1870 – 1918
Logan Waller Page, first Director of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads (BPR), left a lasting impression on road construction in the United States. His entire career dealt with roads, running the entire gamut from materials to administration. He delighted particularly in utilizing scientific knowledge for practical purposes and thus became a strong advocate of the thorough scientific study of road building materials and their correct use in highway construction.
His appointment as Geologist and Testing Engineer for the Massachusetts Highway Commission in 1893 gave him an opportunity to begin putting his ideas into effect. In this position, he contributed greatly to our knowledge of how to use rocks properly in highway construction.
About the turn of the century, Mr. Page was appointed Chief of the Division of Tests for the Office of Road Inquiry in Washington, D.C. Here he inaugurated many scientific investigations of highway construction materials. The Division of Test was later re-titled the Physical Research Division and the Office of Road Inquiry became the Bureau of Public Roads.
Mr. Page’s experience in Massachusetts and Washington gave him an intimate knowledge of road building and a firm grasp of highway economics. These qualifications gradually won such recognition that Secretary of Agriculture Wilson consolidated all branches of highway endeavor under the Bureau of Public Roads in 1905 and appointed Mr. Page as Director.
From this beginning, the Bureau developed and expanded under his leadership until, at his death in 1918, it was cooperating in road construction in every state.
Mr. Page was born January 10, 1870, in Richmond, Virginia. He received his technical education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and at Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University.