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1960s – Baker Retires – End of Era

After leading National Gypsum for 40 years, Chairman Melvin H. Baker retires. Baker was an entrepreneur and the consummate salesman. The company continued to expand and entered the computer age. It purchased the Phoenix Plant and built plants in Long Beach and
Richmond, CA. The company called this expansion The West Coast Division.

April 20 – Phoenix – Acquired from Union Gypsum -- $1.5 million

 

August 31 – Tampa – Constructed -- $6.5 million

 

Richmond plant announced

 

Tectum added to product line. Company acquired for cash the net assets of Tectum Company with plants in Newark, OH and Arkadelphia, AR. The panels made of shredded wood treated with certain special chemicals provided a structural roof deck, insulation, fire resistance, sound proofing, and a decorative, attractive ceiling on the other side – all in one product.

Richmond, CA plant completed.

 

Melvin H. Baker retired as chairman of the company – 79 years old – He remained on the board until age 88 and had an "honorary" office at the Buffalo headquarters where he worked on his memoirs.

Colon Brown named chairman. He reorganized the company into divisions. Gold Bond Building Products was the largest division with its own president, John P. (Jack) Hayes.

Project began to computerize accounts payable, accounts receivable, and pricing.

September 30 – Long Beach – started production -- $7.6 million.

Joint venture with National Gypsum, private investors and Lafarge to build and operate a wallboard plant in Carpentras, France. A second plant was built north of Paris at Auneuil. With a Swiss partner, a third plant was built at Ottmarshein on the French/German border. This was National Gypsum's first venture using byproduct gypsum.

National Gypsum discontinued its involvement in operating Army ordnance plants. Actual contract with the Army terminated in 1971.

December 31 – Milton – Constructed -- $12.2 million


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