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COBBLESTONE street pavement

Cobblestones are naturally rounded field stones.  They were either harvested from nearby waterways or in port cities were acquired as discarded ship ballast left on a wharf.  First used in America in the 18th century, it was often the first permanent type of pavement used by cities, especially on the east coast.  Its rough texture provided good footing for horses, but provided a bumpy ride for wheeled vehicles.  By the mid-19th century enthusiasm for it began to decline.  William Gillespie, a professor of civil engineering at Union College in Schenectady, New York, criticized this type of pavement in his 1847 manual as a “common but very inferior pavement which disgraces the streets of nearly all our cities.”