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In celebration of AWCI’s centennial anniversary in March 2018, we continue the celebration with a look at what our ancestors were saying about the industry. Thanks to a lot of research and old documents, you may find that some things haven’t changed much. Sources include historical, archived meeting minutes housed in the John H. Hampshire Memorial Library at AWCI headquarters, The Plasterer and AWCI’s Construction Dimensions magazines, and the commemorative book AWCI is writing, which will be distributed to attendees of AWCI’s Convention in March 2018 in Orlando, Fla.

Oscar A. Reum, President

Contracting Plasterers International Association

The Plasterer

September 1919

“The workmen’s compensation laws are good laws. They eliminate litigation and provide protection when it is most needed. Let us all approach them with an open mind and a friendly and co-operative spirit.”

E. J. Russell, Past President

American Institute of Architects

Address to Attendees of the CPIA Annual Convention

October 1938

“The architectural profession has come off its pedestal, and feels that it is essentially one of the branches of the construction industry. … Our great trouble is that we are not working as a unit. In prosperous times we put up many more buildings than the communities could absorb. I believe there should be some control over building. That sounds preposterous, but it is no more preposterous than was the adoption by many municipalities of zoning ordinances.”

Joseph McNulty, Vice President

Contracting Plasterers International Association

CPIA’s 31st Annual Convention

September 1948

“This Lathing and Plastering industry in the total represents a lot of business. In its total it is big business. I don’t know what the figures would amount to but I dare say there is a billion worth of lathing and plastering done in the United States in the course of a year, that in spite of the fact that whether you like it or not, lathing and plastering has lost a lot of ground. There are a lot of buildings built that have no lathing and plastering in them. They are eliminating lathing and plastering in schools, municipal buildings, all kinds of buildings all over the country, and that doesn’t mean at this time we need more lathing and plastering. We don’t. We are having difficulty to do what is offered now.

    “I think everybody in this room is in that same position. On the other hand, that condition isn’t going to live forever, and one of these days we are going to want business. We are going to want lathe and plaster back in our buildings.”

Edward J. Leonard, OPCMIA President

Contracting Plasterers & Latherers International Association

41st Annual Convention


“We must carry on for those that’s gone to the great beyond, that’s laid this industry out in front of us and then we as children came into the industry. Some of us has made good; some of us hasn’t made good. But you are a group of contractors. We are a group of labor officials, elected by that rank and file, to carry on our job. And our job is to continue the lathing and plastering business. It’s to teach our children and the younger generation, if they so wish to become journeymen, lathers, plasterers, bricklayers or contractors or manufacturers, that we are duly browned and have our place in the sun, that our trades are not going to be wiped out because we’re not abusing our industry.”

Robert W. Bolster, Treasurer

Contracting Plasterers & Latherers International Association

45th Annual Convention

October 1962

In his treasurer’s report, Bolster said, “The next item seems maybe a little bit out of line, but believe me it is not. We have raised the estimated telephone costs from $3,000 to $3,800. This is an item that every year always goes over the budget. We are trying to be a little realistic about it this year.”

58th Annual Convention

international association of Wall and Ceiling Contractors

April 1975

Various resolutions and amendments were approved at this annual meeting. Among them were these:

  • The iaWCC supports the use of automatic taping tools in the drywall industry.
  • The iaWCC urges its members to support the retention program of the American Subcontractors Association.
  • The iaWCC Labor Liaison Committee will meet with International Union representatives to establish contract language requiring the union to provide properly qualified people for the specific work to which they will be assigned, with contractor privileges of rejecting non-qualified mechanics.

Craig Daley, President

Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry

President’s Message, AWCI’s Construction Dimensions, April 2014

“Back in my day we had young kids on the job site cleaning up (I was one of ’em), brought our dogs to work and had the radio blasting with not a hard hat in sight. We worked on three-legged ladders and stole the plasterer’s planks when we needed to reach a bit farther out. Oh, the stories we could tell, the safety risks we would take. Well, much has changed in the past few decades. …None of those practices are around anymore, and crews no longer complain that wearing a hard hat is a burden.”

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