Historic Markers Across Georgia

Attapulgite / Fullers Earth

Marker ID: WPA 
Location: at the intersection of Englehard Way and Clay St, Attapulgus, GA
County: Decatur
Coordinates: N 30° 44.921    W 084° 29.152
  30.74868333    -84.48586666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None
Attapulgite / Fullers Earth Marker
Photo by David Seibert



There are many types of Fullers Earth clay. Attapulgite is a unique type, found in the USA only in Decatur County, GA and Gadsden County. Fl. It is also found in Spain, Russia , and China. The unique nature of Attapulgite is, when mixed with fresh or salt water, it forms a gel. With new processes of refining oil, this no longer a major use. Other uses have been developed in cosmetics, paint, medicine, dry wall taping, and oil drilling. All processing of the clay was moved to Quincy in 1998. Some mining is still being done in the area.

Friends of Attapulgus High School 2008

Fullers Earth
(Text from old marker)

Fuller Earth, a clay used for bleaching petroleum oil, has been refined near here since 1907. The name is derived from its earlier use of fulling or cleaning the grease from wool. Georgia has led the production of Fullers Earth since 1924.

Chemical Properties>

Fullers Earth is any nonplastic clay or claylike earthy material that can be used to filter animal, mineral, and vegetable oils. It is composed mainly of alumina, silica, iron oxides, lime, magnesia, and water, in extremely variable proportions.

Friends of Attapulgus High School 2008

Attapulgite / Fullers Earth
Photo by David Seibert


The "old marker" referenced in the title on the second side was a WPA (Works Progress Administration) marker erected on US Highway 27 in Attapulgus in the 1930s. It disappeared many years ago.