employers. This podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. None of the information contained in the podcast or this web site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

Clients of Andvari and Fortune Financial may maintain positions in the securities discussed in this podcast. Furthermore, from time to time, the Hosts may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Podcast and may trade for their own accounts based on the information presented. The Hosts may also take positions inconsistent with the views expressed in its messages on the Podcast.