Homasote is a brand name associated with the product generically known as cellulose based fiber wall board, which is similar in composition to papier-mache, made from recycled paper that is compressed under high temperature and pressure and held together with a glue. It is 1/2 inch thick and comes in sheets 4 by 8 feet.
The Homasote Company operates a 750,000-square-foot (70,000 m2) factory complex in West Trenton, New Jersey. It started as a division of the Bermuda Trading Company in 1909. Eugenius Harvey Outerbridge founded the company as the "Agasote Millboard Company." Outerbridge brought the process into the United States from England.
The panels were first used for lining and sides of railroad cars. In 1915, they won a contract to use the panels as automobile tops and for the next 10 years they supplied board for the tops of Ford, Buick, Nash, Studebaker, and Dodge. They marketed a larger panel as "vehisote," for delivery truck panels. The Homasote version of the board was marketed in 1916, as "Versatile Homasote Board," an un-sanded panel, strong and lightweight with excellent weather-resistant properties. The panel was impervious to moisture and Homasote was used for the exterior of field hospitals and military housing in France during World War I. By 1925, cars were using canvas tops and Agasote lost sales, so the company heavily promoted Homasote for its versatility and insulation properties. The company then changed its name to Homasote after its now largest product. The company makes a version called "440 SoundBarrier".
Homasote is frequently used by model railroading for the sub-roadbed or roadbed, because of its noise-deadening qualities, ease of forming into shapes used as roadbed for tracks, ease of driving nails to hold track sections to the bed, light weight and retention of form under plaster scenery. Cork, plywood, hardboard, drywall, and foam insulation are common alternatives to Homasote.
Homasote has also found its way into numerous church basements and fellowship halls as the material used by church dartball leagues for the backboard of their baseball field shaped dartboards. It has proven to be a durable material that darts can be thrown into repeatedly without damaging their metal tips.
Homasote has also been used to cover ice rinks in multipurpose arenas for basketball and other events. It keeps ice cold and is durable enough to walk on.
Homasote was also widely used as wall sheeting from the 40's into the 70's, however due to the development of the more fire resistant gypsum board it has decreased in popularity as a wall sheeting.
Homasote is also commonly found in studio spaces and featured in many art institutions as a wall covering and doubling as a type of cork board. It often receives hundreds of coats of paint over the years due to the strength of the product.
Homasote is also used for blocking knit or crochet pieces. "Homosote is sturdy, and incredibly absorbent. It will wick water away from your garment so it dries more quickly. And it's like a bulletin board -- you can stick pins in it easily."
At Northwest Folklife the dance floor in the Fisher Pavilion is built each year from two layers of Homasote overlaid with a layer of painted Masonite. The Homasote base reduces the incidence of impact injuries such as shin splints caused by dancing on the concrete floor.
Leadership of Homasote
- "Sticky after all these years". Boston Globe. December 6, 1991. "... Homasote is a type of papier-mache 1/2 inch thick and comes in sheets 4 by 6 and ..."
- "How to treat old Homasote". Boston Globe. June 20, 1999. Retrieved 2008-12-18. "It's interesting; this is the second question this week on Homasote. First, Homasote needs explaining. It is a papier-mache material, ground-up newspapers wetted down and compressed into"
- "Homasote Company". Homasote Company. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-12-18. "An internationally known environmental icon, Homasote Company is the oldest manufacturer of building products made from recycled materials in the U.S., and the only manufacturer of its kind in the Americas. Our 750,000-square-foot (70,000 m2) factory complex in New Jersey, is a few miles from the spot where George Washington crossed the Delaware on his way to the Battle of Trenton."
- "440 SoundBarrier by Homasote: The High-Performance Sheathing Alternative to OSB and Plywood". DCD. Retrieved 2008-12-18. "One additional advantage that 440 SoundBarrier has over alternatives is the bonus reduction in ambient outside sound coming into a home that's achieved when that home is sheathed with Homasote."
- Larson, Russ. N Scale Primer. Kalmback Publishing Company, 1974, p. 20.
- Doug Plummer. "The Folkfloor Story". Youtube.
- "Three-alarm blaze damages Hopewell Township home". Trenton Times. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-18. "Police and fire officials at the scene confirmed that the two-story house nestled among the trees along Pond View Lane is owned by Warren Flicker and his family. Flicker is CEO of Ewing-based recycling company Homasote."