USG Corporation Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Sheetrock® Brand Wallboard
Company commemorates rich history of innovation with wallboard product that revolutionized the building industry over the last 100 years and serves today as the industry standard
“From the first simple wallboard panel developed 100 years ago to the
breadth of high-performing panels available today, USG has led the
industry in innovation,” said
USG’s Sheetrock® brand has made a tremendous impact on the construction
industry and is so popular that its portfolio of products are among the
most well-known building supplies around the world. Sheetrock® brand
wallboard has enabled the built environment as we know it today,
allowing buildings to be safer and taller. Wallboard is ubiquitous—it is
found in buildings of all types across
Wallboard was originally created by USG one hundred years ago by putting gypsum plaster between two sheets of paper. This invention provided builders a faster install process, as the long drying time associated with plaster was eliminated. It also dramatically improved building safety since the gypsum panel’s water molecules release as steam instead of catching fire when heated. This natural feature makes gypsum wallboard an inherently fire-resistant and heat-insulating product. It was originally sold as small tiles for fireproofing but within a few years took on the familiar form that is still around today: compressed gypsum between two sheets of paper.
Since its inception, USG has fostered an innovation culture that
encourages employees to develop ideas and improvements to address
challenges faced by its customers. Researchers at USG’s innovation
The company has nearly 2,000 active
To observe the 100th anniversary of its Sheetrock® brand
wallboard, USG is hosting celebrations across
USG is proud to have a rich history spanning 115 years. The company’s beginning was closely linked to the early American building industry and USG continues its focus on innovation today.
Early 1900s – Approximately 20 gypsum rock and plaster
manufacturing companies merged to consolidate their resources and form
United States Gypsum Company, which ultimately became USG Corporation. The company developed its first building products including an early form of wall panels, made with layers of plaster and paper and Pyrobar, a gypsum-based, fireproof tile.
1916 – USG invented modern wallboard: a single layer of plaster
and paper that could be joined flush along a wall with a relatively
smooth surface. The first panels were manufactured in
Fort Dodge, Iowa, starting in October.
- 1917 – USG named its wallboard panels “Sheetrock®.” The name was suggested as “a strong name for this new product” by a USG sales representative.
- 1940s – Wallboard such as USG’s Sheetrock® brand panels became the industry standard during the post-World War II building boom where builders found that installing wallboard was faster and more cost-effective due to fewer laborers than plaster.
- 1952 – USG invented Sheetrock® Brand Firecode Panels, composed of fire-resistant gypsum core encased in 100 percent recycled natural-finish face paper.
- 1960s – USG continued innovating and introduced Sheetrock® brand panels with improved water- and fire-resistance.
1998 – USG launched an updated Sheetrock® Brand 1/2"
Interior Gypsum Ceiling Panel, which better resists sagging when used on ceilings.
- 2010 – USG unveiled Sheetrock® Brand UltraLight Panels, redesigning drywall to be lighter and stronger, while weighing up to 30 percent less than traditional drywall.
Fact: In the average year, USG manufactures enough Sheetrock® brand wallboard to reach the moon or circle the equator twelve times.