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John McAdam

John McAdam

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John Loudon McAdam was born in Ayr on 21st September, 1756. His father was fairly wealthy but lost his money in a bad investment in a local bank. When he was fourteen he moved to New York City to work at his uncle's counting-house. His father's brother, William McAdam, had already established himself as a prosperous merchant. McAdam was taken into the home of this childless couple. After his uncle retired he took over the company.

By 1778 he married Gloriana Margaretta Nicoll, the daughter of a wealthy lawyer. When the America achieved its independence, McAdam decided to return to Scotland, where he purchased a house and estate at Sauchrie. As his biographer, Brenda J. Buchanan, pointed out: "John Loudon McAdam's enforced return propelled his career into its second phase, as a Scottish country gentleman and business entrepreneur. He became a magistrate; a trustee of the Ayrshire turnpike roads; deputy lieutenant of the county; and the officer in charge of a volunteer artillery corps when in 1794 a French invasion seemed imminent."

In 1798 the family moved to Bristol. He established a company that became involved in the chemical industry. In 1811 he helped to establish the Bristol Commercial Rooms, becoming the first president, and played a leading part in the campaign for a new prison in the city. He took an interest in road building and published a book, entitled Remarks on the Present System of Road Making. McAdam claimed in the book that his views were based on a study of the conditions found on his travels, covering, he claimed, over 30,000 miles.

In 1816 he was appointed surveyor to the Bristol Turnpike Trust. He remade the roads under his control with crushed stone bound with gravel on a firm base of large stones. A camber, making the road slightly convex, ensured the rainwater rapidly drained off the road and did not penetrate the foundations. This way of building roads later became known as the Macadamized system.

Brenda J. Buchanan has explained: "McAdam's recommended system of road construction involved the careful preparation of a well-drained subsoil, levelled, but with a slight fall from the centre of 1 inch to the yard. The roadstone was to be broken by seated workers with small-handled hammers into rough pieces weighing no more than 6 oz that would fit into the mouth. McAdam had observed that large stones were likely to be cracked by passing vehicles and sent flying, but that smaller, angular ones, applied to a depth of 10 inches and compressed by workmen, were consolidated by traffic to produce a resilient and impermeable surface which improved over time. These techniques were simple, effective, and economical."

By 1819 the Bristol Turnpike Trustcontrolled 178 miles, and McAdam's salary had risen to £500 a year. As his reputation grew McAdam was able to extend his influence further by becoming a surveyor or consultant to other trusts. By 1819 McAdam and his two sons worked for twenty-five trusts. As a result of his success, MacAdam was made surveyor-general of metropolitan roads in England. It has been calculated that between 1820 and 1825 McAdam received £6000 from public funds.

Gloriana McAdam died in 1825. Two years later he moved to Hoddesdon and married her much younger relative, Anne Charlotte Delancey (1786–1862). Although he left the Bristol Turnpike Trust he continued to work as a a surveyor.

The eighty-year-old John McAdam died on 26th November, 1836.

John McAdam

Born on 21 September 1756, in Ayr, McAdam was the son of a landowner. In 1770 he went to work in the New York countinghouse of a relative, returning in 1783 with a tidy fortune to purchase the estate of Sauchrie in Ayrshire.

Holding the post of a turnpike road trustee, McAdam was very aware of the unsatisfactory condition of roads in Britain when it rained they quickly became very difficult or impassable. He began to experiment with various methods of road building. Acquiring the British Tar Company in 1790, it was a loss-maker to the extent that in 1795 he had to sell Sauchrie to pay off debts. He then moved to Falmouth, Cornwall, in 1798, where he was able to continue road experiments with a government appointment.

His blinding flash of insight was that if the subsoil were adequately drained, and if a 10-inch (250mm) layer of broken and graded stone chips, properly cambered, were laid on this, the effects of traffic would be not to break up the surface as before, but in fact compact the surface. In this way the macadam road surface came about, leading to a vast improvement in communications by road, not only in Britain, but in the United States.

Several sons and grandsons continued his work, designing and surfacing much of Britain's roads. He died on 26 November 1836, at Moffat, Dumfriesshire.

John Loudon McAdam is Born

Today in Masonic History John Loudon McAdam is born in 1756.

John Loudon McAdam was a Scottish engineer.

McAdam was born John Lowdon McAdam on September 23rd, 1756 in Ayr, Scotland. His family name was traditionally McGregor and was changed during the reign of James VI to McAdam which claimed descent from the biblical Adam.

In 1770, McAdam moved to New York City, New York in the United States. There he worked for his uncle's counting house during the American Revolution. He amassed a fortune while in the United States before returning to Scotland in 1783. Once back in Scotland he purchased an estate in Ayr. He also ran the Kaims Colliery, a coal mine with it's associated facilities. The colliery provided coal to the British Tar Company and coke to a local iron works. Although McAdam would later become famous for the use of coal tar to bind road materials ("tarmac"), his only association with the tar industry was a supplier of coal.

It was also in 1783 that McAdam became the trustee of the Ayr Turnpike. This put him in control of the day to day maintenance of the road and it's construction over the next 10 years. In 1802 he moved to Bristol, England and became general surveyor of the Bristol Corporation. He would argue that roads needed to be built up higher than the surrounding land and constructed from layered rock in a systematic way.

In 1816, McAdam was appointed surveyor to the Bristol Turnpike Trust. There he decided to put his ideas into practical application. He remade the roads with crushed stone, bound with gravel and on a bed of large stones. He also made the roads convexed so that the water would rapidly run off the roads to not damage the foundation of the road. The innovation was hailed as the greatest road construction advance since the Romans. The method was called Macadamisation or simple "Macadam." His construction methodology spread all over the world and in 1830 it was applied to the National Road in the United States which connected the Potomac and the Ohio rivers.

McAdam's work not only brought praise, it also brought professional jealousy and scorn from other Turnpike Trusts. His new and efficient methods for maintaining the roads revealed corrupt practices from other Turnpike Trusts which often ran the roads at a loss despite extremely high tolls.

Running Turnpike Trusts became something of a family business with McAdam's sons and grandsons working in that field. One of McAdam's sons was given a knighthood for his efforts. It is claimed that McAdam himself was offered the knighthood and turned it down.

McAdam passed away on November 26th, 1836.

It is not clear where McAdam first joined Freemasonry. It is claimed that he joined while living in the United States. What is known is that when he returned to Ayr he affiliated with Lodge Ayr Kilwinning, which was originally known as Squaremen's Lodge No. 65. He served as Worshipful master of Lodge Ayr Kilwinning.

Undiscovered Scotland

John Loudon McAdam lived from 21 September 1756 to 26 November 1836. A member of a minor branch of Ayrshire nobility, he made his fortune in the United States before returning to Scotland and developing an interest in road construction. He subsequently became responsible for the most important improvements in roadbuilding techniques since the Romans. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.

John Loudon McAdam was the youngest of 10 children of James McAdam and Susanna Cochrane, the niece of the 7th Earl of Dundonald. He was born in Ayr before the family moved to Lagwyne Castle. When this burned down they moved to Blairquhan Castle, also in Ayrshire. John was educated at McDoick’s School of Maybole until 1770 when, at the age of 14, his father's business, the Bank of Ayr, and the family fortune both collapsed, and his father died.

McAdam, now 14 years old, was sent to live with his uncle, William McAdam, a wealthy merchant in New York. During the American Revolution between 1775 and 1783, John Loudon McAdam supported the loyalist side. He went on to make his own fortune at a very young age, becoming a successful merchant, part owner of the privateering ship "General Matthew", and a "prize agent": in effect selling goods and material captured during the war and taking a cut for doing so.

While in New York, John Loudon McAdam married Gloriana Nicoll. In 1783, he paid the price of supporting the losing side in the War of Independence, and had most of his assets seized before being put on a boat back to Scotland with his wife and two children. Back in Ayrshire, McAdam still had the means to buy an estate at Sauchrie near Maybole. Meanwhile, his close links with his relative, the 9th Earl of Dundonald, gave him a business interest in an iron works and in the production of tar-based products from coal.

John's interest in developing his estate caused him to study the way roads were constructed. At the time roads were either built, very expensively, from laid stones, or more usually were simply abysmal. His work became more widely known and in 1798, he was asked to improve the road surfaces in Falmouth. He was appointed surveyor to the Bristol Turnpike Trust in 1815, and went on to produced two papers, in 1816 and 1819, entitled Remarks on the Present System of Road-Making and Practical Essay on the Scientific Repair and Preservation of Roads. He argued that by building the road surface up above the surrounding land, by ensuring good drainage, and by using carefully graded and cambered layers of crushed stone, bound together with fine gravel or slag, roads could be made very much durable than before: and very much more cheaply. They were also cheaper and easier to maintain once built. This method represented the greatest advance in road construction since Roman times and became known as "macadamisation", or just "macadam".

By the early 1820s, some 70 turnpike trusts across the country were using McAdam as a consultant. In 1823 the UK Parliament mounted an enquiry into the state of roads across the country, which were generally perceived to be falling short of the needs of a rapidly industrialsing nation. The main outcome was the appointment of McAdam as Surveyor General of Metropolitan Roads across Great Britain. His methods subsequently became very widely used, first across Great Britain and then in America and Europe. Except for the later addition of a layer of tar to bind the road surface's stones together (a process patented by E. Purnell Hooley in 1901 as Tar Macadam or "Tarmac" ), McAdam's basic techniques remain in use by road builders today. It is tempting to wonder why McAdam did not himself see the potential of using tar to bind the surface of his roads together: he had at one time, after all, owned a factory producing tar from coal. But perhaps that is simply an unfair use of hindsight.

McAdam died at the age of nearly 80 on 26 November 1836, and was buried in Moffat Cemetery.

Guide to the John McAdam Webster Papers 1869-1917Cage 145

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.


John McAdam Webster was born January 22, 1849 at Warrenton, Ohio, but was reared in Steubenville. During the Fall of 1862 the senior Webster was killed during the Union invasion of Kentucky. John McAdam Webster, in part seeking revenge for the death of his father, joined the 197th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and served from April to July, 1865. He was commissioned a second lieutenant though only 16 years of age.

Webster followed up his field service with an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in September, 1865. His stay there was somewhat longer than usual due to ill health. He was graduated thirty-third in a class of forty-one in June 1871 and was immediately commissioned a second lieutenant in the 22nd Infantry Regiment which was on frontier duty.

While the regiment was stationed at Fort Mackinac, Michigan, Webster married Rose S. Van Allen in 1874. Promotions were few and far between Webster had to wait until 1879 for promotion to 1st lieutenant and 1891 to make captain. All during these years Webster served with quiet distinction in staff positions at several posts.

A freak accident in 1895 resulted in a spinal jury which restricted the use of Webster’s right leg. He was thus on sick leave most of the time after August, 1895. Unable to partake fully in Army life Webster requested retirement and in December, 1898, he left the service taking up residence in Steubenville, Ohio. However in 1904, upon the recommendation of the commander of the Army, Webster was appointed by the Interior Department to serve as Superintendent at the Colville Indian Agency. He begrudgingly took the unsolicited appointment.

Webster served in this position with an awareness and sensitivity to Indian problems shown by few other agents. He generally took a paternalistic posture toward the Indians and attempted to foster education among them. He carried out his duties with the upmost scrupulousness (one of the reasons for which he had been selected). At times his desire to protect his wards outweighed his normal caution thus bringing wrath of the Interior Department down on his head. The question of how far an agent should go in protecting the interests of the Indians on the reservation brought about Webster’s first resignation in February, 1912. He left for Mackinac Island in April.

This resignation may have been prompted not only by policy questions but by a combination of ill health and a desire to write his memories. But in February, 1913, he returned to eastern Washington as superintendent of the Spokane Reservation. This new position would not last long due to continued ill health, administration problems, and a lack of all Indian support for his policies. Thus, in May, 1914, Captain Webster and his wife finally left the Indian Service and retired to their home at Mackinac Island, Michigan. Webster lived there until his death on October 15, 1921. His wife survived until 1938.

Scope and Content

The central core of the papers is the correspondence relating to Webster’s work as superintendent at the colville and later Spokane Reservations. This core is supported by additional materials such as Indian affidavits and depositions on land sales, census reports, clippings, and photographs.

The correspondence represents the wide and varied problems Webster was faced with during his tenure in office. These problems ranged for giving "fatherly"advice to Indians having marital problems to uncovering white men tryping to defraud the Indians out of their inheritances. All these situations are reflected in the over 700 items which make up the papers of Caption John McAdam Webster.


The Webster Papers are arranged chronologically within folders in three series: Correspondence Reports and Photographs, clippings and other papers.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections © 2020

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open and available for research use.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Acquisition Information

The John McAdam Webster Papers were acquired by Professor Herman J. Deutsch for the Washington State University Library over the period 1951 to 1954 from O. W. Lang of Mackinac Island, Michigan. Mackinac Island was the final home of Webster and his wife and his papers were found in an old chest at their home – "Island House." These papers were designated the Webster papers and were processed ca. 1960.

Related Materials

Related Material

William Parkhurst Winans Papers, 1815-1917 Cage 147

John A. Simms Papers, 1858-1881 Cage 213

Colville Agency Records, 1866-1882 Cage 2053

Names and Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

Creator(s) :
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Colville Agency
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Spokane Agency

Geographic Name(s)

Personal Name(s)

Subject(s) :


  • Colville Indians -- Government relations
  • Spokane Indians -- Government relations
  • Indians of North America -- Washington (State) -- Government relations
  • Native Americans
  • Washington (State)
  • Photographs


Additional information concerning John McAdam Webster may be found in Delbert Keith Clear’s unpublished Master’s thesis "Captain John McAdam Webster, Indian Agent 1904-1914: A Decade of Honorable Service" completed at Washington State University in 1962.

One should also consult "The Spokane Indians: Children of the Sun" by Robert H. Ruby and John A. Brown (1970).

The History of Transportation

Before every other form of transportation, humans traveled on foot. Can you imagine walking from New York City to Los Angeles? Fortunately, human beings learned to use animals such as donkeys, horses and camels for transportation from 4000 BC to 3000 BC. In 3500 BC, the wheel was invented in Iraq and the first wheel was made from wood. Initially, a canoe-like structure was used for water transportation, which was built by burning logs and digging out the burned wood. In 3100BC, the sailing boat was invented by Egyptians while the Romans built roads across Europe. During the Industrial Revolution, the first modern highway was developed by John Loudon McAdam.

In the 17 th and 18 th century, many new modes of transportation were invented such as bicycles, trains, motor cars, trucks, airplanes, and trams. In 1906, the first car was developed with an internal combustion engine. Many types of transportation systems such as boats, trains, airplanes, and automobiles were based on the internal combustion engine.

The three leading automobile companies in the US in the 1920s were General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford. Furthermore, several styles of automobiles were produced such as the two doors, small, large, sports cars, and luxury cars. Presently, the latest car models have integrated improved standardization, computer aided systems, and platform sharing. The modern railroad system uses remote control for traffic lights and movement of traffic, capable of speeds of more than 570 km/hr.

History of Airplanes

The Wright Brothers were the first to develop a sustained and powered aircraft in 1902. Earlier, an unmanned helicopter powered by a steam engine was developed in 1877 by Enrico Forlanini. Later, bomber aircrafts such as Lancaster and B-29 were designed, and the first commercial jet airline was flown by British pilot De Havilland Comet. Today, commercial aircrafts can fly at the speed of 960 km/hr, transporting people at a lower cost in less time. Currently, unmanned remote controlled aircraft such as Global Hawk is used in military operations.

History of Trains

Trains are connected vehicles which run on rails. They are powered by steam, electricity or diesel. The steam engine is mostly fueled by coal, wood or oil. The first steam powered engine to be used in trains was introduced by James Watt, a Scottish inventor. The first rail transportation was used to move coal from mines to rivers.

The modern rail system was developed in England in 1820, progressing to steam locomotives. In 1825, Stockton and Darlington Railways opened and underground railway was first built in 1863 in London. In 1880, electric trains and the trams were developed. Today, most of the steam locomotives have been replaced by diesel. The fastest commercial High Speed Rail trains which use magnetic levitation technology can go up to 431 km/hr.

History of Automobiles

Automobiles based on internal combustion engine were first patented by Jean Lenoir of France in 1860. The first gasoline powered automobile was developed by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz in 1885. Modern automobiles were first developed in 1890s in Germany and France. In 1891, William Morrison introduced electric powered automobiles in the US, which were an improvement over the steam engines.

In 1893, the first automobile for sale was made by Charles and J. Frank Duryea in Springfield, Massachusetts in the United States. It led to the development of gasoline and petrol based automobiles. Henry Ford introduced the Model T Ford in 1903, which was successfully launched. Mass production of the Model T, priced in the range of $825 to $17000, started in 1908. In 1923, Alfred Sloan became the president of General Motors. Under his leadership, the company launched a plethora of new models during this time. These automobiles made transportation faster, more affordable, and more flexible for people.

Today, the automobile industry produces more than 70 million vehicles across the world and a rapid rise in price of oil and gasoline has led to the development of various green cars such as hybrid cars, battery operated cars, hydrogen cars, and cars running on alternative fuels.

Time Magazine Article on Hibernians on History

The following article appeared in Time Magazine in their Education Section

In the U. S., the Ancient Order of Hibernians is an association of Irish-born zealots, sensitive to the slightest slight to their kind. In a world preoccupied by other matters, for instance, it frequently appears to good Hibernians that the impact of the Irish on U. S. history is belittled or neglected. In Rochester last week, where the Hibernians of New York State were holding convention, fiery charges were heard that U. S. schoolbooks are unfair to the Irish.

“We need a real American history!” shouted wispy, grey John McAdam, State Chairman of Irish History. “The ones we now have are mostly just an additional chapter of English history. Why, 90% of our histories were written by New Englanders, and they certainly have no sympathy for the Irish.”

The errors charged by Historian McAdam were those of omission rather than commission. Among those individuals and groups whom he cited as suffering from insufficient treatment in U. S. school books were:

1) Irish soldiers of the Revolution. Few persons know, declared Historian McAdam, that 35% of George Washington’s army was Irish.

2) Soldiers of Irish birth or extraction who fought on the Union side in the Civil War number, according to Historian McAdam: 180,000.

3) Timothy Murphy, one of General Morgan’s sharpshooters, who figured importantly in the Battle of Saratoga. After waiting a long time for someone else to do so, the Hibernians have erected a monument to Timothy Murphy.

4) Commodore John Barry, first man to receive a U. S. naval commission (1794). Commodore Barry, it appeared, had a better claim to be called “father of the Navy” than John Paul Jones (born in Scotland), who, according to Historian McAdam, died a subject of France. The Hibernians were gratified when the U. S. recently issued a postage stamp in Barry’s honor, are now trying to have a destroyer named for him.

After his discourse, Mr. McAdam was pressed by newshawks for further details. Would he cite unfairness to the Irish in schoolbooks by title and page number? No. It was not that the Irish were deliberately besmirched, just that they had not had their due. Born in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, John McAdam emigrated to the U. S. 42 years ago, is now a New York State engineer, spends his spare time delving into Irish history.

Now before anyone starts an email to the publishers of Time, the date of this article is Monday, Sept. 06, 1937

However, we as Hibernians have to ask ourselves how much has changed? How many of our fellow citizens are acquainted with the four items cited above along with the many, many other contributions that Irish men and women have made to our nation. History books may no longer be written by “New Englanders”, but the forces of Political Correctness and Revisionism still have the “No Irish Need Apply Sign” (which some academics persist in denying ever existed despite overwhelming evidence) hangs on the door of school curricular.

This year marks the 31st proclamation of Irish American Heritage Month, let us vow to make this article from 1937 obsolete.


John McAdam cb. 1627 married Jonet Johnstoune were residents of Glasgow. Their decendents were also in Moray and Stirling. John was the son of John and Jonet Muir of Glasgow and probably from the line of Duncan McAdam, son of John McAdam of Waterhead.
Their daughter, Margaret c. 24 Sept. 1677 - in Dumbarton

Janet McAdam married Lawrence Miller 15 Aug. 1761

John McAdam married Margaret McNivine
i. Patrick c. 31 March 1695

John McAdam maried Jean Robinson 1 July 1697
i. Thomas 9 April 1699
ii. John Robert b. 1699
iii. Patrick 10 June 1703
iv. George b. 1704

Walter McAdam married Bessy Ewing
i. Matthew c. 9 March 1690
ii.. John c. 3 Sept. 1687
iii..James c. 21 Sept. 1693
iv. Robert c. 25 April 1696
v. David c. 4 April 1703
vi..Isobel c. 1 May 1705
vii.Thomas c. 29 May 1707

Neil McAdam married Maragret Campbell
i. Agness c. 6 March 1701

Walter McAdam married Janet Bilsland 10 June 1713
i. Margaret c. 23 March 1713
ii. Agnes c. 12 April 1714
iii..Janet c. 14 April 1716

Margorie McAdam married John Glen, 19 July 1718
Agness McAdam married James Blair 16 Nov. 1721
Isabell married Duncan McFarland abt. 1723
George McAdam married Mary Ann Graham 22 May 1729

John Robert McAdam married Janet McKinley
i. Walter c. 1720

Matthew McAdam married Janet Touart or Toward 27 March 1724
i. Agness c. 22 Aug. 1725
11.. John c. 20 Aug. 1727
iii.. Walter c. 20 April 1729
iv..Agness c. 26 Dec. 1736

Mathew McAdam married Janet Gay
i. John c. 28 Dec. 1718 Cardross
ii..Robert c. 12 Nov 1721 in Cardross
iii. Helen c. 31 Jan 1731 in Dumbarton

Robert McAdam married Janet McIndlay - i. Janet c. 20 Sept. 1730
Janet McAdam married Robert Cuming 30 Sept. 1731
Janet McAdam married James Williamson 3 March 1739
Walter McAdam married Elizabeth Campbell in 1745 - i. Walter b. 6 Jan 1756
Janet McAdam married David Graham 27 Dec. 1758
Walter McAdam married Janet Brice 8 Feb. 1753
John McAdam married Elizabeth McLachlan 6 Jan. 1759
Janet McAdam married John McLintoch, Oct. 1759
Helen McAdam married Daniel Bradley 8 Jan. 1763
Margaret McAdam married William McKindley 4 June 1802
Peter McAdam married Jean Mitchell 31 Aug 1805
James McAdam married Isobell Maxwell - i. Margaret c 8 July 1791
Adam McAdam married Mary McKindley - i. Robert c. 28 Jan 1798
Alexander McAdam married Christian Porter - i. Margaret c. 11 Oct. 1812

Robert McAdam married Jean Hamilton, 13 Oct. 1698
Marry McAdam married James Corbet, 2 June 1762
Mary McAdam married Andrew Beattie 24 Jan. 1794
Robert McAdam married Helen Telefer 7 June 1807
Catharine McAdam married William Kirk 5 March 1809
Sarah McAdam married Joseph Little 24 Sept. 1825
Isabella McAdam married William McGraw 24 Dec. 1826
Helen McAdam married Ross Gray 15 Nov. 1831
Elizabeth Ewart McAdam married Andrew Smith 12 May 1833
Fanny McAdam married John Grace 23 April 1847
Robina McAdam married James Milligan 11 June 1854
Janet McAdam married James Coupland 22 April 1856
Margaret McAdam married John Cairns 13 Feb. 1866

Thomas McAdam, abt. 1680 married Margaret McGiltragh, 2 March 1710 or 1711 at
Glencross, son, James c. 19 April 1713 at Glencairn.
James McAdam married Agnes Greirson, 26 April 1700 in Glencarin..
William McAdam married Agnes McCaig, 14 Jan. 1709 in Glencarin.
Thomas MacAdam (b. Nov. 18, 1832 in Troqueer, Scotland) and his wife Catherine Black (b. 1838, Dumfries, Scotland) wedding date as March 18, 1859, who emigrated in1868-70 and settled in Philadelphia. Their son, Samuel David MacAdam, was born in Oak Lane, a suburb of N. Philadelphia, on September 16, 1871. His older siblings Agnes b. 1860, Jessie b. 1861, Thomas b. 1864, Robert b. 1865, Catherine b. 1868, were born in Scotland.

Dumfries is not generally considered McAdam country or at least we have located not land records belonging to McAdams here. There are several marrage records in the city of Dumphries but none seemed to have lived there. The first records in Dumphries is when Quintin McAdam was absent from Court in 1616. It is not until 1680 we find a Thomas McAdam marring Margaret McGiltrath followed by a Thomas and James in the early 1700's. It appears this family remained here up through the 1860's, possiblily longer.

The records show the families in Glencairn were probably related to those in Dunscore, Sanquhar, and Holywood. They were allied to the families of the Jackson, Fergusson, Hendersons and others. The only clue to their origin is David McAdam who married Margaret Rankin in Sanquhar. David was the son of Alexander and Jane Dick McAdam, grandson of David McAdam of Grimmit and his wife P. Stair and member of the Craigengillan McAdam family.

John Loudon McAdam - History bibliographies - in Harvard style

Your Bibliography: 2015. Portrait of John Loudon McAdam. [image] Available at: <http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.art-prints-on-demand.com%2Fa%2Fenglish-school%2Fportraitofjohnloudonmcada.html&ei=NjrkVIkQkLjyBcyhgegM&bvm=bv.85970519,d.dGc&psig=AFQjCNEM5JRIVTYbNNgceeHWrU1vsLEhpQ&ust=1424329629926792> [Accessed 18 February 2015].

John Loudon MacAdam

In-text: (John Loudon MacAdam, 2015)

Your Bibliography: Electricscotland.com. 2015. John Loudon MacAdam. [online] Available at: <http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/macadam_john.htm> [Accessed 16 February 2015].

John Loudon McAdam | biography - British inventor

In-text: (John Loudon McAdam | biography - British inventor, 2014)

Your Bibliography: Encyclopedia Britannica. 2014. John Loudon McAdam | biography - British inventor. [online] Available at: <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/353599/John-Loudon-McAdam> [Accessed 18 February 2015].

John Loudon McAdam - Building Roads

designed roads using broken stones laid in symmetrical, tight patterns

In-text: (John Loudon McAdam - Building Roads, 2015)

Your Bibliography: Inventors.about.com. 2015. John Loudon McAdam - Building Roads. [online] Available at: <http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blJohnMcAdam.htm> [Accessed 18 February 2015].

John Loudon McAdam History

In-text: (John Loudon McAdam History, 2015)

Your Bibliography: Maybole.org. 2015. John Loudon McAdam History. [online] Available at: <http://www.maybole.org/notables/johnloudonmcadamhistory.htm> [Accessed 17 February 2015].

Famous Scots - John Loudon McAdam

In-text: (Famous Scots - John Loudon McAdam, 2015)

Your Bibliography: Rampantscotland.com. 2015. Famous Scots - John Loudon McAdam. [online] Available at: <http://www.rampantscotland.com/famous/blfammcadam.htm> [Accessed 15 February 2015].

2004 - The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

In-text: (2004)

Your Bibliography: The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. .

John McAdam - History

The first indications of constructed roads date from about 4000 BC and consist of stone paved streets at Ur in modern-day Iraq and timber roads preserved in a swamp in Glastonbury, England.

Late 1800s Road Builders
The road builders of the late 1800s depended solely on stone, gravel and sand for construction. Water would be used as a binder to give some unity to the road surface.

John Metcalfe, a Scot born in 1717, built about 180 miles of roads in Yorkshire, England (even though he was blind). His well drained roads were built with three layers: large stones excavated road material and a layer of gravel.

Modern tarred roads were the result of the work of two Scottish engineers, Thomas Telford and John Loudon McAdam. Telford designed the system of raising the foundation of the road in the center to act as a drain for water. Thomas Telford (born 1757) improved the method of building roads with broken stones by analyzing stone thickness, road traffic, road alignment and gradient slopes. Eventually his design became the norm for all roads everywhere. 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's design, called "macadam roads," provided the greatest advancement in road construction.

Asphalt Roads
Today, 96% of all paved roads and streets in the U.S. - almost two million miles - are surfaced with asphalt. Almost all paving asphalt used today is obtained by processing crude oils. After everything of value is removed, the leftovers are made into asphalt cement for pavement. Man-made asphalt consists of compounds of hydrogen and carbon with minor proportions of nitrogen, sulfur and oxygen. Natural forming asphalt, or brea, also contains mineral deposits.

The first road use of asphalt occurred in 1824, when asphalt blocks were placed on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Modern road asphalt was the work of Belgian immigrant Edward de Smedt at Columbia University in New York City. By 1872, De Smedt had engineered a modern, "well-graded," maximum-density asphalt. The first uses of this road asphalt were in Battery Park and on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1872 and on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C., in 1877.

Road Maker Biographies
John Metcalfe
Thomas Telford
John Loudon McAdam
More Information on Asphalt
Asphalt Origins
The Development of Roads
Coaching Days and Road Engineers

What Makes a Street or Road Work?

Parking Meters
Section from parking meter patent

Carlton Cole Magee invented the first parking meter in 1932 in response to the growing problem of parking congestion. He patented it in 1935 (US patent #2,118,318) and started the Magee-Hale Park-O-Meter Company to manufacturer his parking meters. These early parking meters were produced at factories in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The first was installed in 1935 in Oklahoma City. The meters were sometimes met with resistance from citizen groups vigilantes from Alabama and Texas attempted to destroy the meters en masse.

The name Magee-Hale Park-O-Meter Company was later changed to the P.O.M. company, a trademarked name made from the initials of Park-O-Meter. In 1992, POM began marketing and selling the first fully electronic parking meter, the patented "APM" Advanced Parking Meter, with features such as a free-fall coin chute and a choice of solar or battery power.

Photo: Carl C. Magee, originator of the parking meter.

Traffic Signals or Traffic Lights
The world's first traffic lights were installed near London's House of Commons (intersection of George and Bridge Streets) in 1868. They were invented by J P Knight.

Among the many early traffic signals or lights created the following are noted:

  • Earnest Sirrine of Chicago, Illinois patented (976,939) perhaps the first automatic street traffic system in 1910. Sirrine's system used the non illuminated words "stop" and "proceed".
  • Lester Wire of Salt Lake City, Utah invented (unpatented) an electric traffic light in 1912 that used red and green lights.
  • James Hoge patented (1,251,666) manually controlled traffic lights in 1913, which were installed in Cleveland, Ohio a year later by the American Traffic Signal Company. Hoge's electric-powered lights used the illuminated words "stop" and "move".
  • William Ghiglieri of San Francisco, California patented (1,224,632) perhaps the first automatic traffic signal using colored lights (red and green) in 1917. Ghiglieri's traffic signal had the option of being either manual or automatic.
  • Around 1920, William Potts a Detroit policeman, invented (unpatented) several automatic electric traffic light systems including an overhanging four-way, red, green, and yellow light system. The first to use a yellow light.
  • Garrett Morgan was issued a patent for an inexpensive to produce manual traffic signal in 1923.

Traffic Lines
In 1994, William Hartman was issued a patent for a method and apparatus for painting highway markings - the stripes etc.

Traffic Control
Traffic control is the supervision of the movement of people, goods, or vehicles to ensure efficiency and safety.

Traffic Laws
The history of traffic control. "In March 1896, Charles and Frank Duryea of Springfield, Mass., offer the first commercial automobile: the Duryea motor wagon. Two months later, New York City motorist Henry Wells hits a bicyclist with his new Duryea. The rider suffers a broken leg, Wells spends a night in jail and the nation's first traffic accident is recorded."

In 1935, England established the first 30 MPH speed limit for town and village roads.

Watch the video: How were roads made in the 18th century? Are We There Yet: Guide to Roads (May 2022).


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