Celebrating 100 years - 15

WORLD

War and disease devastated the world in
1918. Europe lost 10 million people. The
United States lost about 53,000 in battle.
The Spanish Flu took nearly 22 million
worldwide. Some stability came at the Paris
Peace Conference (1919-1920), which inaugurated the League of Nations. But, the
Great War changed everything, especially
the relationship between the government
and big business. By partnering with business, the government gained "direct controls
over major areas of the economy," says the
Encyclopedia of American Economic
History. Another source called the controls
"ironclad." The government nationalized
the railroads. It rationed food and fuel.
It coerced unions to prevent strikes. The
Espionage Act of 1917 suppressed opposers.
To gain a voice, business had to play by new
rules-the government's.

Construction partners with the government. Woodrow Wilson established the
War Industries Board in July 1917. Industries
organized war service committees to liaison
with the board. In the case of construction,
the government wanted to eliminate price
gouging in contracts and, if possible, work
with fewer trades on projects. CPIA needed
to play along or risk losing out on potential
government contracts.

The speculative builder
does not care how
plastering is done.

INDUSTRY

After an 18-month recession ended, it
was a time for industries to organize.
The Contracting Plasterers' International
Association-forerunner to the Association
of the Wall and Ceiling Industry-formed
in 1918. Twenty-six lath and plastering
contractors from 12 cities gathered at the
Hamilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.
This was the backdrop to the association's
first meeting.

In effect, the board encouraged all industry
players, even competitors, to collude. This
was something new and, to a degree, it was
beneficial. Industry organization provided
"stability and cooperation to meet common
goals," says the Encyclopedia of American
Economic History. Trade associations existed before the war. Now, they had de facto
government sanctioning, and they grew in
numbers and influence.

Plaster vs. wallboard. The association's origins are in plastering. CPIA saw wallboard
and composition board as market threats,
even though the category of material was
new and undeveloped. The new boards could
be installed at a lower cost (and with less
experienced workers) than lath and plaster.
Speculative builders wanted to drive down
building costs and favored using wallboard
products. Many felt such builders gave construction a bad name.
"The speculative builder does not care how
plastering is done," said Oscar A. Reum,
then president of the Employing Plasterers'
Association of Chicago, to the Illinois
Society of Architects. "He has brought into
the business milk men, bar tenders and a
class of workmen who do not know how to
do it in the first place and do not care how
they do it in the second place."
Partnering with the unions. While employers and workers in 1918 were at odds
(and perhaps will always will be), CPIA's
founders felt that they and the unions could
align over common issues. Four unions
provided the majority of the industry's manpower: Operative Plasterers and Cement
Finishers' International Association of the
United States and Canada; Bricklayers,
Masons and Plasterers' International Union
of America; Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers'
International Union; and International Hod
Carriers' Building and Common Laborers
15



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
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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
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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
Celebrating 100 years - 249
Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 4. Longtime AWCI Members
Celebrating 100 years - 251
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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