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Gravesend cement pioneer makes Dictionary of National Biography

PUBLISHED: 15:32 27 May 2016

Isaac Johnson reading a letter from the King to congratulate him on his 100th birthday

Isaac Johnson reading a letter from the King to congratulate him on his 100th birthday

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Isaac Johnson discovered new ways to manufacture the building material

A Gravesend businessman who helped to launch British cement as a global industry has been included in the latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, published yesterday (May 26).

Isaac Johnson (1811-1911), who managed a cement works in Swanscombe, worked out how to make the building material reliably and consistently in quantity.

He began to manufacture cement at Frindsbury, then at Cliffe, before building a factory at Greenhithe that employed 300 people and produced 1300 tons of cement a week.

Mr Johnson, who was born in Vauxhall and settled in Greenwich, refrained from drinking alcohol from the age of 18 and preached total abstinence.

He took up cycling at the age of 87 and died shortly after celebrating his 100th birthday.

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