Nottingham element: Tarmac
We’re all familiar with the road surfacing material Tarmac. But did you know that Tarmac is actually the company name, originating from the word ‘tarmacadam’?
It was Scotsman John McAdam who invented the method of crushed stone road surfaces, but he failed to make the stones stick. Edgar Hooley, working as a surveyor for Nottinghamshire County Council, patented the process of heating tar, adding stony waste matter to the mix and then breaking the stones within the mixture to form a smooth road surface.
In 1903 Hooley formed Tar Macadam Syndicate Ltd and registered Tarmac as a trade mark.
Nottingham's Radcliffe Road is said to be the first ever tarmac road.
Scientific element: Technetium
Technetium is radioactive.
It was discovered – produced artificially – in 1937. Since then scientists have searched for it in terrestrial material. None was found until 1962, as a spontaneous fission product of uranium.
The word technetium comes from the Greek technetos, meaning artificial.
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