History 5 Lesson 20

Portland Cement

Joseph Aspdin was born in England in 1778, he began experimenting with cement formulas. He patented his “portland cement” in 1929. Portland cement is most commonly used in the world. Cement binds the different ingredients together, concrete is strong under compression and versatile. They are good for foundation and walls. It can be reinforced for strength. William Aspdin’s cement formula was different from his father’s. It became immediately popular in London, others began figuring out Joseph’s formula. It was counter intuitive at the time. Most concrete used Portland cement in the US by the 1930s. Ferromagnetic materials produce strong magnetic fields. Electromagnets are artificial magnets, iron is easily magnetized, They were simple to make. Electromagnets can create strong or weak magnetic fields with the touch of a button. The electromagnetic connection captivated people. Stungean promoted magnetism in scientific journals. Joseph Henry improved Sturgeon’s magnet in 1830.

Passenger Rail

George Stephenson was born in Britain in 1781. He experienced a family tragedy. He became an expert in steam engines. Stephenson built his first locomotive in 1814. The first passenger car ran in 1814, passenger cars were pulled by locomotives. They come in a variety of types. Passenger trains serve different needs, they carry people quickly over long distances. Stephenson continued developing the industry. He built a major railway in 1830. Stephenson consulted with American entrepreneurs.


John Walker was born in 1781. Walker couldn’t handle the good of surgery. Walker became a pharmacist, he understood the weakness of chemical matches. Insight: combination of accident and experience. Matches start fires quickly, the match head contains chemical igniters. Safety matches are most common, the chemicals in the head combine with phosphorus on the strifing pad. Matches produce fire “on demand”. Walker sold match boxes for shilling. He named the “congreves”. Already well off, Walker didn’t patent the matches. Others improved the match after Walker. John Pusey invented the matchbook in 1896. Companies advertised their products on.          

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