Celebrating 100 years - 113

The Story of the
Drywall Screw
The history of the drywall screw includes many
products and patents-and at least one inventor
who started his business in his garage .
Charles D . Cannon of Cleveland invented
"sheet-metal fastening" in 1930-U .S . Patent
1,749,903 . The screw could fasten metal together without using nuts and bolts .
In the 1950s, Paul S . Quigg of Barrington,
Ill ., studied fire protection and screws . The
screws Quigg developed fastened drywall to
vertical steel studs . "These were to the building
industry what transistors and chips were to the
computer," says the Chicago Tribune .
As a carpenter, Bob Weber of Island Acoustics
in Bohemia, N .Y ., remembers drilling holes and
using No . 8 nuts, bolts and washers to fasten
walls together . He says Parker-Kalon introduced
self-tapping screws in the late 1950s-"we called
them 'P-K screws .'"
In 1965, Simon S . Kahn of Glen Ridge, N .J .,
invented "wallboard screws"-U .S . Patent
3,177,755 . Kahn's screws were "adapted to fasten a wallboard upon an underlying support ."
Next came Robert H . Dylson's 1967 "drill
screw ." Dylson of Morton Grove, Ill ., and assignee Illinois Tool Works, invented "drilling and
fastening a first work member to a harder
second work member," states U .S . Patent
3,358,548 . The drill screw had "a pair of frangible
wing-like elements on the shank ... capable of
boring a hole ."
In 1969, Ned Joseph Gruca of Elgin, Ill ., patented the "screw type fastener"-U .S . Patent
3,478,639 . Assigned to Illinois Tool Works,

the screw could fasten metal, sheathing and
foam insulation material . It had two thread
"convolutions"-one of high thread pitch, the
other of low thread pitch .
John "Brad" Wagner began selling screws
from his garage in Walnut Creek, Calif ., in
1967 . The engineer and graduate of Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute sought ways to improve
screw designs . In 1970, Wagner introduced
the Grabber, a screw with coarse threads . In
1972, he invented the Grabber Streaker (shown
here) . The Streaker had twin lead threads and
a sharp 23-degree point . Wagner patented

the design in 1976 (U .S . Patent 3,942,405),
and Construction Dimensions dubbed it "the
accepted drywall screw ."
In 1998, Wagner received AWCI's President's
Award for his contributions to the industry .
His company also became an AWCI Lifetime
Member .

113



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Celebrating 100 years

AWCI's 100th Anniversary Video
i. Table of Contents
ii. Forward
iii. Acknowledgements
Chapter 1. 1918-1919 : The Master Minds
Chapter 2. The 1920s: Choosing Sides
Chapter 3. The 1930s: Unity Prevails
Chapter4. The 1940s: Dormancy and Revival
Chapter 5. The 1950s: Plaster vs. Drywall
Chapter 6. The 1960s: Other Lines of Endeavor
Chapter 7. The 1970s: Consolidation
Chapter 8. The 1980s: The Growth Years
Chapter 9. The 1990s: Money
Chapter 10. The 2000s: Exceptional Times
Chapter 11. The 2010s: We the Industry
Chapter 12. The Future
Chapter 13. The Sponsors
Appendix 1. AWCI’s Presidents
Appendix 2. AWCI Awards (the E.F. Venzie Award and the Pinnacle Award)
Appendix 3. Lifetime Members
Appendix 4. Longtime AWCI Members
Appendix 5. AWCI Board of Directors
Appendix 6. The Organization Behind the Leadership
Celebrating 100 years - AWCI's 100th Anniversary Video
Celebrating 100 years - Cover1
Celebrating 100 years - Cover2
Celebrating 100 years - 1
Celebrating 100 years - 2
Celebrating 100 years - 3
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Celebrating 100 years - 6
Celebrating 100 years - i. Table of Contents
Celebrating 100 years - ii. Forward
Celebrating 100 years - 9
Celebrating 100 years - 10
Celebrating 100 years - iii. Acknowledgements
Celebrating 100 years - 12
Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 1. 1918-1919 : The Master Minds
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 2. The 1920s: Choosing Sides
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 3. The 1930s: Unity Prevails
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter4. The 1940s: Dormancy and Revival
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 5. The 1950s: Plaster vs. Drywall
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 6. The 1960s: Other Lines of Endeavor
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 7. The 1970s: Consolidation
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 8. The 1980s: The Growth Years
Celebrating 100 years - 122
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 9. The 1990s: Money
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 10. The 2000s: Exceptional Times
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 11. The 2010s: We the Industry
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 12. The Future
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 13. The Sponsors
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 1. AWCI’s Presidents
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 2. AWCI Awards (the E.F. Venzie Award and the Pinnacle Award)
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 3. Lifetime Members
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 4. Longtime AWCI Members
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 5. AWCI Board of Directors
Celebrating 100 years - 253
Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 6. The Organization Behind the Leadership
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Celebrating 100 years - Cover3
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