Chapter 1:5 American Terneplate, Industrial revolution

Chapter 1:5 American Terneplate, Industrial revolution

Chapter 1:4 Thomas Jefferson  <

As discussed in the Section on TJ and Monticello; Jefferson struggled with applying colonial roofing knowledge to complicated European designs.  This mistake is further compounded as romantic revival architecture catches on and our industrial cities were transformed into victorian landscapes complete with all the complicated roof details that were begging for guild-appropriate designs.  

Our tradespeople here used what they knew: soldered terne.  They also applied standing seam without fully understanding the joinery required to make these roofs last more than a century.
This lack of knowledge, even at the top from architects, builders, and tradespeople is illustrated perfectly with the standing seam instructions available in english-speaking sheet metal books at the time.  The lack of knowledge continues to this day.

One of the best industrial-era resources for decorative work, and pattern making is William Neubecker’s “The Universal Sheet Metal Pattern Cutter, VOL 2.”

This is without a doubt the definitive resource for pattern-making of decorative architectural elements you commonly find on preservation projects.

Following these lessons and completing the examples in this book will fully equip any craftsperson with the requisite drafting and geometric construction skills needed to re-produce existing historical material, or creating new ones where they have been lost.  This only applies to decorative elements though.  Following his instructions for roofing would be a terrible mistake; not to repeat.

Even the master, Neubecker has limited knowledge of standing seam joinery. He was without a doubt the most prominent educator and authority writing in english on these subjects and no doubt his instructions were used to inform most of what we inherit as “metal roofing knowledge” in the market today.

American standing seam work: informed by Neubecker/Colonia track