Celebrating 100 years - 75

Industry promotion. In Denver in 1952,
CPIA formalized an effort to promote lath
and plastering. The National Foundation for
Lathing and Plastering was reborn as the
National Bureau for Lathing and Plastering.
(It was incorporated in 1953.) Eventually,
participants formed 83 local plaster and
lathing bureaus across North America.
CPIA President Edmund F. Venzie served
as National Bureau president. He worked
with Vice Presidents William J. McSorley
of the Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers and
John Rooney of the Operative Plasterers.
R. Floyd Jennings of Bethesda, Md., was
the National Bureau's secretary-treasurer. Joe
McNulty of Chicago and William Martin
of Los Angeles were board members. CPIA
and the unions were working hand in hand,
and manufacturers were beginning to take
part. Inland Steel Products Company loaned
Joseph M. Baker Sr. to be the National
Bureau's managing director.
In March 1957, the National Bureau
held a key meeting with manufacturers.
Venzie called it "the greatest progress made
since the establishment of the National
Foundation [in 1945]." The meeting centered on a program developed by architect
John Diehl. The Metal Lath Manufacturers
Association agreed to back the program,
providing $10,000 initially and a promise
of more funds to come.
Unfortunately, joint labor-management
participation in organizations came under

The History
of Suspended
Acoustical Ceilings
Early acoustical ceiling products were fixed to the
building frame and focused on sound attenuation .
They made use of ordinary materials such as cork,
oilcloth, horse hair, perlite, upholstery, mineral wool
and fiberglass .
In 1915, Guastavino Company introduced
Akoustolith, a porous cast stone product . In 1921,
Johns Manville introduced Sanitas, a perforated
oilcloth membrane used to cover hair felt . In 1924,
Celotex introduced Acousti-Celotex, a product made
from bagasse fibers . In 1929, United States Gypsum
Company introduced the flame-resistant Acoustone,
the first all mineral fiber ceiling tile . In 1938, Owens
Corning began production of soft fiberglass ceiling
tiles .
The suspended ceiling arrived in the mid-1950s
when Acousti Engineering Co ., Jacksonville, Fla .,
ordered 10,000 lineal feet of 5/8-inch channel trim
from Chicago Metallic Corp . (now part of RockFon) .
The contractor used the trim "to hold up acoustical
ceilings inside houses," says the Chicago Tribune . In
1957, Chicago Metallic introduced the "first ceiling
suspension system for commercial and residential
markets," states a 2013 company brochure .
Donald A . Brown of Westlake, Ohio, invented the

T Joint in 1956 and patented it in 1959 (U .S . Patent
2,903,104) . Assigned to Donn Products Inc ., Brown's
"rigidly interlocking and demountable T junction"
introduced a T-Bar system that could be snapped
together quickly . Both plasterers and drywallers
began to see opportunity in the ceiling plane and
started adding suspended acoustical ceilings to
their contracts .
The 1960s saw the invention of several ceiling
grid components . In 1964, Martin D . Jahn of Chicago
Metallic patented a "method of producing suspended
ceiling runners" with an inverted T shape (U .S . Patent
3,150,440) . In 1967, Jahn patented the "runner joint for
suspended ceiling system" (U .S . Patent 3,342,515),
which made possible more complex suspended
ceiling grids . Also in 1967, Robert P . Lickliter and Earl
Abbott, both of Hamburg, N .Y ., and John F . Reeves
of Tonawanda, N .Y ., patented the "expansion joint
and locking connection for supporting grid systems"
(U .S . Patent 3,312,488) . The invention, assigned to
Flangeklamp Grid Manufacturing, provided "locking
connectors" that prevented the grid system from
buckling in the extreme heat of a fire-a true, fire
retarding grid system .
By the end of the 1980s, seven relatively equal-sized
competitors shared the acoustical tile and suspended
grid markets, says William O . White, vice president
of Advanced Technology at USG Building Systems,
Chicago . The number of players declined thereafter .
Donn Products acquired Flangeklamp in 1983 . USG
Corp . acquired Donn Products in 1986 . Armstrong
acquired several players in the 1980s .

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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
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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
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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
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 6. The Organization Behind the Leadership
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