Celebrating 100 years - 72

Thomas S. Thomsen's "Tommy Gun."
"Machine application with its inherent
economies permit lath and plaster to compete with other types of wall and ceiling
construction," said Thomsen.
"Whether we like it or not, the age of the
machine has arrived," said Carroll Duncan,
president of the Contracting Plasterers' and
Lather's International Association president
in the October 1958 issue of Plastering
Industries. "It is our duty as contractors to
educate the journeyman to accept the change,
to realize that once he becomes skilled in the
use of mechanical tools, they will make his
work easier and more competitive."
Thin coats. In the late 1950s, the Plastering
Development Corporation, which was
associated with McNulty Brothers, succeeded in the mechanization of finish coat
plastering. The company originated the
lath and plaster curtain wall, according to
1957 convention proceedings, and used
its plastering machines to build several
all-plaster houses "using light weight steel
and Portland cement and gypsum plaster,"
association documents state.
Later, under the brand name Tufcon, PDC
manufactured and installed the first thin
coat plaster at the Robert Taylor Homes, a
complex of 28, 16-story buildings built by
the Chicago Housing Authority from 1959
to 1962. PDC had given plasterers a tool to
compete with cement block and drywall.
72

"Dry-Wall." On June 20, 1950, CPIA
President Edmond F. Venzie told CPIA's
board of directors about "attacks by DryWall interests against lathing and plastering."
Venzie, a plasterer by trade, considered "the
Dry-Wall question" the association's top
issue. The question was what to do about it.
In fact, little could be done to stop the
advance of gypsum wallboard. Gypsum
products had branded themselves around cost
savings, ease of use and non-combustibility.
The Gypsum Association ran advertisements
touting gypsum's fire resistance. And, the
Gypsum Drywall Contractors International
formed in 1957 to support carpenters and
painters working with wallboard.
Structure magazine says that by 1955,
half of all new homes featured gypsum
wallboard and half had traditional lath and
plaster. One year later, a government survey
of interior wall construction on single-family
homes showed that 42 percent of residential construction featured lath and plaster,
but 56 percent used drywall. (The total of
98 percent must be due to reporting error,
rounding or "other.")
"Dry Wall is growing in all sections of
the country," wrote a certain T.N.P. Wagner
to Charles F. Clay, editor of Plastering
Industries. Wagner added: "Isn't it time for
the industry to take stock and recognize the
fact that something must be done?"
Gypsum production nearly doubled during
the 1950s. According to the U.S. Geological

Glass and Steel
The 1950s saw the
appearance of the
international style
of glass and steel
architecture, such as
Ludwig Mies van der
Rohe's S.R. Crown Hall
at the Illinois Institute
of Technology in
Chicago (1956) and the
Seagram Building in
New York City (shown).

Survey, gypsum production in 1949 was
5,990,000 metric tons. Ten years later, it
reached 9,890,000 metric tons. Apparent
consumption, which includes imports and
exports, was 8,330,000 metric tons in 1949,
15,700,000 metric tons in 1959-an 88.5
percent increase.
Prefabrication. In the 1950s, prefabricated
systems appeared in exterior cladding and
residential framing. Prefabrication augmented
the spread of residential tract developments.
Prefabricated homes accounted for 4.8 percent
of all new homes built in 1950, according
to CPIA records. Residential prefabrication
was a $1 billion market in 1956, accounting
for 10 percent of single-family starts.
Robert L. Maidt, chairman of CPIA's
Promotional Committee, told CPIA convention delegates in Los Angeles in 1957

Opposite page
Elvis Presley appears
in Jailhouse Rock
(1957). President-elect
Dwight D. Eisenhower
speaks with reporters
(1954). The Solomon
R. Guggenheim
Museum opens in
Manhattan (1959).



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 - 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
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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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