Celebrating 100 years - 95

The Pioneers of
Steel Studs
The story of cold-formed steel framing spans
169 years at the time of this writing and is rich
in entrepreneurship .
In 1849, Peter Naylor, a roofer from New
York, advertised 20-by-15-foot houses made
of "portable iron" (likely cold-formed steel),
which he built in a day . Naylor shipped about
500 houses, helping "forty-niners" establish
domiciles during the California gold rush .
Around 1925, the Virginia Baptist Hospital in
Lynchburg, Va ., featured load-bearing masonry
walls and back-to-back lipped cold-formed steel
joists . It was likely the first use of cold-formed
steel in a commercial setting .
Chicago architect Howard T . Fisher designed
the "home of the future" for the 1933 Chicago
World's Fair . Fisher modeled the structural
designs of Pullman railroad cars . His steel homes
could be set up in four days . But his company,
General Houses, eventually went bankrupt .
Inventor Carl Strandlund of Moline, Ill .,
founded Lustron Homes in 1942 . Lustron
made houses, cabinets and furniture out of
lightweight steel . The company landed some
20,000 orders for houses but built only 2,498
units and went out of business .
When gypsum panel producers in the 1950s
sought a lightweight substructure for their
wallboard, they chose cold-formed steel . The
first metal stud walls used un-lipped channels .
Their assembly featured plaster, metal lath
and steel studs tied with wire, says Structure
magazine .
In 1953, Jacob M . Gwynne invented (U .S .

Patent 2,664,179) "nailable metal structural
members" to replace "wooden studs, joints,
rafters and the like ." About this time, United
States Gypsum Company trademarked a
nailable metal stud system called TrusSteel .
Double wires formed the "flange" of the
TrusSteel members, and framers had to sink
their nails into this "flange ." But that was difficult
to do, so snap-in clips, patented in 1959, got
some use . The real breakthrough in fastening
wallboard and metal studs came with the selfdrilling screw .
Metal stud manufacturers popped up
everywhere . The Milcor Division of Inland
Steel Products Co . (later named Inryco),
introduced steel studs with half-inch flanges
in the 1950s . Metal lath producer Penn Metal
Co . introduced its steel framing in 1959 . At first,
Dietrich Industries sold skid lumber to steel
mills . In time, workers collected scrap coils of
steel from the mills, and Dietrich rolled them
into studs that were private-labeled for various

gypsum panel producers .
Lightweight "structural" metal framing made
its appearance the 1960s . Penn Metal produced
cold-formed steel studs in 18 and 16 gauges by
1965 . Milcor launched similar-gauge studs in
1966 . Metal studs were used in curtain walls,
exterior walls with brick veneer and interior
shaft walls .
In 1968, Milcor added a technical services
group of engineers and detailers who developed
mid-rise, load-bearing systems . Some notable
engineers of that group were Pat Ford, Randy
Frame, John Matsen, Tom Schermerhorn, Don
Schroeder and Jim Williams .
In the 2010s, AWCI encouraged coldformed steel stud manufacturers, suppliers
and contractors to organize as an industry .
Under the leadership of AWCI Executive Vice
President & CEO Steve A . Etkin and AWCI
President Brent Allen, the industry's key coldformed steel players formed the Steel Framing
Industry Association in 2011 .
95



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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