Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,404 pages of information and 233,863 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Edgar Purnell Hooley

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Edgar Purnell Hooley (1860- )M.Inst.C.E., F.S.I., M.Inst.M. & Cy.E., originator of Tarmac

1860 Born

1876 Articled to James Craik, Bristol.

Surveyor to Maidstone R.D.C.

County Surveyor of Nottinghamshire

1901 On a road near Denby ironworks in Derbyshire, Edgar Purnell Hooley noticed a barrel of tar had fallen from a dray and burst open. To avoid a nuisance, someone from the ironworks had thoughtfully covered the sticky black mess with waste slag from nearby furnaces. Hooley noticed that the patch of road, which had been unintentionally re-surfaced, was dust-free and had not been rutted by traffic.

1902 He set to work and obtained a British patent for a method of mixing slag with tar, naming the material Tarmac.

1903 By June, Hooley had formed the TarMacadam Syndicate Limited, the origin of what is now known as The Tarmac Group, which became the UK's leading supplier of building materials.

County Engineer (Roads), Kesteven, Lincolnshire

President of the Institution of Municipal and County Engineers.

Acting County Surveyor, Oxon.

WWI Rejoined the 28th Sherwood Foresters as Captain, and later transferred to Territorial Force Reserve.

1917-18 Also Consulting County Surveyor, Bucks.

Surveyor to Stow-on-the-Wold Highway Board

1922 Road Engineer, Fosseside, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloster. Chief Works: Maintenance of highways and bridge-building.

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