Edgar Purnell Hooley


Edgar Purnell Hooley

Edgar Purnell Hooley (5 June 1860 - 26 January 1942) was the inventor of Tarmac.

Hooley was born in Swansea. In his capacity as the County Surveyor of Nottinghamshire he was passing a tarworks in 1901. He noticed that a barrel of tar had been spilled on the roadway and, in an attempt to reduce the mess, someone had dumped gravel on top of it. The area was remarkably dust-free compared to the surrounding road, and it inspired Hooley to develop and patent Tarmac in Britain.

He called his company Tar Macadam (Purnell Hooley's Patent) Syndicate Limited, but unfortunately he had trouble selling his product as he was not an experienced businessman. His company was soon bought out by the Wolverhampton MP, Sir Alfred Hickman, who was also the owner of a steelworks which produced large quantities of waste slag. The Tarmac company was relaunched in 1905, and became an immediate success: it remains a major player in the UK market for heavy building materials.

He died at his home in Oxford in 1942.

Patents

* Hooley, E. Purnell, US patent|765975, "Apparatus for the preparation of tar macadam", July 26, 1904.

ee also

* Macadam

References

* ‘Hooley, Edgar Purnell (1860–1942)’, by John Sheail; first published September 2004


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