John Macadam green plaque in Penrith

John Macadam, General Surveyor of Roads, lived here c.1820

John Loudon McAdam (21 September 1756 – 26 November 1836) was a Scottish engineer and road-builder. He invented a new process, "macadamisation", for building roads with a smooth hard surface that would be more durable and less muddy than soil-based tracks.Modern road construction still reflects McAdam's influence. Of subsequent improvements, the most significant was the introduction of tar (originally coal tar) to bind the road surface's stones together – "tarmac" (for Tar Macadam) – followed later by the use of hot-laid tarred aggregate or tar-sprayed chippings to create better road metalling. More recently, oil-based asphalt laid on reinforced concrete has become a major road surface, but its use of granite or limestone chippings still recalls McAdam's innovation.

Source: dbpedia

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