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A curb (North American English), or kerb (British English), is the edge where a raised sidewalk (pavement in British English) or road median/central reservation meets a street or other roadway. Although curbs have been used throughout modern history, and indeed were present in ancient Pompeii, their widespread construction and use only began in the 18th century, as a part of the various movements towards city beautification that were attempted in the period.[citation needed] A series of Paving Acts in the 18th century, especially the 1766 Paving and Lighting Act, authorized the City of London Corporation to create footways along the streets of London, pave them with Purbeck stone (the thoroughfare in the middle was generally cobblestone) and raise them above street level with curbs forming the separation. Previously, small wooden bollards had been put up to demarcate the area of the street reserved for pedestrian use. The Corporation was also made responsible for the regular upkeep of the roads, including their cleaning and repair, for which they charged a tax from 1766.

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