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Jeff Bowlsby CCS, CCCA

Exterior Wall and Stucco Consultant

Licensed California Architect

 

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Stucco Vintage Advertisements

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Advertisements for stucco products from days gone by are one resource for knowing more about what stucco, stucco products and stucco aesthetics used to be like in the past.

 

Visit the StuccoMetrics Reference Archives webpage for cited references and further information.

 

Context

 

 

1894 – Portland cements, lime, plastering hair

 

 

 

1912 – Johns Manville Asbestos Stucco

 

 

 

1915 – The Hydrex Felt and Engineering Co.

Novento Waterproof Sheathing Paper

 

 

 

1915 – The Standard Paint Company – Impervite

 

 

 

1916 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1917 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1917 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1917 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1917 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1918 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1919 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1921 – American Magnesia Products Co. - Kragstone

 

 

 

1921 Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1922 – Milwaukee Corrugating Co. - Milcor

 

 

 

1922 – National Steel Fabric Company

 

 

 

1922 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1922 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1925 – The General Fireproofing Building Products

Herringbone Rigid Metal Lath

 

 

 

1925 – Portland Cement Association – Textures

 

 

 

1925 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1925 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1926 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1926 – US Gypsum Co. – Oriental Stucco

 

 

1926 – Plastic Magnesia Association – Plastic Magnesia Stucco

 

 

 

1926 – Plastic Magnesia Association – Plastic Magnesia Stucco

 

 

 

1926 – Bisopric Manufacturing Co. – The Charm of Colored Stucco

 

 

 

1927 – The Bishopric Manufacturing Co.  – Colored Stucco

 

 

 

1927 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1929 – Atlas White – Atlas Portland Cement Co.

 

 

 

1931 – Medusa Waterproofed White Portland Cement

 

 

 

1925 –Portland Cement Association

 

 

 

E-Cod Fabric

 

 

 

Franklyn R. Muller & Company – Asbestone

 

 

 

The Atlas Portland Cement Company – White Finishes

 

 

 

The Bishopric Manufacturing Co. – Stucco Overcoating Details

 

 

 

The Bishopric Manufacturing Co. – Stucco and Plaster Base

 

 

 

Crack-Resistant Cement

 

 

 

National Kellastone Company – Imperishable Stucco

 

 

 

Pompeian Manufacturing Co. – Thickness gauge.

“Member of the Pompeian Full Half-Inch Club”

Don’t be offended by the swastika – it meant ‘good luck’ in the era

 

 

Observations

 

These and other period stucco and stucco product advertisements describe some of the technical and creative aspects of stucco from the past.  These ads were aimed at the buying public, at the stucco design community and at stucco craftsmen.

 

The hype in some of these advertisements set a level of expectation, but that’s the way it was back then.  Some of the claims made and content in these ads could not occur today.

 

Discussion

 

Vintage stucco ads can be works of art and beautiful in their own presentation, it is refreshing just to experience them with a sense of nostalgia.  Stucco is now and has been for a very long time, a preferred exterior wall cladding for its many positive characteristics, both aesthetically and functionally.  Perhaps if more contemporary ads were of this genre in the consumer press, stucco would be in even greater demand.

 

We don’t often see advertisements for stucco or stucco products in the consumer press these days.  What we do see is primarily in trade magazines, for specific stucco products being promoted to the craftsman, and occasionally to the designer or specifier.  Stucco in the present day, has a persona recognized by tight, flat, uniform, sand float or spray-on knock down textures, and mostly in light pastel and earth tones.  Stucco is capable of so much more, experientially.  Today’s stucco palette and paradigm could be broadened to be much more interesting.

 

From the ads we can glean clues about what was important to people back then, where stucco was an admirable architectural solution.  Stucco was used to overcoat existing wood-sided buildings which required less maintenance, provided a degree of fire-resistance, energy efficiency and enhanced aesthetics.  Some of the ads were clearly aimed at the technical side of how to use the materials, in the form of architectural detailing.  Some illustrate the short-lived romance with asbestos and magnesium oxide stucco.  Others promoted stucco aesthetics that are uncommon but still revered today.

 

Conclusions

 

Some technical and aesthetic nuances of stucco have changed over time, but in its most basic form, stucco in the most important ways has not really changed all that much.

 

Suggestions

 

We can learn from stucco’s past to determine stucco’s future going forward.

 

 

Consultation with licensed and experienced stucco professionals is recommended for stucco-related endeavors.  No liability is accepted for any reason or circumstance, specifically including personal or professional negligence, consequential damages or third party claims, based on any legal theory, from the use, misuse or reliance upon information presented or in any way connected with StuccoMetrics.com.

 

 

 

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