The History of Asphalt

Often time in life, we take the inventions and innovations around us for granted. For instance, when is the last time you really sat there and thought about how a light bulb works, or where you would be if it were never invented? What about your computer? Most of us cannot function nowadays without our computer, laptop, or smartphone. And then there are those innovations that make our lives easier that we rarely ever notice, like asphalt; it’s everywhere from shingles and sidewalks to driveways, roads, and more. In fact, over 750 million tons of asphalt is poured and rolled every year in the USA, alone.

But where did asphalt come from?

Asphalt Facts

• Asphalt occurs naturally in asphalt lakes and rock asphalt.

• Asphalts first recorded use was in Babylon in 625 B.C. in the formation of roads.

• The ancient Greeks and Romans used asphalt to seal their baths, reservoirs, and aqueducts. In fact, the word asphalt comes from the Greek word “asphaltos”, meaning “secure.”  The Romans later changed the word to “asphaltus.”

• Sir Walter Raleigh wrote about using natural asphalt to re-caulk his ships in 1595.

• Then, in the mid 1800’s, John Loudon McAdam used hot tar to bond broken stones together.

• In the late 1860s, “asphalt” came to America!

• The first bituminous mixtures were used for sidewalks, crosswalks, and roads.

•  Then in 1870, Edmund J. DeSmedt laid the first true asphalt pavement in America, a sand mix in front of the City Hall in Newark, New Jersey.

Since then time, asphalt has really taken off.

If you have any questions about Asphalt or if you have a construction project that you need completed right the first time, please contact Reliable Contracting by calling 410-987-0313 or visit our website.

Reliable Contracting maintains a reputation as a leader in the construction industry. Our clientele includes builders, developers, individuals and government agencies. With projects ranging in cost from $10,000 to over $10 million, Reliable can be seen working on Maryland’s roads, highways, airports, office parks, shopping centers, hospitals, churches, and residential neighborhoods earning our reputation by providing clients with consistent quality and dedication to their projects.  And we should say, that this difference is very good.

Reliable Contracting Company serves the following and surrounding Counties: Annapolis, Queen Anne’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Howard, Prince George, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Washington D.C.

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History of Asphalt

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012 at 5:39 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.