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Building Stones of America: 50 Years of the NIST Stone Test Wall.

pdf icon Building Stones of America: 50 Years of the NIST Stone Test Wall. (312 K)
Stutzman, P. E.; Raz, J.

NCPTT Notes, No. 36, 7,9,11, July 2000.


research facilities; weather effects; cements; climate


In 1880 the Census Office and the National Museum in Washington, DC conducted a study of building stones of the United States and collected a set of reference specimens from working quarries. This collection was merged with the Centennial Collection of US Building Stones that was first displayed at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Descriptions fo producing quarries, commercial building stones, and their use in construction across the country were compiled and reported in the 10th census of the United States in 1880. This collection of stones, now augmented with building stones from other countries, was placed on display in the Smithsonian Institution. In 1942, a committee was appointed to consider whether any worthwhile use could be made of the collection. It was decided that a study of actual weathering on such a great variety of stone would yield valuable information. A plan was developed for building a test wall at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) as a cooperative study between NBS and ASTM Committee C-18 on Building Stone. Subsequently, in 1948 a test wall was constructed at the NBS site in Washington, DC.