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John Loudoun McAdam, 1756 - 1836. Road engineer

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John Loudoun McAdam, 1756 - 1836. Road engineer 1827

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This expressive silhouette suggests that McAdam was a man with his feet firmly on the ground. The son of an Ayrshire landowner, McAdam made a fortune as a merchant in New York. When he returned to Britain, he was appalled by the condition of the rubble-built roads. His solution was the 'Macadamised' road surface, which was smooth, hard and flat. Small broken stones were arranged in thin layers, which locked together under the traffic flow, resulting in an easy-to-maintain and durable road surface.

Glossary Open


Images showing an outline with no internal detail set against a contrasting background. It is specifically used for portraits of this type cut from paper.



  • Acc. No. PG 823
  • Medium Cut paper
  • Size Height: 26.90 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1913