While the patent record lists Merrill Muttart as the
inventor of the mastic applicator, employees of Muttart Industries at
the time remember Julian Hoveland as the designer of the device. Used
to apply the sticky, putty-like substances used by carpenters and
builders as an adhesive, filler or sealer, the mastic applicator is one
of six Hoveland inventions listed in the patent record. Of these, five,
including the mastic applicator, were owned by Muttart.
Hoveland was born and raised in the Camrose area, but later moved to New Westminster, British Columbia, where he started a business called H &
K Tool Specialty. This company was later bought by Muttart, and operated
under the name Canusa Tools. Hoveland moved to Edmonton, still working for
Canusa Tools and involved in the development of equipment for the dry-wall
An improvement over earlier tools designed for a similar purpose,
Hoveland's mastic applicator applied joint cement, or mud over tape, all
of which joined pieces of drywall together. The chief improvement came
from the amount of mastic that the device could hold compared to previous
models. The device also prevented foreign objects, like dust and dirt,
from getting into the new seam. With these improvements,
carpenters could join
drywall more quickly and with a better end result.
Around 100 of Hoveland's mastic applicators were produced and the tool
was used by professionals until 1968, after which time changes in
construction and tool design made the applicator obsolete.
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