Flintstone and Foamstone

Yesterday’s Zippy, with Fred & Wilma Formstone:


Ah, the Baltimore connection. Well, Dingburg MD, the home of the Pinheads, is only 17 miles west of Baltimore.

Formstone. From Wikipedia:

Formstone is a type of stucco commonly applied to brick rowhouses in many East Coast urban areas in the United States, although it is most strongly associated with Baltimore. Formstone is commonly colored and shaped on the building to imitate various forms of masonry compound, creating the trompe l’oeil appearance of rock.

Formstone was patented by Albert Knight of Baltimore in 1937, although a similar product named Permastone had been invented in Columbus, Ohio, eight years prior. The name Formstone was actually a brand name used by Knight. Permastone, Fieldstone, Dixie Stone, and Stone of Ages were names used for a product similar to Knight’s Formstone, particularly in other cities.

Formstoned row houses in Baltimore:


Brick buildings were stuccoed up and down the East Coast, using various commercial products — a transformation that many residents have come to regret.

As for Baltimore, John Waters, the chronicler of a created Baltimore in his films, has called Formstone “the polyester of brick”.

The Flintstones. On the animated cartoon family from the Stone Age, see my “Flintstone days” of 9/3/15.

Flint. From Wikipedia:

Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, black, green, white or brown in colour, and often has a glassy or waxy appearance. A thin layer on the outside of the nodules is usually different in colour, typically white and rough in texture.

… Flint was used in the manufacture of tools during the Stone Age as it splits into thin, sharp splinters called flakes or blades (depending on the shape) when struck by another hard object (such as a hammerstone made of another material). This process is referred to as knapping.

… Flint, knapped or unknapped, has been used from antiquity (for example at the Late Roman fort of Burgh Castle in Norfolk) up to the present day as a material for building stone walls, using lime mortar, and often combined with other available stone or brick rubble. It was most common in parts of southern England, where no good building stone was available locally, and brick-making not widespread until the later Middle Ages. It is especially associated with East Anglia, but also used in chalky areas stretching through Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent to Somerset. Flint was used in the construction of many churches, houses, and other buildings, for example the large stronghold of Framlingham Castle.

Flint as building stone was all around me when I lived i Brighton, Sussex. Especially in flintstone walls, like this one in Sussex, seen in close-up so you can appreciate its texture:


Historic Dingburg. Its location 17 miles west of Baltimore puts the mythic Dingbug at the site of Annapolis Junction MD. Early history from Wikipedia:

Annapolis Junction is an unincorporated community in Howard County MD

… The lands of Annapolis Junction were first settled around 1650.

… Annapolis Junction was established as a rail junction on the north-south mainline of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) when the tracks of the Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad terminated here in 1840. Since this provided a rail route to Annapolis from Washington and Baltimore via the B&O, it was, therefore, a junction to Annapolis. On August 26 1844 the Annapolis Junction post office opened.

During the Civil War it served as a staging point for Union forces. Here’s an 1861 photo of the junction occupied by federal troops:


On modern Annapolis Junction:

No longer an actual railroad junction, Annapolis Junction has developed into a town with four major features. The historic and still busy CSX (former B&O) railroad line runs north to south, Maryland Route 32 runs east to west, various office warehouses lie to the west, and facilities relating to Fort Meade lie to the east. Although a historic location, Annapolis Junction is now mostly zoned industrial, and overshadowed by nearby Fort Meade.

… Few residents call Annapolis Junction “home” [the 2000 census listed only 40 residents], more frequently associating themselves with adjacent Savage, Maryland, its southern neighbor Laurel, Maryland, or Fort Meade.

Meanwhile, behind the facade of industrial Annapolis Junction lies the thriving (but incorporeal) town of Dingburg depicted in Bill Griffith’s work..

One Response to “Flintstone and Foamstone”

  1. thnidu Says:

    Well, of course Flintstone is often found with Rubble!

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