History of Technology 2: Road Innovations

Cobblestone roads are quaint, but essentially garbage. Join us for some other hard truths in this fun-filled video about road innovations.

LanguageEnglish Language
TechnologyHistory of Technology

Transcript

00:25

wheels themselves but not so much for the road it wasn't until the 18th

00:29

century that road building would make its next big leap [Roman man leaps across the road]

00:32

but what eventually caused the jump forward the one reason is that River and

00:37

canal transport was doing fine for a long time but started to reach its limit [A yacht in a dock]

00:40

which makes sense it is after all you know just a canal what could they do to

00:46

make it better add a dolphin show at night might be distracting.. Anyway another

00:50

problem was that populations were growing many were moving farther away [Women holding their babies]

00:54

from convenient water transport maybe it was for farmland or maybe the dolphin

00:59

shows were getting to be too much to handle whatever the case there's no

01:03

denying that the 1700s saw some crazy road action and yeah there were some bad [1700's people walking down a street]

01:08

ideas the two-story outhouse was one of them there were so-called corduroy roads

01:14

made of logs laid down in a long line which probably rattled everyone's brains [Car driving down a corduroy road]

01:19

out then there were roads made of wooden blocks that were supposed to be

01:23

miraculously quiet and apparently the sound of horse hoofs hitting stone roads [Horse galloping down a wooden road]

01:29

drove people crazy after a while but how long could it possibly have taken for

01:33

those roads to rot. Now then there were classic cobblestone roads which were

01:38

just big round rocks mortared together cobblestones offered the triple whammy [Cobblestone road with the Dubliner pub]

01:44

of being loud slippery in the rain and really hard on wooden wheels so claims [Horse pulling a carriage down cobblestone road]

01:50

but essentially garbage the hero of the roads turned out to be a Scot named John

01:55

MacAdam well around 1820 he tested a new road building strategy instead of

02:00

digging deep trenches and building massive rocks foundation he dug a shallow [John MacAdam digging]

02:05

flat area and filled it with gravel he made sure the road was slightly [Road filling up with rain]

02:10

higher in the middle then on the edges why well so the water would run off he

02:15

also used larger gravel on the bottom and smaller gravel on the surface and [John MacAdam building a road from gravel]

02:20

like many humble inventors before him he named the process Macadomization

02:25

smooth dude well Macadamization is still the basic process of road building

02:31

today although we had lots of petroleum products and some heavier machinery [Heavy vehicle drives by]

02:35

cheap roads made overland transportation way more popular in the US than elsewhere

02:41

pretty soon public roads and wagons were rivaling the canals and dolphin shows [Dolphin jumping up in a canal]

02:45

were relegated to SeaWorld okay fine it was never a dolphin show in the

02:49

canal please don't write that in an essay and blame us we can't handle being

02:52

sued yet again for a bad essay thing [Boy angry at receiving a bad essay grade]