BIRD Shingles History of Roofing

BIRD Shingles History of Roofing


Bird and SonsBird Shingles, one of the oldest manufactures of roofing products in the USA. Starting business when George Washington was President of our country. The founder George Bird secured a license to build a paper mill using water wheels from the Charles River as the power plants. This plant was near Dover and was not far from Boston, Massachusetts, a key hub to Birds success, as this area became most popular for the sale of his paper products and roofing for over the next 200 years.

George Bird refined his paper so well it became a big demand for writing. He became well known for his paper and in 1812 secured a contract with the United States to provide the rag paper on which the nations currency would be printed on. The steady growth of the company warranted a second mill to be built on the Neponset River in East Walpole, Massachusetts, in 1817.

Many years of success continued with his sons joining the companies. As many times in those days the main Bird mill was destroyed by fire in 1880. Then one of the worst flood in Massachusetts history destroyed the other. This ruined equipment used for making the fine writing paper on which Bird’s reputation had been built.Bird Roof

Charles Bird and Sons having only equipment used to make course paper within a few months created a waterproof building paper. Named Neponset after the River the second remaining mill still existed. This became the first felt-based asphalt roofing product on the market. Soon after that the asphalt shingles became a large part of Birds product line,  and flourish until the 1980’s. By 1995 Bird had struggled selling off many holdings. CertainTeed was trying to acquire them in the mid 90’s. Now CertainTeed own the IP of the 200 plus years of this company.








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Bob 270 posts

Since 2005 Bob has been answering questions, free of charge, here at With a strong background in residential roofing and provides a practical and simple answers to hundreds of roof related questions, so it is easy to understand the issues you may have with your roof. Our answers are free so feel free to ask what you want. Use the green question box to contact myself or I have spent ten years as a union shingler, seventeen years as a California licensed roofing contractor with a general contractor endorsement and since Feb. of 2005 a roofing consultant. If I don't know the answer to your question, I will point you in the right direction.

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