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John MacAdam was born in Ayr in 1756.  In 1783 MacAdam purchased an estate at Sauchrie, Ayrshire, and experimented with a new method of road construction. When he was appointed surveyor to the Bristol Turnpike Trust in 1816, he rebuilt the roads with crushed stone bound with gravel on a base made of large stones. A camber, which was like a gutter, ensured the rainwater rapidly drained off the road and did not penetrate and destroy the foundations. This way of building roads became known as the Macadamized system. 

As a result of his success, MacAdam was made surveyor-general of metropolitan roads in England. By the end of the 19th century, most of the main roads in Europe were built in this way. John MacAdam died in 1836. 

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