You are here:

FREE Newsletter

Inventors John Loudon McAdam - The History of Roads and Asphalt
By Mary Bellis

Return to the History of Roads and Asphalt

John Loudon McAdam (born 1756) designed roads using broken stones laid in symmetrical, tight patterns and covered with small stones to create a hard surface. McAdam discovered that the best stone or gravel for road surfacing had to be broken or crushed, and then graded to a constant size of chippings. John Loudon McAdam's design, called "macadam roads," provided the greatest advancement in road construction at the time.

The water bound Macadam roads were the forerunners of the bitumen-based binding that was to become tarmacadam. The word tarmacadam was shortened to the now familiar tarmac. The first tarmac road to be laid was in Paris in 1854.

The Colossus of Roads
Before John Loudon McAdam, road building was an expensive business.

John Loudon McAdam
Scottish inventor, John Loudon McAdam invented the macadam road surface.

Meet The Inventor - John Loudon McAdam
The form of pavement or road surface we now call "macadam" was invented about two hundred years ago by a Scot named John Loudon McAdam.

John Loudon McAdam
born Sept. 21, 1756 , Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland
died Nov. 26, 1836 , Moffat, Dumfriesshire

From Mary Bellis,
Your Guide to Inventors.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

Important disclaimer information about this About site.

Newsletters & RSSEmail to a friendAdd to
All Topics | Email Article | |
Our Story | Be a Guide | Advertising Info | News & Events | Work at About | Site Map | Reprints | Help
User Agreement | Ethics Policy | Patent Info. | Privacy Policy | Kids' Privacy Policy

©2006 About, Inc., A part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.
Mental Health

Depression Self-Test Vitamins for Depression? Bipolar Red Flags Coping With Disasters Celebrities With Bipolar

What's Hot

Gyroscopes - Elmer Sperry and Charles Stark Draper Gyroscope...Angel AlcalaThe History of the BikiniRusi Taleyarkhan Jack Johnson