Rear View Mirror

The History of the Automobile in America,

it’s mechanical and auto body technology and development, the people who drive them, the laws they are subject to, the evolution of the roads they drive on, and almost inevitably, the technology required to recover a collision-damaged vehicle and return it to drivable condition, are all intertwined. The history of the collision repair industry, most specifically, the many companies that support the industry, have a long and interestingly varied past.

These items are offered as informational only, and do not necessarily represent the position or opinion of American Honda.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 21, 1756

John Loudon McAdam is born in Scotland and becomes an engineer. By the mid-1770’s he moves to New York, profiting during the American Revolution, and returning to Scotland a rich man.  In 1812 he moves to England and becomes a civil surveyor and was engaged with road building and maintenance.  In 1816, he issues a treatise stating in effect that proper roads should have a hard surface, and the surface should be raised above the surrounding soil for proper drainage. He said they should be constructed in a systematic manner.

In 1816 he develops a method of building roads with a bed of hard stones covered with crushed stone and gravel held together with asphalt. This method of construction became known as macadamization or more commonly referred to as a “macadam road.” The first road “macadamized” in America is the Boonesborough Turnpike Road” in Maryland in 1823. Not until the dawn of the automobile, in another 80 years, would paved streets become a real issue.  Paved roads would allow greater speed, and create – more automobile accidents. In some ways, one might say that John Loudon McAdam was inadvertently the “father of the collision repair industry.”

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