Canvass White and Natural Cement, 1818-1834


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Title: Canvass White and Natural Cement, 1818-1834

Author(s): Harley J. Mckee

Publication: Concrete International

Volume: 1

Issue: 6

Appears on pages(s): 39-44

Keywords: aqueducts; limestone; locks (waterways). mix proportioning; mortars (material); natural cement: navigable canals.

Date: 6/1/1979

Natural cement was used to construct the first 350 mile section of the Erie Canal in New York State, Canvass White was one of the early surveyor/ engineers who realized the knowledge of construction and materials was limited in 1817. White and others 1 experimented with natural materials found in the ground near the Canal to produce a mortar "cement." He patented awater-proof cement which was used in construction of the Erie Canal. The second article discusses the growth of the natural cement industry beginning with the excavation of the Erie Canal and the discovery of natural cement rock on the site. Natural cement plants began springing up in New York in 1824 and spread to various locations across the country.