The Man Who Invented Concrete

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Joseph Aspdin, a bricklayer from Leeds, England, was the first to successfully patent portland cement. He obtained a British patent for the material in 1824, with his son William later obtaining a much more important patent for an improved version of the product in 1843. Both men might have been born a few hundred years too early to enjoy their achievements as partakers in the industrial revolution and modern building technology. Cement as we know it today, is made from a mixture of powdered limestone or clay, and other ingredients that are heated together in gigantic kilns to temperatures over 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. The resultant product is then ground into fine powder and mixed with sand, water and gravel to form concrete. Concrete is the most widely used man-made building material in existence and has been instrumental in shaping the very surface of our planet.

Aspdin’s original formula contained just four main ingredients; limestone, clay, gypsum and water. He named his product “portland cement” because he believed it resembled an Italian stone called Portland limestone that was mined on the Isle of Portland off England’s southern coast. Portland limestone was (and still is) used for making high quality buildings and sculptures. The exact proportions of his original formula were kept secret by

Joseph Aspdin was born in the village of Kirkstall, near Leeds, England. He was the son of a bricklayer. His father had been a member of the Royal Society of Arts and his brother William had won a prize from the same society for inventing a machine for making white bricks. The name “Aspdin” is associated with many patents; and Joseph himself claimed that he had made several inventions before patenting Portland cement. One invention, on which he took out a patent in 1799, was for a hydraulic cement (slurry of lime and clay that set under water).

Another “invention”, on which Joseph took out a patent in 1824, was for the manufacture of what he called Portland cement. The name “Portland” came from its resemblance to Portland stone, which is one of two limestone formations quarried on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. The other formation is called Purbeck stone. “Cement” comes from the Latin word caementum meaning chopped stone, and was already used in Roman times to describe masonry resembling modern concrete that was made from crushed rock with burnt lime as binder. The hardened material was also ground up and used as mortar between stones.

Joseph’s first patent (for his hydraulic cement

The first known use of cement was by the ancient Egyptians, who used lime in mortar around 4000 BC. The earliest surviving example of cement is found in a tomb at Abydos, dating back to around 3000 BC.

For more than 2000 years, there have been no further developments in the chemistry or technology of cement. But then, in the late 18th century, came Joseph Aspdin of Leeds, Yorkshire. He received a patent for Portland cement on 21 October 1824 (British patent

Joseph Aspdin was born in 1778, the son of a Yorkshire bricklayer. In 1824, he patented a hydraulic cement, the production of which he kept secret. Despite its name, Portland Cement is not native to Portland; it was so named because of its resemblance to Portland Stone when it hardened.

Aspdin’s cement was produced by burning finely-ground chalk and clay until the carbon dioxide was removed from the clay, leaving behind calcium oxide or quicklime as a residue. The quicklime was then mixed with water to form slaked lime. The resulting paste was blended with ground limestone and gypsum, and then fed into large kilns where it was heated to very high temperatures (around 1500 degrees) until it formed marble-sized clumps called ‘clinker’. The clinker was ground up into a powder, producing what we know today as Portland Cement.

Joseph Aspdin died in 1855. His son William later took over the business, but in 1868 sold out to a group of Manchester businessmen who set up The Portland Cement Company Ltd.

Joseph Aspdin was a mason who lived in Leeds, England. He invented Portland cement and patented it with the British Patent Office in 1824. It’s an interesting story about how he made his invention, and how he got around having no formal educational background.

Aspdin first began his experimentation of making Portland cement in his kitchen by burning finely ground chalk mixed with finely divided clay in a lime kiln until the carbon dioxide content was driven off, which produced a clinker. This clinker was then ground up with a small amount of gypsum to make the final product.

After several attempts to come up with the right mix, Aspdin finally developed a formula that produced cement that would set and develop some strength in as little as 24 hours. The first person who used Aspdin’s new cement was Thomas Tredgold, a famous civil engineer at that time, who used it to build a house on the Thames in London.

The name Portland comes from the Isle of Portland off the coast of England where the stone quarried there is similar to the composition of Aspdin’s new cement.

Joseph Aspdin was an English Cement manufacturer who obtained the patent for Portland Cement on the 21st of October 1824. The History of Portland cement dates back to the early Roman Empire where it was found that a particular limestone could be heated with clay to form a binding material, similar to modern slurry. However, it wasn’t until 1756 that John Smeaton discovered that an hydraulic lime mortar could be made by adding clay or shale to burnt lime. This discovery led him to create the worlds first true hydraulic cement in 1759, which he named “Portland Cement” due to its resemblance with Portland stone when set.

Joseph Aspdin was born in 1779 at Kirkstall near Leeds. His father William was also a labourer at the local brickyard and would later become one of the best-known Leeds coal merchants. Joseph studied his fathers trade and by 1810 he had left Leeds to set up a laboratory in Wakefield where he experimented with new methods of producing lime and cement. By 1811 he had started work on a new method for making Hydraulic Lime and after two years of experiments he finally perfected his method by burning finely ground chalk with finely ground clay. The resulting product (patent No 4998) gave a stronger bond

Joseph Aspdin was born in 1778 in the Hunslet district of Leeds, Yorkshire. He was the son of a bricklayer who had served in the army during the American Revolutionary War. The family moved to Wakefield around 1793, and it was there that Joseph served his apprenticeship as a bricklayer and plasterer. He married Mary Smithurst on 16 April 1804 at St John’s Church, Wakefield. They had eight children together.

In 1808 Aspdin invented a new kind of cement which he called Portland Cement because of its resemblance to Portland stone when set. This cement is now known as “Roman” cement as it resembled materials the Romas used in 200 AD. A patent was granted to Joseph Aspdin on 21 October 1824 and was described as follows:

“The nature of my invention consists in burning a mixture or compound of clay and limestone, or of clay, limestone, and other calcareous materials, in such proportions that when ground to powder it may be mixed with water into a paste, which shall harden under water; and I burn this mixture or compound in an enclosed furnace or kiln, so as to produce a clinker…”

As soon as the patent was granted he sold his

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