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The ABCs of Drywall: Drywall History and Uses

Did you know 20 billion square feet of drywall is manufactured in America every year? Drywall sales regularly cross the $3 billion dollar mark annually.

Why does the construction industry love it so much? What makes drywall such a favourite in American homes? When did drywall come into being?

The History of Drywall

A prototype of drywall was invented in 1894 by Augustine Sackett and called Sackett Board in his honor. He then sold the rights to the United States Gypsum Company (USG) in 1909. Since then and up till now, the USG has remained America’s largest manufacturer of drywall panels.

Drywall became popular as a construction material for residential and commercial purposes after the Second World War ended. It was branded as the best and cheapest material for fireproof homes.

The great construction boom of the 1950s further cemented drywall’s position as an ideal building material. Baby boomers wanted neat-looking white houses that were constructed in the shortest amount of time. Drywall could be installed faster than traditional plaster and thus was the answer to their woes.

Nowadays, up to 95 percent of houses use drywall as a wall finishing material. Drywall installation has become easy and cost-effective for homeowners in America.

The Many Different Names of Drywall

Drywall is known by several different names. Often people consider drywall to be different from Sheetrock, which is really just a brand name for the material (made by none other than USG). Homeowners often refer to it as wallboard, plasterboard or gypsum board.

Types of Drywall

There are many varieties of drywall:

  • Regular drywall/ white board (most commonly used)
  • Green board drywall (moisture-resistant)
  • Blue board drywall (mold-resistant and noise reducing)
  • Paperless drywall (with fiberglass)
  • Type X drywall (fire-resistant)
  • Enviroboard (environmentally-friendly with fiber panels)
  • EcoRock (eco-friendly and resistant to termites)

 If you are thinking of getting drywall installed in your home, it’s always best to consult professionals. If you already have drywall installed and are worried about damaging it by hanging items, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide for you.

Hanging Items on Drywall

  • Use a pencil to mark the center of the item/ picture on the wall
  • If the item weighs less than 8 pounds, use adhesive hooks to hang it
  • If the item weighs less than 50 pounds, use a press-in wire hook
  • If the item weighs up to 80 pounds, use threaded anchors. For threaded anchors you will need to get drywall screws to hold the item in place.
  • If the object weighs 100 pounds or more, use molly bolts

Usually it’s best to call up a drywall contractor and ask them how to proceed. If you live in Salt Lake, Utah, Davis or Weber ​Counties, we’d be more than happy to help with your drywall projects.


Drywall was invented in 1894 and has since been a staple of the construction industry. Due to its ease of installation and cost-effectiveness it remains a popular material to this day.