Invented by Dr. Arthur M. Howald and introduced by The Shakespeare Company in 1947, the composite pole revolutionized the fishing rod market and made bamboo and steel virtually obsolete. The fishing pole's larger cousin, the vaulting pole, soon followed and made a name for composites as vaulting records moved up to new heights. Today, solid and hollow poles come in a variety of lengths and diameters for applications ranging from power distribution to telecommunication, lighting and flag display. Matrix materials have expanded to include both polymers and concrete but one thing remains the same - composite poles are still replacing traditional materials including wood, steel, aluminum and, yes, bamboo.