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What Did They Do?
Transcript of What Did They Do?
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John Loudon McAdam was born in Ayr, Scotland in Lady Cathcart's house in the Sandgate, on September 21, 1756.
John Macadam was the youngest of ten children and second son of the Baron of Waterhead. The family name was traditionally McGregor, but was changed to McAdam for political reasons in James VI's reign.
Macadam attended Mr Doicks School at Maybole until he was fourteen. He then moved to New York in 1770 and, as a merchant and prize agent during the American Revolution, made his fortune working at his uncle's counting house. He returned to Scotland in 1783 and purchased an estate at Sauchrie, Ayrshire.
* that the word
was derived from tar Macadam
* that Macadam's roads were necessary for Henry Ford's upcoming invention, the automobile.
*that a workman would check the gravel size for the road by seeing if the stone would fit into his mouth.
DID YOU KNOW?
Family & Education
Macadam asserted that the soil based tracks needed to be improved. He aimed for a road that would be more durable and less muddy than soil-based tracks. He decided to remake the roads under his care with crushed stone bound with grated gravel on a firm base of large stones. He also designed a camber, making the road slightly convex, ensured rainwater rapidly drained off the road rather than penetrate and damage the road's foundations. This construction method, the greatest advance in road construction since Roman times, became known as "macadamisation", or, more simply, "macadam".
Aim of Development
McAdam died in Moffat, Dumfriesshire, while returning to his home in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, from his annual summer visit to Scotland, November 26, 1836.
There is a memorial to him in Broxbourne Parish Church, describing him as “the great improver of British roads”, while his Hoddesdon home, now called Montagu House, bears a blue plaque.
Death & Recognition
John Loudon Macadam
John Macadam's Estate, Sauchrie
Construction of the first macadamized road in the United States (1823).
As a result of Macadam's great development in road construction the macadam method spread very quickly across the world. The first macadam road in North America, the National Road, was completed in the 1830s and most of the main roads in Europe were subject to the McAdam process by the end of the nineteenth century. As a reward for his success, Macadam was paid £5,000 for his Bristol Turnpike Trust work and made "Surveyor-General of Metropolitan Roads". It was also recorded that he was also offered a knighthood, which he declined due to his age.
Success & Achievements
Rush hour traffic on the National Road
Blue plaque on Montagu House