Forrer, John J. Papers, 1930s

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Descriptive Summary


Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: A Guide to John J. Forrer Papers, 1939

Collection No.: SC 0075
Creator: John J. Forrer

Extent: typed notes, a manuscript, and several memos.; 1 folder

Language: English



Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], John J. Forrer Papers, c.1930s, SC 0075, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Acquisition Information: Deposited by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Society.
Processing Information: In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 1760.

Bio/Historical Note:

John J. Forrer became the first Maintenance Engineer for the Virginia Department of Highways in 1923. He was promoted to Assistant Chief Engineer in 1951 and retired from the department a year later. He later served as Executive Director for the Virginia Asphalt Association until he retired from active service in 1958. Forrer pioneered the use of bituminous materials for road construction and started the development of low-cost roads under the pay-as-you-go system in the early 1920s.

John J. Forrer conducted experiments with various types of asphalts and asphalt road oils used in surface treating soil base roads". Though his work was largely unsuccessful, Forrer continued his work with asphalt suppliers to develop several types of liquid asphalt which were fast-setting for surface treatments. Forrer was elected to the Asphalt Institute's Roll of Honor in 1968; this award is the highest level of recognition conferred by the Asphalt Institute." Those chosen to receive this award have contributed tremendously to the asphalt industry through either sustained technical achievement or through the substantial contribution of leadership." John J. Forrer passed away on October 16, 1973.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of one folder containing various typed notes about Virginia roads, and a manuscript entitled, "Maintenance of Colonial Roads in Virginia," by John J. Forrer. The manuscript is dated September 8, 1939, and several memos also in the collection indicate that it was produced for a professional meeting.


This collection contains only one folder. Within the folder there are: memoranda from J.J. Forrer; a copy of an article written by Forrer entitled Maintenance of Colonial Roads in Virginia;" a mimeographed copy of the paper read by Forrer at an A.A.S.H.O meeting; and typed notes about Virginia roads.


Asphalt Institute. "Winners of Asphalt Institute Awards." Asphalt Institute.


Folder Title
Box : Folder

Compiled by: Chris Bolgiano