Foundationless frame beekeeping has been around from Huber's time (late 1700's) until the present with no actual gap. There has been much propaganda from the late 1800s until now on how much energy was wasted by not giving them foundation and how many less drones there would be. But it never really caught on big time until about the 1940s. All the people I know who were keeping bees in the 30's (depression times) were not buying foundation and most were not buying it before that. I would say there are more doing foundationless now than 40 years ago... but less than 100 years ago when everyone was foundationless.