125 years and counting

At the International Roofing Expo® and NRCA's 124th Annual Convention in Las Vegas this month, NRCA will debut One Hundred Twenty-five Years of Roofing in America. The book is a second edition of One Hundred Years of Roofing in America, which was published in 1986 to celebrate NRCA's centennial. Both books trace the history of the roofing industry from pre-colonial to modern times.

Within the book are stories of several roofing contracting companies, many of which still exist and remain NRCA members. Each company's longevity is a testament to the industry's resiliency and can provide comfort during these difficult economic times because these times, too, shall pass.

This month, Professional Roofing pays tribute to three of these companies in "Lasting success," page 35: Henry C. Smither Roofing Co., Indianapolis; J.A. Piper Roofing Co., Greenville, S.C.; and Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving Co., Harvey, Ill. All three have been passed from one family generation to another, and all three have played important roles in the roofing industry.

For example, Henry C. Smither Roofing was one of the founding members of NRCA's predecessor, and company founder Henry C. Smither served in the Union Army during the Civil War; J.A. Piper, founder of J.A. Piper Roofing, was instrumental in founding the Carolinas roofing association and helped keep NRCA afloat during the Great Depression; and Knickerbocker Roofing is one of the oldest roofing companies in the Midwest and is still run by family members of the company's founder, Bernard Kelly.

Professional Roofing acknowledges these three companies represent a small fraction of the industry's rich history, but we hope you agree they are worthy of our tribute.

To see a copy of One Hundred Twenty-five Years of Roofing in America, visit NRCA's booth 1948. The book can be purchased through the NRCA Bookstore at

Ambika Puniani Bailey is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's senior director of communications.


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