Professional Perspective

Professional Perspective: Simulating Stone, 1860-1940

Artificial Marble, Artificial Stone, and Cast Stone

In recent years materials that simulate the appearance of stone are being widely used again. The application in restoration is the result of the lack or the perceived lack of original materials and adequate craftsmanship, as well as the costs associated with fabrication and installation of the original materials. In contemporary restoration terms these materials are called "substitute materials." The nineteenth century designations were a great deal more direct and referred to such applications as "artificial."

Both American and English artificial stone systems found application after the Civil War. One of the first American artificial stone products was"Frear Artificial Stone," which was patented in 1868 by George A. Frear of Chicago. While the tern "artificial stone" was common in the nineteenth century, by 1900 "manufactured stone", "cast stone" and "architectural stone" became common terminology.

This article places its focus on the continued evolution of cast stone and artificial stone as an exterior block material. Written in 1989, this is a great point by point argument for the forward movement of technical advancement in the area of artificial resources for historical repair.

Helpful Link: Stone Veneer

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All Wet and How to Prevent It.

Managing Moisture in Your Historic House 

Controlling Unwanted Moisture in Historic Buildings