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Natural Cement was used in the original construction of some of the most enduring landmarks of the nation: The Brooklyn Bridge, the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, the wings of the U.S. Capitol, the lower 152’ of theWashington Monument, the Croton Aqueduct and dams, the Pennsylvania Railroad tunnels, the New York State Thruway, and thousands of other public works projects.

Since re-introduction in 2004, Rosendale Natural Cement Products® have been used successfully in dozens of restoration and special construction projects.

History of Rosendale Natural Cement

1798 Parker’s Roman Cement is patented in England, the first natural cement.

1818 Natural cement rock is discovered by Canvass White in Fayetteville, NY during the construction of the Erie Canal, beginning a 153-year run of continuous production of natural cement in New York State.

1824 Natural Cement production begins in Williamsville, NY

1825 Natural Cement limestone is discovered in Rosendale, New York.

1829 Natural Cement production begins in Louisville, KY

1836 Natural Cement production begins in Cumberland, MD

1837 Natural Cement production begins in Hancock, MD

1838 Natural Cement production begins in Utica, IL

1839 Natural Cement production begins in Akron, NY. Though distant from Rosendale, NY, the cement produced here is described as a Rosendale cement.

1848 Natural Cement production begins in Balcony Falls, VA

1850 Natural Cement production begins in Lehigh Valley, PA and Cement, GA. The cement produced in the Lehigh Valley, though distant from Rosendale, NY and somewhat different in its chemical composition, is often packaged and sold as Rosendale Cement. Later on, products labeled as  “Improved Rosendale Cement” are marketed in this region, consisting of a blend of natural and portland cements.

1867 Natural Cement production begins in Fort Scott, KS

1869 Natural Cement production begins in LaSalle, IL

1870 Natural Cement production begins in Howes Cave, NY. Cement produced here, some 75 miles from Rosendale, NY, is marketed under the name “Rosendale Hydraulic Cement”.

1874 Natural Cement production begins in Buffalo, NY. Though distant from Rosendale, NY, the cement produced here is described as a Rosendale cement.

1875 Natural Cement production begins in Milwaukee, WI. Though distant from Rosendale, NY, the cement produced here is described as a Rosendale cement.

1883 Natural Cement production begins in Mankato, MN. Though distant from Rosendale, NY, the cement produced here is described as a Rosendale cement.

1883 The Brooklyn Bridge opens on May 24, its concrete-filled caissons and granite superstructure held together by Rosendale Natural Cement.

1886 President Grover Cleveland accepts the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, on behalf of the United States on October 28. The 154-foot, 27,000-ton pedestal is made with Rosendale Natural Cement.

1896 Natural Cement is in production at 71 sites in 17 US states. At least 2 or 3 sites are active in Canada.

1904 ASTM Committee C adopts the first ASTM Standards for Natural and Portland Cements.

1954 The New York State Thruway opens, partially paved with Rosendale Natural Cement

1970 The last of the original Rosendale, NY cement mines is closed.

1976 The Fort Scott Hydraulic Cement Co. in Kansas shuts down, the last producer of natural cement as a finished product. Some manufacturers of masonry cements continue to use natural cement in their production, however.

1978 ASTM C10 Standard Specification for Natural Cement is withdrawn due to disuse.

2004 Edison Coatings, Inc. starts production of authentic Rosendale Natural Cement Products® for use in restoration of historic structures and monuments.

2006 ASTM C10 Standard Specification for Natural Cement is reinstated.

ROSENDALE OR NATURAL CEMENT HISTORY

Natural cement was first used in the United States in the late 18th Century. In 1825, commercial mining and processing operations were begun in an area in New York’s Hudson Valley, in and around the town of Rosendale in Ulster County, and the area quickly developed into the largest single production source of natural cements. By 1830, nearly 10 million pounds per year of natural cement were being produced, marking the beginning of its commercialization. Ultimately, more than 71 sites in 17 states were producing a total of nearly 300 million pounds per year of natural cement in the late 19th Century. Collectively they became known as “Rosendale Cement”, the term becoming synonomous with “Natural Cement”.

As the Industrial Revolution began, the need arose to more quickly construct large masonry buildings. Fast-setting Rosendale Natural Cement® mortars proved more efficient than traditional mortars based on lime and sand. The advantages in construction of military fortifications were also soon realized, beginning the long-term use of Rosendale Natural Cement® by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. By 1850 annual consumption of natural cement grew to more than 300 million pounds.

Over the course of the 19th Century, the United States grew from a rural, agrarian economy to an urbanized industrial power. Early concrete, like the supports for the Brooklyn Bridge, began changing the face of American cities. Canals like the Delaware and Hudson helped to speed delivery of materials to their markets. Later, expansion of rail systems further accelerated transportation of passengers and goods. Construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad tunnels and Grand Central Station were part of that growth. In New York City, construction of the first light rail rapid transit system was beginning. All of these projects utilized Rosendale Natural Cements.

Nearly 3 billion pounds of natural cement were produced each year, in the 1890’s, but as the 20th Century began, demand was for still higher strength, and still faster curing cements. Natural cement usage was quickly overtaken and surpassed by portland cement. Although Rosendale or Natural Cements remained in use for special applications as late as the 1960’s, the last of the original Rosendale, NY mining operations closed in 1970. Fort Scott Hydraulic Cement Co., in Fort Scott, KS, closed in 1976, the last manufacturer of Natural Cement as a finished product. For almost 30 years the material was no longer available.

Edison Coatings, Inc. restarted production of Rosendale natural cement in 2004. Edison’s Rosendale Natural Cement Products® are historically correct materials made from authentic, 100% natural cement rock. Edison’s Rosendale Natural Cement  mortars, stuccos, grouts and concretes fully utilize the extensive engineering expertise developed in the use of natural cement in the 19th and 20th centuries.

PHOTO: October 2004: Edison Coatings President Michael Edison displays an original Rosendale cement bag at a restoration technology symposium.


 

 

 

PHOTO (Below): October 2004, Overhead clearance is limited in the upper stratum of the Rosendale mine, so natural cement rock is removed using a Bobcat and a small dump truck. Sourcing has since expanded to include other, more efficient locations
Beyond the historical authenticity of Edison’s Rosendale Natural Cement Products®, however, the material offers a unique balance of performance properties that can only be fully appreciated through the hindsight of nearly 2 centuries of durable service. Whether a project involves restoration of a building or structure originally constructed with natural cement, or simply would benefit from a highly compatible, durable, user-friendly cement technology, discover Rosendale Natural Cement Products®.

PHOTO: October 2004: Natural cement rocks, removed from different strata, are visibly different from each other in color.
 
Photos courtesy Century House Historical Society..

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Rosendale Natural Cement Products®
is a registered trademark of Edison Coatings, Inc.

Rosendale Natural Cement Products® are manufactured in the United States of America from 100% American Natural Cement. This is authentic historic material, extracted from historic sources, as originally used in construction of thousands of American and Canadian buildings and structures in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Rosendale 10C Natural Cement and Quick Setting Natural Cement conform to the requirements of ASTM C10/10M-14.

Translantic Natural Cements(TM) are manufactured in the United States of America from components originating in the United States and Europe. Translantic Natural Cement conforms to the requirements for Quick-Setting Natural Cement in ASTM C10/10M-14.

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LIMITS OF LIABILITY

Edison Coatings, Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information contained herein. This publication is offered on a complimentary basis as a service to potential customers or specifiers. While every effort has been made to include complete and accurate information, based on data and information believed to be reliable, it is the sole responsibility of the user to determine its suitability for his own intended use and purposes. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as a warranty or guarantee of any product, process or any other recommendation stated herein. Edison Coatings, Inc. assumes no responsibility for advice given, results obtained, or for any damages whether incidental or consequential, which may be incurred as a direct or indirect result of the use of this information. By proceeding to use this information, user acknowledges and agrees that he is doing so at his own risk, and user indemnifies and holds Edison Coatings harmless against any liabilities, costs or expenses resulting therefrom. Product data and formulations are subject to change without prior notice. All product sales are further governed by the Edison Coatings, Inc. CONDITIONS OF SALE.

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