A company called National Gypsum produced one of the first light and flexible wallboards that proved to be successful. In fact, it was so successful that the company attached a $5,000 guarantee to their product that meant that they believed no one else could make a wallboard that was better than theirs. It became known as a “gold bond” certificate, and the product eventually became known as Gold Bond Wallboard.
Since the wallboard was so successful, National Gypsum began to make other products under the Gold Bond name. However, it turned out that many of these products contained asbestos, a very toxic mineral. Exposure to this material when in its fragmented, dust-like form can lead to numerous health issues, including the development of lethal diseases. Among these illnesses are asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
The manufacturer of these Gold Bond products was National Gypsum, a company founded in 1925 by Melvin H. Baker, Joseph F. Haggerty, and Clarence E. Williams. Today, the reorganized company has survived several lawsuits against it, including one as recent as April of this year, where the plaintiff suing the company voluntarily dismissed their putative nationwide class action lawsuit. Products the company now produces includes wall and ceiling construction products, which do not contain asbestos materials.