The Gypsum Files

Notes on the Rock Nobody Knows

Posts Tagged ‘Gypsum Association

Shaping The Future with Gypsum Wallboard

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I wish I knew more about this video. I can date it back to 1969, but I think it might be older than that. This is another industrial film from the Gypsum Association, and uses clips that I’ve seen in some of their other videos. There’s a shot of a living room set towards the end of the video that is particularly groovy.



Written by Elizabeth McCullough

May 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm

It isn’t called White Magic for nothing, you know

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Here is a charming and informative little video from the Gypsum Association. It dates from the early 1950s and was shown on television and in movie theaters to promote the industry.

For contrast, here’s the Gypsum Association’s current promotional video: The Miracle Mineral. I think it’s interesting to see what has changed and what has stayed the same over the years.

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

April 24, 2014 at 8:00 am

The food additive nobody knows

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Did you know that gypsum is used in foods we eat every day? You might be surprised to hear that you’re eating rocks, but consider salt. Like gypsum, salt is a sedimentary rock — specifically, an evaporite, meaning that it is created by the evaporation of water. We use salt in some form every day, but unless we’re putting rock salt on our sidewalk, or growing salt crystals for a science project, we think of it more as a seasoning than as a rock or mineral.

Gypsum doesn’t sit on our tables in little shakers, but it does have dozens of culinary uses. This article from the Gypsum Association mentions a few:

  • dough strengthener
  • flour treating agent
  • leavening agent
  • nutrient supplement
  • pH control agent
  • stabilizer and thickener
  • synergist

The article goes on to state that the FDA permits gypsum to be used in “baked goods, confections and frostings, frozen dairy desserts, gelatins, puddings, pasta, and other food categories.” It’s also used to make tofu, beer, and wine.

Remember when we almost lost Twinkies to bankruptcy? Twinkies contain gypsum. Check out the table of contents for Twinkie, Deconstructed. There it is: Chapter 23, “Calcium Sulfate.” That’s gypsum!

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

April 22, 2014 at 8:00 am

Gypsum videos, old and new

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If you look over to the right side of this blog, you’ll see a selection of videos I’ve been collecting related to gypsum and the gypsum industry. Today I found a couple of gems via the Internet Archive (aka The Wayback Machine). One is a training video from the Gypsum Association. You might not be interested in the safety tips, but you do get to see a lot of hunky quarry workers and big machines.

The second video features the 1965 Parade of Homes in Birmingham, Alabama. But these aren’t just any homes — they’re Quiet Homes, which have been “quietized” with such space-age materials as Gold Bond Deciban, gypsum board, and caulk. Now mom and dad can watch Gunsmoke in peace while the kids play their rock ‘n’ roll records on the hi-fi upstairs.  Also features hunky drywallers.

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

December 15, 2009 at 5:34 pm

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