Celebrating 100 years - 39

Wallboard's
Movers and
Shakers
Modern wallboard owes its success to
the vision of Sewell Avery, the founder of
United States Gypsum Company . Credit
also goes to Augustine Sackett, an inventor,
Oscar Reum, CPIA president, and National
Gypsum Company's founding trio of Joseph
Haggerty, Clarence Williams and Melvin
Baker .
Augustine Sackett patented his
plasterboard in 1894 . Sackett's board was
made of laminated sheets of alternating
layers of straw paper and plaster of Paris .
But, it was U .S . Gypsum's Avery who saw
the invention's market potential . "The
steady increase in demand for fireproofing
in all classes of buildings promises well,"
Avery wrote in a 1907 company report .
Sackett Panel Board replaced flammable
wood lath and was an excellent base for
gypsum plasters . U .S . Gypsum purchased
the Sackett Plaster Board Company for
$500,000 in preferred stock and $350,000
in cash in 1909 .
Sackett Plaster Board changed over
time . In 1913, U .S . Gypsum settled on a
formulation using two plies of paper and a
solid gypsum core . The company renamed
the product Adamant Panel Board, but
the name didn't last . D .L . Hunter, a U .S .
Gypsum sales rep, especially loathed it . In
1917, Hunter proposed a new brand name,
writing it on a scrap of paper: "SHEETROCK
Non-warping, Non-burning Wall Covering ."
In time, SHEETROCK became a preferred
choice for government building projects .
Oscar Reum, president of CPIA, worried

about the spread of board products . In 1920,
Reum told a convention of lathers to be on
guard against "substitutes" aiming to replace
wood lath, saying these manufacturers
had large advertising budgets . However,
Reum also saw board products as game
changers . According to American Builder
magazine, Reum was the third stockholder
in the Celotex Corp ., a British wallboard
manufacturer, and shared in its founding .
A milestone in the development of the
wallboard market came in 1926 . A Chicago
plasterers strike in that year helped to propel
wallboard sales . In May 1926, about 2,500
Chicago journeyman plasterers went on
strike for a $2 a day wage increase . The
builders wouldn't accept cost increases and
looked to substitutes to plaster . "The names
of these substitutes are Celotex, Sheetrock,
Bestwall, Plastergone and Gypsolite," the
Chicago Daily Tribune reported .

National Gypsum Company introduced
Gold Bond gypsum board in 1926 . National
Gypsum's founders, Joseph Haggerty,
Clarence Williams and Melvin Baker, had
all worked at the Beaver Board Company .
Haggerty and Williams had helped to
form Universal Gypsum . National Gypsum,
incorporated in 1925, opened two plants
during the 1920s and ran full-page Gold
Bond ads in the Saturday Evening Post .
Sales of board products grew significantly
in the early 1920s . Celotex, which produced
12 million feet of wallboard for the United
States and Canada in 1921, reached 230
million feet by the end of 1926 . U .S . Gypsum
added three wallboard lines during the
1920s .
Despite worries, gypsum wallboard
became a bona fide alternative to lath and
plaster construction .

39



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
Celebrating 100 years - 4
Celebrating 100 years - 5
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
Celebrating 100 years - 14
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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
Celebrating 100 years - 56
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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
Celebrating 100 years - 104
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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)
Celebrating 100 years - 246
Celebrating 100 years - 247
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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Celebrating 100 years - Cover3
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