Edward de Smedt

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Edward de Smedt was a Belgian-American inventor of Asphalt concrete.

De Smedt developed his asphalt paving material in 1870 at Columbia University and filed the patents for "sheet asphalt pavement" (US 103581  US 103582 ). The first sheet of asphalt pavement was laid down on 29 July 1870, on William Street in Newark, New Jersey. This first trial used natural bitumen from West Virginia and was not very successful. An improved material, containing bitumen from Pitch Lake in Trinidad and Val-de-Travers in Switzerland, was used later in New York City and on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.[1]


  1. ^ Reid, Carlton (2015). Roads Were Not Built for Cars: How Cyclists Were the First to Push for Good Roads & Became the Pioneers of Motoring. Island Press. p. 120. ISBN 9781610916899.