Isaac Charles Johnson

Isaac Charles Johnson

Isaac Charles Johnson

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Isaac Charles Johnson (28 January 1811 — 29 November 1911A J Francis, The Cement Industry 1796-1914: a History,David & Charles, 1977, ISBN 0-7153-7386-2) was a British cement manufacturer, and a pioneer of the Portland cement industry.

He was born in London. His father was a charge-hand at Francis & White's "Roman Cement" plant in Nine Elms. He himself worked there as a labourer from age 16 while studying chemistry. In 1833 he became manager of John Bazeley White's cement plant at Swanscombe on the Thames Estuary which at that time was producing "Artificial Cement" and "Roman Cement". Joseph Aspdin's product was successful but very expensive,and was later improved independently by his son William. Johnson set to work trying to discover its composition but because Aspdin's product was protected by explicit patents and extreme secrecy it was impossible to market a copy. After nearly two years' work, he succeeded and started marketing his own considerably improved version. Johnson, a highly moral man, Mayor of Gateshead and a JP, was able to claim that he was the inventor of "true" Portland cement and is generally recognised as such. See the link for Johnson's account of this work. Aspdin however was driven out of business by financial problems caused by the success of Johnsons superior and cheaper product and this led to Johnson taking over Aspdins Cement works at Gateshead. Unfortunately this...
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