Colonel Francis Maceroni, 1788-1846: On the Road Again

When London roads are paved with wood,
Long live Maceroni.
We’ll go in for something good
Saved out of our coal money.

The doggerel was chanted by the good people of London on the subject of recent advances in street coverage, and yes, it was wood.  Wooden blocks were as a kind of cheap and sturdy paver for the otherwise dirt lined streets of London.  Problem was that, unlike, say, bricks or Belgian blocks, they could be burned – and it was cheaper to heat the house with public wooden blocks than private coal. The Maceroni in in question in his book Hints to Paviers (sic) 1827, which, while recognizing macadam though fine for the country road, found it less successful in the more traveled city, and lays out the benefits of wooden pavers already used successfully on the continent. Continue reading