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A solid bituminous substance. probably derived from decayed vegetable matter; used as building material in ancient Babylon. The artificial asphalt from gas-works began to be used as pavement about 1838. Various kinds of asphalt pavement have been since laid in New York, and the leading cities of the United States and Europe. The most celebrated deposit of natural bitumen is on the island of Trinidad, whence the United States obtains its chief supply. although in the calendar year 1809 the United States had an aggregate production of asphalt and bituminous rock of 75.085 short tons, valued at $553,904, the mining being in California. Kentucky, Indian Territory, Oklahoma, Texas. Colorado, and Utah, the principal amount being mined in California.

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