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Spackling paste is a putty used to fill holes, small cracks, and other minor surface defects in wood, drywall, and plaster. Typically, spackling is composed of gypsum plaster from hydrated calcium sulfate, and glue.
Spackle is a registered trademark of the Muralo Company, located in Bayonne, New Jersey. Muralo's product is dry powder, to be mixed with water by the user to form putty or paste. It was brought to market in 1927, then patented and trademarked in 1928. The term "spackle" has since become a genericized trademark applied in the United States to a variety of household hole-filling products. (Such products may also be referred to as "spackling" compounds.)
The first written appearance of the generic use of the word "spackle" was around 1940. The product name was likely derived from the German word spachtel, meaning "putty knife" or "filler." Other possible derivations include Russian шпаклевать (tr. shpaklevat; to fill holes with putty or caulk), Polish szpachla (spatula or putty knife) and Yiddish spaklieven (to fill in small holes in plaster.), all of which are likely derived from German.
In the UK the generic name for this product is 'wall filler' with 'Polyfilla' being a popular brand name (the use of the prefix 'poly-' is intended to imply that it can be used on many different types of surface). It differs from spackle in being cellulose based. The manufacturers claim that it has an advantage over spackle in that it doesn't shrink or crack.
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