Gypsum block

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A precast block or tile made from calcined gypsum (plaster of Paris). Gypsum blocks usually contained 3 to 5% filler, such as wood. Gypsum blocks were first made commercially in Germany in the 1890s. They were used for floors, partitions and roofs. Gypsum blocks became popular because they were lightweight, fireproof and absorbed sound. By the 1920s, gypsum blocks were replaced by gypsum wallboard as the preferred building material for interior walls. U.S. manufacturers stopped making gypsum blocks in the 1960s.

Synonyms and Related Terms

gypsum tile; Gypsite; Gypsteel; Pyrobar; Structolite; Unitrave

Additional Information

Susan Escherich, "Gypsum Block and Tile", in Twentieth-Century Building Materials, T. Jester (ed.), McGraw-Hill: New York, 1995.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Thomas C. Jester (ed.), Twentieth-Century Building Materials, McGraw-Hill Companies, Washington DC, 1995